Mud, roots, trees and more mud?
yes, this section certainly tested us.....
For the majority of walkers crossing the Ironbound Range is most physically and mentally demanding part of the South Coast Track. The 900 metres climb up the steep exposed western slope is largely without respite. We had perfect weather for crossing the Ironbound Range – not too hot, not too cold. The only alpine vegetation on the South Coast Track is found on the plateau of the Ironbound Range. We were afforded views along the entire coast as we sat and ate lunch on the board walk. We tried to shelter from the very strong and very cold wind behind the tallest tree we could find. Crossing the Ironbound Range is bad weather was not something we could contemplate.
The descent of the south eastern side of the range through dense rainforest was long and arduous. Careful foot placement was necessary due to exposed tree roots and steep steps. Lack of concentration, rubbery knees and shaky legs meant that slipping or falling was always a likely possibility. This was a very long day and we didn’t arrive at the campsite at Deadmans Bay until well after dark.
Just an addition to Sue's notes from above. The "down" on the east side of the Ironbounds is significant. While the vegetation is spectacular, there are limited views, plenty of mud, many track obstructions, huge steps and more mud. It took us about 7hrs following a late lunch (left) to finally reach the camp site at Deadmans Bay. (a fitting description of how we felt)
Colin and John were there to welcome us and we were very grateful to see them as it was very dark.
To the right is a fantastic Google Earth image of the Ironbound ranges. Deadmans Bay is the small white beach in the middle of the picture.
Below is a profile of the Ironbound Ranges taken off Colin's GPS track. Yep, it is around 900m up!
And then 900m of the worst down you would even imagine.
South Coast Track Tasmania
South Coast Track - Point Eric to Louisa River
South Coast Track - Deadmans Bay to New River Lagoon
South Coast Track -New River Lagoon - Surprise Bay
South Coast Track - Surprise Bay to South Cape Riverulet
South Coast Track - South Cape Riverulet to Cockle Creek