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For people with a good 4WD this is the quickest way to the summit of Mt Charles but Jeffries Track is deeply rutted, so only try this route if you have a good 4WD, or park on Jeffries Track at about 3k5+ from Hydehurst Rd and walk up to the East West Track then up for about 3k to a ribboned track along a northerly ridge to the summit of Mt Charles and back
East West Trail is hard gravel fire trail with some muddy spot and several fire water holes along the way. No track to Mt Charles was found, so a ribboned track was GPS'd across the ridge from the East West Trail through light alpine scrub & over mainly flat rocky outcrops. A small cliff near the start is easily scaled however the higher cliff near the summit needs careful ascending and descending via large boulders.
Hazards and warnings
Deep ruts on Jeffries Track, steep cliffs at summit, slippery rocks and logs if wet, prickly foliage, Cutting Grass, rotten logs
After negotiating the deeply rutted Jeffries Track or walking up from about 3k5 from Hydehurst Rd for about 3k, WPJEWT, (waypoint) then up the Wellington Park East West Trail for about 200m leave the 4WD vehicle at the carpark and pass around the boom gate. Walk up the East West Trail for about 3km past the Mt Patrick Track cairn, WPEWMP, on the south to a clearing on the northern side with a small cairn, WPEWMC. Find the red ribbons in trees at the head of the clearing and follow them to the left through tall shrubs to a small cliff. Scale the cliff and continue following the red ribbons northward through the light alpine scrub across fairly level rocky outcrops to the Mt Charles massif. The ribboned route was up a steep sloping track the back around a large rocky knoll to a small plateau, however on the way back it was found to be easier to scale the bottom part of the massif from a westerly approach rather than the southerly approach. Once on the lower plateau, an easy cairned route can be followed to the actual summit, WPMCSU which offers excellent views east to Collins Cap past Mt Marion and Collins Bonnet over Trestle and through the trees south west to Mt Patrick and beyond. Beware the steep cliff to the east and south of the summit. The other waypoints on the map are for the "Mt Patrick fom Jeffries" and "Mt Charles from Lachlan via Minsky Swamp Track" walks previously described.
I have tried to reach the summit of Mt Charles 4 times before, 3 times fom Lachlan via Minsky Swamp Track see "Mt Charles from Lachlan via Minsky Swamp Track" walk,, 28/11/2006, 03/04/2009, and 30/04/2010 and once from the East West Track after a visit to Mt Patrick, 04/06/2010. This time, 18/03/2011, I was determined to walk along the ridge line from the E-W Trail following our GPS to try to a) find a track or b) ribbon a track. we found no track which is surprising as this is one of the iconic Wellington Park Peaks and I thought I had reached the summit many years ago when we drove along the E-W Trail. So, it was a great achievement to finally reach the summit, and an even greater achievement to retrieve my thermos lid that fell down 1.5m into the rocks at the summit during lunch. Again thank goodness for walking poles.
This is a great walk and as several in our group of 8 RAMBOs have not yet done the walk, we will return to do both Mt Patrick and Mt Charles and reribbon as required both track.
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