Tarn Shelf Track Maintenance

Saturday 19 March 2011
Although it was quite misty and the peaks were entirely hidden it was dry with nice atmospherics for walking the hour to the work site near Backhouse Tarn.  The trip in was broken by a call into the Rodway Shelter hut where Greg repaired the log book and we held the annual meeting for the Friends of Mt Field during morning tea.
By the time we finally arrived at the large rock where work was to be undertaken the conditions were becoming quite bright and for the remainder of the day we enjoyed a sunny and mild day.  At this rock people either scaled up or down the face or used the side which was a more gradual angle.  Unfortunately many descending from the side were then missing a turn and creating a secondary track which was also subject to erosion.

The immediate area was combed for rocks to harden the approach and the track up the side of the rock face. The secondary track was closed with a rehabilitation cross sign, and a line of rocks placed to mark the way off the top of the rock to discourage any shortcutting.  An additional task was to trim a Pencil Pine that was starting to grow over the boardwalk; not something done unless absolutely needed and this case the pine was getting damaged by walkers and it was felt that as it grew additional damage would arise.  Hopefully this little pine will flourish long into the future.
On the return trip we did some more hardening of a couple of short wet areas, redefined a short section where people were wandering off the desired route and then finally  a pad that had developed, leading to the edge of Johnston Tarn, was hardened with rock. This pad had been discussed with PWS and it was agreed that there seemed every likelihood that if a keep off sign was installed walkers would create another pad from a different point.  This little track will be monitored closely to see what effect it has.

                              Before and after photos
An album of photos can be viewed on the web by clicking on the slideshow below