I have long wanted to walk to Frenchman’s Cap, I’ve just never been able to convince anyone to come with me.
And I couldn’t find anyone to come with me in December 2020 either, so I just went by myself.
The weather forecast looked amazing. I had a weekend. Why not go?
First I needed to get a spot due to social distancing and COVID.
There were two left, so I grabbed one.
Then I was off early on Friday morning, setting off about 10:30am.
The walk into Frenchman’s – these days – is easy. There’s very nice tracks and it routes around the infamous Soddon Loddon Plains which sounded very much like your classic Tasmanian bushwalking experience.
Within about five hours I was at Lake Vera, and had my tent setup. Knowing what I know now, I’d have liked to continue to Tahune and spend more time up there. I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to do that though with the COVID stuff, but it seemed like many people still did.
Anyway, what was a lovely night at Vera – I got up early again and set off for Lake Tahune.
The walk up to Barron Pass was hot and sticky, but the view you get when you finally stick your head up over the last bit of the hill is just simply unbelievable.
I stuffed around on Barron Pass for a while, and a few minutes later a few trail runners came by.
They were doing the whole thing – all the way in, up and out again – in a day. Massive effort.
An hour or so later, I was at Tahune and ready to go up Frenchmans.
The walk from Tahune is lovely. A steep climb out gives really nice views both up and down the mountain.
About an hour and a bit later, I was at the top. There wasn’t any wind at all. The sun was shining. It was perfect.
I stayed up on the summit for several hours, just looking around.
After a while, other people turned up – so there was always someone to chat to.
Someone pointed out Clytemnestra – another lovely looking mountain to the south – and I knew I’d be back here sooner or later to try and get over there.
The always fascinating Bender & Xing have a post on Clytemnestra if you’re interested (with much nicer photos too!)
After a while, it was time to head back. So I wandered back to the hut (which is very fancy) and settled in for the night.
I had to get home for work on Sunday so it was a very early start.
I walked as quickly as I could back down to Vera then out to the highway. All in all about 5 and a half hours out.
I wish I’d had more time too. As mentioned, when I do it again I think I’d walk into Tahune directly and stay there for a few days. There’s a lot I’d love to see:
- Sharlands Peak
- The Irenabyss
Not to mention a few other peaks to the south:
- Philips Peak
But you can’t have it all can you?
This was a walk worth waiting for. Loved every minute of it.
The usual boring GPS track (yes it’s just the Frenchman’s Cap Track in and out)