Friday, February 27, 2015

Once A Peak-Bagger: Mount Owen

We were back in Queenstown, doing laundry and drying gear after our three day trip into Frenchmans Cap, but, all the time I was fussing with gear, I was aware of the barren slopes of Mount Owen hulking 1000 metres above the township. In the afternoon, with darkening clouds over most of the sky, we drove the windy Lyell Hwy east from Queenstown to Karlsons Gap just before the tiny hamlet of Gormanston. Here, a steep 4 WD road climbs up Owens Spur to some towers at 1000 metres about one kilometre and 200 metres below the boulder strewn alpine plateau of Mount Owen.

 Doug almost at the trig station on Mount Owen

It's a quick walk to roads end and a poled route that rambles up blocks and boulders to a sub-summit of Mount Owen. A tiny alpine tarn is perched in a cirque to the south, and, a quick descent down boulders (some scrambling), a scamper across the plateau, and one last scramble up some massive conglomerate boulders and you are on top of Mount Owen. 

 Doug scrambling up to the trig point

On a clearer day, the view would be fantastic as you can see the ocean to the west, Macquarie Harbour to the southwest, and across to the high peaks of the inland plateau to the east. For us, the weather was a little hazy and cloudy and we could not even see Frenchmans Cap. 
 Lake Burbury and small tarn

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