Mountain Walks – 2018
Southern Coast of Cornwall, Madeira, Le Mont Blanc, Lago di Garda, Zillertal, The Vanoise

18 walks in 34 days, totalling 250km in distance and 11.5km of height
The highlights were Portloe to Mevagissey (Cornwall), Pico Grande (Madeira),
Col du Bonhomme (Mont Blanc), Marchkopf (Zillertal), and Petit Mont Blanc and Col de la Vanoise (Vanoise)
Click on any image to see a larger version

Smaller Mountain Walks – Australia
North Eastern Victoria (Murrawa-Pine Mountain), New England and Cathedral NPs

South-West Coastal Path, Falmouth to Plymouth, Cornwall

26-30 May 2018 – 4 days - 60km, +/- 2700m

Actually we started a bit east of Falmouth, and didn't walk the last 2 days from Polperro to Saltash and Plymouth! We left the car at Seaton, south of Saltash, and used train and bus to Portscatho, east of the Fal. We then overnighted at Portloe, Mevagissey, Par and Polperro. We shortened the 4th day by bussing around the less interesting first half. We then skipped the planned 5th day entirely (Polperro to Seaton) because it was pouring with rain and we could spend the day in Chris and Jen Perkin's car instead, incl. a quick dash to St Ives. Verdict: Mostly good, not great. The two previous sections (the Lizard in 2012, and Padstow to Clovelly in 2015) were far better.

26 May – Portscatho to Portloe – 12km, 500m

Looking back S
to Portscatho
The next beach north
Nare Head
A Characterful Cove
Coast, path, growth
Haines' Rock
and Nare Head
Greenery and island

27 May – Portloe to Mevagissey – 20km, 866m

We anticipated that this would be 'one of those days', and we weren't disappointed.

Leaving Portloe
A nearby cove
A windblown Linda
Colour ami(d)st
West Portholland
Caerhays Castle,
just behind the beach
A cove
Porthluney Beach ...
... and a close-up
The next headland
More coves
Dartmoor ponies
on cleanup duty
Yet another cove,
yet again with sand!
Hemmick Beach
Gorran Haven ...
... and closer up ...
... and looking back at it
Afternoon light
on grassy cliffs
Inner Harbour
Hell's Angels
after their ice-creams
The classic postcard
shot of Megavissey
And the boats to the right
Literally taken through
our bedroom window
And the harbour at night

28 May – Mevagissey to Par – 17km, 740m

The second half of this section is marred by an industrial waterfront and and very poor path-markings.
We even forgot to take any photographs to show how dis-spiriting it was.

Penare Point
Looking back
to Mevagissey
And again
Ugly caravan park
on Pentewan Beach,
overlooked by
St Austell's mullock heaps
Unusually, crops
rather than pasture
Another view
of Black Head
A last glimpse
back to Mevagissey
Our lunch-spot

29 May – Fowey to Portperro – 11km, 590m

We bussed from Par to Fowey, to skip a long headland and focus on the better and more varied second half.
The weather began well, but it deteriorated and the rain set in at the end of the afternoon, for 24 hours.

The ferry from
Fowey to Polruan
Busy maritime Fowey,
from Polruan
The path to ...
... Lantic Bay
Up another section ...
... over another
sandy bay
Lantivet Bay
A protected cove
Our lunch-view
Approaching ...
... Polperro
Our B&B, Chris
and Jen's car


4-8 June 2018 – 5 days - 44km, +/- 1760m

A great walker's island, colourful, highly varied, steep, with flat levada walks. Apart from one excellent mountain walk (Pico Grande), it was a relatively lazy 5 days.

4 June – Rabacal Levada 25 Torrente (Walk 51) – 9km, +/- 320m

One of the classic Levada walks, along irrigation canals, central plateau, west
Steep into a valley, then along a levada ending at a waterfall (3.5/5).
Followed by 1km, 70m up Bicada Cana (1620m) for a view of the main range.

The Rabacal valley
that we're walking into
The falls seen
from half-way along
The levada
The rockpool at the
bottom of the falls
The less-visited extension
The reverse shot
The levada again
The main range
from Bicada Cana

5 June – Calhau (Walk 25) – 6km, +/- 320m

A not-very-rewarding coastal walk down to an old harbour (2.5/5).
(Much better, but harder, is Pico de Aguia – Walk 23, further east, 4km, 460m).

Going down
The 'harbour' at
Pontade San Jorge
Access to the 'harbour'
Undeterred rider
Steps back up
Typical landscape nearby
Serra de Aqua?

6 June – Pico Grande (Walk 38) – 10km, +/- 670m

The mountain walk, c.1000m to 1654m, dead-central on the island, looking E to the main range (5/5).
The second half is steep up to the Pico, 1 in 1.5 for 1hr. Great views, but highly
cloud-dependent. The Pico is a lump of rock, requiring clambering and a little risk-managing.

Above cloud at 1200m,
with the main range,
and Echium
A quarter of the way, with
a hill to get around
First view of
the Pico Grande
A village in the
island's centre
The middle section ...
... The same shot, but
showing the verticality ...
... and across
tothe main range
Note the second walker,
top of picture
Clear of the cloud
Scaling the Pico ...
... and the reverse shot
A view at the summit
Linda with Echiums
In the mi(d)st, a
Tassie Blue Gum Forest!?
The signature shot
of views plus
endemic Echium candicans
A zoom shot to our
hotel (an hour's drive)

7 June – Ribeira da Janela Gorge – 10km, +/- 0m

Far NW levada, views to terraces, varied forests, rockfaces, waterfall, tunnel (4/5).

Levada and terraces
Ribera de Janela
And another view of it
Levada and ...
... Euc. globulus
400m Tunnel
The End of the Day

8 June – Sao Laurenco Peninsula – 8km, +/- 400m

Eastern end, with several deep and characterful gulfs, and highly-variegated volcanic rocks.
Very dry, but with a number of endemic species (4.5/5).

Start of the walk
Cliffs and bay
The north-eastern coast
A Stack
Endemic dry vegetation
Colourful cliffs
View NW from a high point
The reverse shot, incl.
Porto Santo island
Colourful cliffs
People added for scale
Near the track's end
The remainder
of the peninsula

Le Mont Blanc – 4 days - 77km, + 3500m -3200m

11-14 June 2018

We walked the southern third of the 12-day circular route. We started in Les Houches, south of Chamonix, and overnighted at Contamines, Les Chapieux and Cabane du Combal, then walked down to Courmayeur and bussing back through the tunnel to Chamonix and Les Houches.

11 June – Les Houches to Contamines – 20km, +1000m -800m

We chose the direct route 800m up to Bellevue, in the hope of carrying on the further 300m over the Col de Tricots. But Roger was lagging badly, walking at only 2/3rds of the standard 360 vertical metres per hour, we could see that the pass was snow-covered, and the rain set in; so we came back down to the valley at Le Champel. The rain later cleared.

Early in the walk,
Les Houches below right
A party on the path
Valleywards from
the suspension bridge
A few hours later,
sun after rain

12 June – Contamines to Les Chapieux – 22k, +1400m, -1000m

The first 4.5km / 45 minutes is on the flat, and then there's a steady 9km and 1333m (1 in 7) rise to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, 1150m to 2483m. We were on snow most of the time from 1950m up to 2450m and back down to 2200m. The 4.5km / 930m down was rather faster. A good walk would have been much better if the visibility had been more often better than about 400m. 1km from the target, we hid from the worst of a storm by sharing a mobile shed with the local farmer's calves.

A civilised start
Linda's shot
Roger's shot ...
... with the sign in it
Pont Romain ...
... and three views ...
... of the gorge ...
... that it bridges
Clouds gather as today's
tour-group passes by
Climbing into said cloud
And then the snow ...
... mostly not steep
Col du Bonhomme
2400m, a buried sign,
the guide turning her group back
A welcome rest
in some sun
Still in snow
between the two passes
1kg of Spielhahn
/ Black Grouse
Many more kg of
Steinbock / Ibex
Reaching the 2nd Col ...
... Col de la Croix
du Bonhomme
Our Auberge is
somewhere down there
young Steinbock
Closer now, but
the storm's closing in
But they're still cows!

13 June – Les Chapieux to Combal – 20k, +1020m, -500m

For the first 5km up, we followed the track rather than the road, which turned out to be harder work and 320m of height plus an extra 60m up and down. It was a steady but tiring rise, with Roger (and this time Linda as well) only at 3/4 of the desirable 360vmph pace. Some decent visibility would have helped – it's obviously quite a place if you can actually see the valleys and the peaks. Beyond the Col de Seigne at 2520m, the whole of the 500m drop down from 2520m also had a lot of snow, but at least in some places we could enjoy some foot-skiing and trouser-toboganning.

The valley-bottom,
with rain and cloud
The low end of the gully
Further up the gully ...
... the farmhouses
petering out
Floriferous alpine
meadows, cloud,
rain eased off
Healthy marmots
After cloud and snow,
an uninspiring Col
(and views, so they say)
Onwards and downwards
into Italy
Entertaining ourselves by ...
... snapping snow-crossing
Our valley, with
dinner and bed maybe
a third down it
Passing Rif. Elisabetta ...
... beneath its glaciers
An opportunity for
some pantsliding
Looking back
up to the Rif.,
just above centre

14 June – Combal to Courmayeur – 15km, +100m -900m

At last, a sparkling morning, so we climbed up the morain beside the Cabane before breakfast. The main walk was closed due to avalanche danger (the deepest snow this late in June for many years, we were told). But we located a mid-level track in the lower part of the valley. That gave us fine views of the main glacier and the main body of the massif during a brisk 3h10m walk, so that we could buy a bus-ticket back through the Mont Blanc tunnel.

Steinbock nearby on
the previous evening ...
... and the view back
SW to Rif. Elisabetta
The next morning,
much the same view ...
... and on the lateral
moraine above the
Cabane, looking NW ...
... and looking NE along
the side of the massif
Also to the NE
A last look back NW
The road NW,
towards Courmayeur
Looking W, into
the Blanc massif ...
... and again ...
... Mont Blanc is, um,
no, not that one
45° to the right,
NE along the massif
Grand Jorasses, 4200m,
the N end of the massif
A 2500m height-difference
Those particular Aguilles
(needles), closer up
Almost the elusive
4800m peak,
plus glaciers, through
the bus window!

Tremosine, Lago di Garda

16 June

We didn't walk, but the gorge through which the Tremosine shelf is accessed is pretty impressive.

The gorge road rises
from the lakeside drive
It features
blind curves ...
... views the driver
can't afford to look at ...
... unwanted encounters ...
... very narrow sections ...
... only some of
them one-way.
The scenic shelf ...
... 500-600m
above the lake

Zillertal – 3 days - 37km, +/- 1750m

21-24 June 2018

We stayed once again at the Talblick above Aschau, with Georgie and Margie for company.

21 June – Hirschbichlalm to Marchkopf – 12km, +/- 650m/750m

From the Höhenstrasse at 1822m up a gully to 2444m, and along a peaked ridge to 2499m

Looking for
the left-side path
The Marchkopf, directly
over Roger's head
After the first
500?m of height
Up into the gully
Lunch, seen
from the ridge-line ...
... and closer-up
Roger setting off
for the peak (1 hr return)
Approaching the peak
A view of the other path
Roger had intended ...
... including a ridge-walk
Back close to the start,
and the valley opposite
Taken from lower down,
with the main Zillertal

22 June – On Gerlosberg to Astachalm – 9km, +/- 175m

A pleasant warm-down above the Gerlos valley, up to the East of the main Zillertal valley.

At the start, looking
back at yesterday's walk
Later, also looking West
Looking South
Looking East
to the Gerlos Pass

23 June – Hintertux to Tuxerjoch – 16km, +/- 850m

A repeat of our walk in 2016, from 1516 to 2338m, omitting the 200m extra up the Frauenwand, but adding 40m up to the joch beside the Pfannköpfli.

After 250m of height,
on the traverse
near Almbichl
At the Schleier falls
The topmost part
Topping the falls
Georgie befriends
a marmot
Looking up
the Weitental
Another waterfall
Looking back down
Roger on the joch/saddle
beside Pfannköpfli
His view of
the upper Tuxertal ...
... and from the
lifts down lower
The main Zillertal from
our Hotel Talblick

The Vanoise – 2 days - 30km, +/- 1860m

27-29 June 2018

This region comprises the massif immediately south of Le Mont Blanc. We stayed 3 nights at Pralognan – a highly vertical walking resort that's much-used by French people but seemingly little-known by anyone else – and a 4th night near Moutiers. Satisfied with the effort, we gave ourselves the last day off

27 June – Peche to Petit Mont Blanc – 14 km, +/- 940m

From the parking place at the end of the road, at 1740m, up a somewhat unstable face at a fairly steady 1 in 6, to a white-limestone peak of 2680m. The peak sits to the west of the Vanoise massif and has 300-degree views of it. We took 2h50m up, for an average of 330 vmph. One reason was that Roger still wasn't quite back to expectations. The other was that the walk was so floriferous that we had lots of photo-stops, and Linda later ennumerated 76 species. Oh yes, and did we mention the weather? A glorious sunny day, but due to the elevation not too hot.

Mid-Level, looking
North over Pralognan
Ditto, looking South
At the Col
At the Summit,
opposite glaciers
Pralognan (1400m) and
Grand Chasse (3800m)
Tomorrow's walk,
up right, back centre
The path back,
looking South
A Snake, at 2400m

28 June – les Fontanettes to Col de la Vanoise – 16 km, +/- 920m

From the lower parking-place, at 1600m, up a tough but rewarding 1 in 7, to the pass at 2520m, which is beneath the massif's highest mountain, La Grande Casse, 3855m. That took 2h40m, so a more satisfactory 340 vmph. We returned by the longer, mainstream path, the top-half great, but the bottom-half ugly ski-field walking.

After the 1st 500m
Looking back to the
start-point, centre-right
Looking ahead to
a small chute ...
... and looking
back down it
On the track
Petit Mont Blanc
high right
Approaching the Col,
a dead lake
An avalanche falling
across the valley
Lunch at the Col,
looking East
Le Grand Casse,
North, 1300m above ...
... and its glaciers
post-glacial scree
Lake Crossing,
down-valley ...
... and up-valley
Again, down-valley ...
... and up-valley

North-Eastern Victoria
17-18 November 2018 – 2 days

This was an Australian Native Plants Society weekend, with Roger Farrow, Chris and 6 others. Usually it takes 20 minutes to get out of the car-park, and far more time is spent on hands and knees than walking. On this occasion, however, the group did an excellent mix of the two, with lots of interesting plants and some great landscape. We were based at Colac Colac (pronounced Clack-Clack) 6km west of Corryong, but the walking was in the Burrawa-Pine Mountain National Park, in the Upper Murray Valley in Victoria, across the river from Khancoban.

17 November – The Pimple – 4km, +/- 400m, 690-1090m

This is the first, short, easy(?) segment of the 15km but 10hr(!) return walk from the parking area to 1300m Mt Burrawa.
It's in the centre-western section of the map above, and upper-left in the adjacent map, from the end of the track to the 1200m peak (I think).
It's a very steep climb, necessarily up the fall-line because of the lie of the land. The difficult bits are where the path is loose dirt at 1 in 3.
The exposed rock at the top – rhyolite the brochure says, granite to you and me – offers splendid views.

The Forest
The Bushes
Pultenae sp.?
View ESE, with Kris,
towards Kosciusko
View ENE, towards Cabramurra,
and the next day's target,
the triple-peaked Pine Mt

18 November – Pine Mountain – 6km?, +/- 450m, 540-990m

Pine Mt is a monolith, said to be 1.5 times the size of Ayers Rock / Uluru. There are (at least) 3 peaks, all very hard granite.
It lies in the northern section of the map above, S of Ournie (not in the Mitta Mitta Park).
The morning was walked slowly, through interesting vegetation, up from the carpark (near to the centre of the map) eastwards to Rocky Knob. The nearest bare-rock peak loomed ahead, and looked well worth the challenge, so 3 of us split from the rest of the party and went on ahead. To get beyond that one to the 3rd and highest would have involved a deep, steep down-and-up that we (thankfully) didn't have time for.
View back to yesterday's walk,
with the eponymous pines
Xanthorea sp.,
very atmospheric
Callitris endlicheri
(Native) Black Cypress Pine
Looking back over the walk's
mid-point to the start of
the walk, at the saddle
Bulbines and Landscape
The next rock outcrop
Looks like a quick way
home from the top
The walk was from off-stage right,
via the first knuckle, to
the rightmost of the
three peaks, at centre

New England and Cathedral National Parks
31 December 2018 – 1 January 2019 – 2 days

New England National Park, at Lookout Point – 31 December 2018

As for 4-5 Jan 2017, but this time in bright sunshine not cloud and rain

The face beneath the ridge
The rain-forest beneath
the lip of the escarpment
The wet sclerophyll above the lip
The view from Lookout
Point (on a clear day)

Cathedral Rock National Park – 1 January 2019

This granite pile is 6km west of Ebor, 1380-1560m
It's a nice half-day walk around a circuit, from Barokee Campground, 6km and +/- 180m, plus 80m of rock-scrambling to the top
A big bonus is the richness of the vegetation, both in the preliminary swamp-area and in the forest

The rich, swampy area
at the start
E. fastigata
Brown Barrell
Some of the summit,
looking northwards
Tunnelling back out
The wall beneath the summit
The lunch-spot,
part-way down
Another pile close by
Looking back to the summit

This is a page within the Clarke-Spinaze Photo Gallery, home-page here
Contact: Linda or Roger
Created: 23 May 2018; Last Amended: 3 January 2019