I woke to my Garmin GPS alarm chirping happily away.
“It’s always so damn chipper that alarm,” I thought to myself as I tried to stop it making so much damn noise.
The day began at around 6:30am, and I was away not long after (well, about 30 minutes… or 40), and was heading north up the Overland to the spot where I’d turn off the track and away over the buttongrass plains towards Mount Proteus.
If truth be told, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’d been chatting to a couple of people the night before who’d been to Proteus that day and they didn’t have any particularly nice stories about it.
They hadn’t enjoyed it. I was told there’d be a lot of button grass to cover for many hours on end.
So many more mountains!
Find all the walks from that series here
So as I ambled up the path to the turn off, I wasn’t in high spirits about what was to come.
And all the trip reports I’d read didn’t seem all that interested with ol’ Proteus either.
“Proteus is a most unpretentious mountain,” wrote Peter on bushwalks.blogspot.com. At natureloverswalks.com, it’s described as suitable and rockmonkey slogged up it in the rain.
So yeah, it’s not exactly described in gushing, glowing terms like some of Tasmania’s other beauties.
Nonetheless, it was on my agenda for today so away I went.
Before I knew it, I was crossing Pelion Creek. Not long after, I was up on the (pretty amazing, I’ll say) Pine Forest Moor ready to begin the promised slog over the button grass.
But as I moved over it, I realised it wasn’t too bad at all. Luckily, it wasn’t too hot. It wasn’t cold either. Perfect day for walking.
I cleared a few small hills, avoided the worst of some prickly scorparia sections and skirted some water traps.
I was going well! Not a forest to get stuck in for hours in sight.
I found a track or three that made for quick and easy gains. It was a simple matter of just following along and trusting they’d take you to the right place.
Before I knew it, I was scaling the spur to Proteus’ east slowly gaining altitude from around 1000 meters to the peak at 1152.
Towards the top, there were perhaps a couple of sections of thicker scrub - but easily avoidable.
And then, amazingly, I was there!
I thought back to what I had expected: endless button grass plains and a constant stuggle to walk over them.
But it wasn’t that bad at all. Sure there were a few annoying bits, but on what walk isn’t there? It was no where near as bad as I’d built up in my mind and compared to Inglis, it was a dream!
I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s a walk I’d jump at doing again when there are so many others, but I would come along for the ride if someone else really, really wanted to go.
So yeah, even though it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be - like many others before me, I’m not going to be too effusive for ol’ Proteus. But, it was ok. And that’s ok.
The walk back took me a bit longer than I thought - I think I was getting a bit tired from the days before.
The walk back was pretty amazing though, especially the different angles and perpective you get of the actually big mountains that dominate the landscape.
The big one, of course, being Pelion West.
It is a massive lump of rock and one that I didn’t actually visit this time. I talked myself out of it over the past few days.
But I will hopefully return sooner or later to play up on the top with its bolders that everyone says are “as big as busses”.
But that’s a walk for another day.
I finally made it back to Frog Flats, packed up my tent and scooted off down to New Pelion Hut to meet up with Clive and Tom who were bringing in a few snacks and supplies for me.
- Frog Flats to turn off: 1 hour
- Overland to peak: 2 hours, 27 mins
- Peak back to Overland: 2 hours, 10 mins
- Frog Flats to New Pelion: 1 hour 15 mins