Walls of Jerusalem

Below is a summary of a plan to tackle the high number of users inside the Walls of Jerusalem National Park. The Summary is Taken directly from the Parks and Wildlife Website  which can be found Here

SUMMARY

The Walls of Jerusalem is a majestic place in the heart of an alpine wilderness. It is the second-most popular backcountry walking destination in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, with 4-5000 visitors annually, and is a favoured area for beginner to intermediate walkers.

The area of greatest visitation, the 3,283 hectare Recreation Zone, is coincident with very high conservation values. It is a very scenic area which has, to date, remained relatively pristine despite high use. It is also an ecological refugia in light of potential climate change.
The iconic grassy pencil pine forests at Dixons Kingdom, the only such extensive communities in the world, are a good example of the coincidence of high scenic, recreational and conservation values in the Walls of Jerusalem area. Fire is a key threat to the area’s values, particularly the pencil pine communities and the scenic values of which they are a critical part. Hence priority conservation management issues are the exclusion of fire; the maintenance of sensitive natural values in the light of climate change; and maximising the naturalness of the area (including minimising trampling impacts and the maintenance of high water quality).
 Use of the area by commercial guided walking groups is significant and is likely to increase with increasing publicity. School outdoor education programs are also major users of the area. Both these user groups and some private groups can form large parties that can impact the experience of others.
The Recreation Zone contains more than 31 kilometres of walking tracks of which 6.5 kilometres has been hardened with timber or stone. Active deterioration is occurring on some unimproved track sections and campsites. Illegal campfire use is on the rise and, prior to installation of a temporary toilet at Dixons Kingdom, poor toileting practices were frequently noted.
The purpose of this plan is to describe management actions that aim to protect both the area’s high conservation values and the visitor’s experience. These actions include:
Tracks
Creation of a circuit loop. Relevant sections of the Dixons Kingdom – Lake Ball – Lake Adelaide track will be reclassified and upgraded, creating a circuit of track class T1 and T2. This allows a maximum party size of 13 throughout and creates a loop track option for large groups and commercial trips. This upgrade is a significant change to the present situation, and will require medium-long term track works (campsite upgrades, track re-routes and hardening).
Promotion of three types of Walls experiences. Once track and campsite upgrades are completed, it is proposed to promote specific day walk (to Wild Dog Creek and Central Walls), overnight walk (Wild Dog Creek and Dixons Kingdom) and a multi-day circuit walk (overnights at Wild Dog Creek, Dixons Kingdom and/or Lake Adelaide) experiences. The hardened side routes to the Temple, Solomons Throne and Mt Jerusalem will be incorporated in such promotion but other routes in the Walls of Jerusalem area will not be actively promoted.
Camping
New and expanded hardened campsites. The existing hardened camping area at Wild Dog Creek will be expanded and a new hardened camping area will be constructed at Dixons Kingdom. Another hardened campsite at Lake Adelaide is likely to be constructed in the medium term.
No camping in the Central Walls. Once these upgrades are complete, camping in the Central Walls area will be disallowed.
Visitor Management 
Track ranger presence. A track ranger presence is urgently required to redress increasing use of campfires, promote Leave No Trace principles and to educate users.
Education campaign. Appropriate educational messages will be distributed at both a site-specific level and more broadly.
Large group management. To address overcrowding issues, from the 2013-14 summer season, all groups of seven or more members will be required to register to visit or traverse the Recreation Zone.
Web-based booking system. Investigate the business case for a web-based booking system for all users.

The way it is

I have been thinking a lot about life and the role our passions, hobbies or interests provide us.

For me that passion is to go out walking, to see new sites to find somewhere inside me where I can live in the moment. The clock strikes five on a Friday arvo and I am free until Monday morning, what ever happens during that window Continue reading

Civilisation in uncivilised wilderness

A lot of people like to think the civilised world is one of lattes and seeing the balance in their bank accounts grow. To me this world is not at all civilised, to many people are caught up in their own importance and so rushed, stressed that they are constantly rude to one another. They walk past those less fortunate and don’t even offer a look or smile to brighten their day let alone stop for a chat.

Out walking your day job doesn’t matter, neither does your car and you would be hard pressed to find a double decafe soy macchiato. All that matters is the shared experience of being in a beautiful location, unburdened with the stress of day to day life. Free to make decisions, free to experience the moment, free to philosophise and free to express the real you.

Lots of people are to scared to go walking or think that it’s not for them. I wonder if perhaps they are scared of what they will find about their true nature when they take the time to let escape.

For me, the experience and self knowledge I gain on each trip is just as important as the locations I go to. I can take the time to be the real me, I have the time to think and arrange my thoughts and priorities and often come back a different person in one way or another. It has almost become an addiction that needs feeding constantly.

When out walking the people on the track are usually in a similar mind set, you can have a deep conversation with a complete stranger, you see someone coming your way and without a word someone will pull off the track and let you through and smile whilst doing so. Try that whilst rushing to the car park in a crowed city.

All in all I find the wild areas of the world to be much more civilized, well mannered and hospitable than any city.

My pack

Hi, im George a 90l walking pack. I get to see some quite interesting things during my days out, but mostly I get to see the inside of my home the linen closet. I long for the old days when I was out and about every weekend but the job of my bearer has slowed down my lifestyle a bit. I wish I could see the marvels of the outdoors passing me by once more. I remember once being taken nearly empty across the razorback ridge to Mt Feathertop in winter leaving in the pre dawn moonlight for what ended up being a 24 hour trip. My bearer swore we were only going to explore the ridge but when he had not turned around by 2pm I knew the object had changed to going for the top. We made it eventually and got a lift back from the road junction to Mt Hotham just as the sun returned to the sky. I also remember a few dark days, such as being eaten by rats looking for a food bag id been asked to protect, or getting covered in faecal waste after a pool tube broke on a rock. Being a pack can be great but sometimes its just plain shit.

Bush Jesus

He came from the shadows and into the light, walking forward the words came from his mouth lined with honey “Would you like some fire wood?”

This is when I decided that the civilised world is not the concrete, cafes, double decaf soy lattes and bloody pointy shoes. It’s the other way around; the civilised world is the world of the bush, the hiking world.

For example, you can walk along any track and smile, chat and exchange stories with everyone you meet. Now think of walking down the main street in your local city and saying hello to everyone. People would think something is wrong with you and before you know it you would be in a padded cell.

Now to further illustrate, Bush Jesus, the man who wandered around at 10:30 at night giving out fire wood and having a chat; could you see your neighbour knocking on your door to see if you have sufficient heating?

The world outside the city seems to be so much more civilised than the world of concrete self absorption.

The ceremony of Walking

Like a wedding, a good bushwalk takes planning and for us guys the planning can be more enjoyable than deciding if the flowers will clash with the table cloths.

A good walk takes you through many phases, none more important than the previous. The stages though the vary seems to be similar between all walkers its starts with;

1. Desire. That feeling where the four walls are closing in, where the vast expanse of the cubicle office seems somewhat smaller than it did yesterday and the day before. Then the desire sparks an “I gotta get out of here” brain fart that sends you reeling for phase 2.

2. Research. Thumbing through maps and track notes, marking dates on calendars and checking for free weekends. Working out if that three day walk could be made into two (because we all know we can walk faster than those notes…right?)

3. Preparation. Having chosen your objective you begin to piece the puzzle together, Food, driving route, petrol, who’s crazy enough to come and who’s not, oh and did I mention food.

4. Execution. The fun bit actually carrying out your hare-brained scheme and living to tell the story.

5. Repetition. Getting back to work on the Monday, windburnt, scruffy, and a muddy car to boot; whilst secretly holding onto a hope that the return to civilisation is just a dream and you will wake any minute safely tucked up in a sleeping bag listening to the roar of a fuel stove trying with gusto to boil the water for your morning brew [Particularly if using a Trangia…you’ll get an extra 20 mins sleep while the water boils.] and knowing you can snooze as its your companions turn to prepare breakfast.

Sorry I have to go, I can feel the walls here getting smaller and that all familiar feeling to go thumb through a book…

The ceremony begins!!

Why do we Walk

There seems to be an unrelenting peace that envelopes the soul when we set foot on a walk. the burdenoning pressures of daily life are supressed into a calm that speaks into a part of us that needs rest from society.

I can think clearly and often without effort solve the internal dilemmas that trouble me, they sort of come to the forefront of consiouness with extreme clarity and purity of thought.

Then there is just the peace of only having to think about a few things, whats for dinner, the weather and navigation, perhaps a few thoughts of the rising heart beat to. speaking of the heart I often find out walking that place inside of me that smiles with all facets of the real me, on view for the whole world to see that genuine smile that can only come from the heart.

A sense of achievement and community with other walkers who share your passion is another benefit too, Being at a remote campsite a few days from anywhere and meeting other walkers who have shared the same obsticales to be where you are that night. The discussion of future walks and reminising over past adventures, swapping details of places to go, the giving and recieving of inspiration.

Who could want more.