Coach Jo tells tales of her Walls of Jerusalem adventure...
By Jo Vartanian | Wild Women On Top Coach
The Walls of Jerusalem was unknown to me until Coach Nicola returned from a trip there a few years ago. When there was word of another trip to the region I asked Nicola what she thought and she said,“It’s beautiful and you should definitely do it.”
I was inspired and began assembling a team of Wild Women to join me.
I trek for the physical challenge, to get away and see new places, to share fun adventures with like-minded women, but mostly I trek to be immersed in the natural world and in particular the wildest parts – the wilderness. “Walls” as it is affectionately called is true wilderness – few people, vast, untouched, no aeroplanes, nothing but wild untamed lands as far as the eye can see.
From our four summits, Mt Jerusalem, Soloman’s Throne, The Temple and King David’s Peak, we could see far off mountain ranges, ancient Pencil Pine forests, exposed craggy peaks and a land of a thousand lakes.
Water was everywhere. Pure and pristine – remnants of a land once covered in snow and formed by glaciers.
We felt the water underfoot, massaging our feet as we crossed alpine meadows awash with a remarkable diversity of unique alpine flora. We took special care not to disturb the glistening morning spiderweb creations and the fluorescent green Cushion plant that took hundreds of years to form. As we looked closer we saw it’s tiny building blocks of various species of alpine plants huddled together for protection from the extreme elements. We knelt close to the earth to see the tiniest of plants including the fairy apron orchard and the carnivorous plants waiting patiently for their prey.
The wonders of nature bombarded us at every turn and the ever-changing landscape and light surprised us constantly as we wandered gently at times along our paths.
We spotted echidnas, wallabies, snakes, tiny alpine shrimp and a lone wedge tailed eagle accompanied us on our journey up the looming dolerite peaks. Once deep below the earth, they now stand exposed for us to marvel at and to our delight, climb. And climb we did. Up steep rocky slopes that looked impossible from below but carefully laid rocks kept us safe. Each new summit rewarded us with 360 degree views of this ancient wilderness.
Where there is an ascent there is also a descent and our pinnacle challenge was down the steep exposed slopes from King David’s Peak. Slowly and carefully our guides picked an improbable path over the edge and down the rocky high sections to the boulder field below. We picked our final way down through dense prickly bush to emerge triumphantly onto the valley floor. Only then could we release the intense focus and look back up at our path to King David’s Peak high above us. and feel a great sense of satisfaction and pride.
We relaxed as we gently descended to our camp, exhilarated by nature’s gifts and eager for our next encounter and a good cuppa.
We are privileged to have been a part of this unique and ancient Tasmanian Land of a Thousand Lake.
Nicola was right. "The Walls is just beautiful...”