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A good long day walk up old forestry tracks to the Minsky Swamp ridge then using GPS or compass south east through wet sclerophyll to the Mt Charles dolerite massif and return
After a short rise and walk through flat cleared area, a steady uphill walk taking care to take the correct track at many junctions, then a bush bash across a ridge line with some clearings but no ribboned track to boulder field at the base of the massif then a steady climb and clamber over boulders and logs to the final climb up to the summit of Mt Charles.
Hazards and warnings
Slippery rocks, rotten logs, large boulders to climb over, cutting grass and slippery forestry tracks
From the Wellington Park carpark, WPMCCP (= waypoint name), walk SSW across road & up the right hand side track following it around to a large track junction, turn right, WPMCR1. Head eastward through a small hand made boom gate and right at a Y junction, WPMCR2, continue eastward then left at a minor junction, WPMCL1, and up through tall timber and past the Wellington Park boundary boom gate, WPMCRB, to a 4 way junction where it is best to go straight ahead, WPMC4W. The old forestry track continues up hill and around to the south and right at another junction, WPMCR3, then left at the next junction, WPMCL2 finally ariving at a clear mossy area and a junction with an old clothes dryer drum, WPMCCD. Take the left track up eastward then SE to another junction, the last left on this Minsky Swamp Track, WPMCLL, and uphill ENE, then finally right at a faint Y junction, WPMCLR and up over the top of the hill with a 3-4m high mound on the left (northern side) of the track. Now, using GPS or compass find the best way through the tall timber wet sclerophyl forest heading roughly SSE but try to follow our return track on the eastern side of the ridge line where there are better clear patches, WPMCC3 and WPMCC4 then WPMCC2. Aim for the bottom of the boulder field at the base of the massif, WPMCBF or more easterly WPMCBA, then climb up over the boulders through the light alpine scrub to Mt Charles peak which is on top of 4 - 10m high cliffs that need careful traversing. Return via the same route, taking care to follow the correct direction at each junction.
I first made this trip with Sharemyroutes member PeterJF 28/11/2006 and others and was most impressed with the area although I didn't reach the summit. Some of the others did I believe while we had lunch at the top of the boulder field. I tore my left quad bilateral knee ligament as I stepped on a rotten log and fell backwards off the lunch rocks, so had vivid memories of the return trip, thank goodness for walking poles!
The next trip with two other RAMBOs, 03/04/2009, we followed a similar but slightly shorter route up to the Minsky Swamp ridge and using PeterJF's waypoints, found our way across to the Mt Charles massif and up to the top of the boulder field again, WPMCE2, for lunch and no further due to tieme restraints.
The third trip, again with 3 different fellow RAMBOs, 30/04/2010, we followed the well remembered route, this time tracking on the GPS all the way up, but again, due to a late start, failed to reach the summit, stopping for lunch again on the top of the boulder field, WPMCE3.
This year we did reach the summit from the East West Track and I'll report on that in another Sharemytroute.
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