Uncle Roddus Tramping Diary: Tramp No.130
Princess Bath - 27th January 2013
Princess Bath is a small alpine lake that sits about 400m below the summit of Mt Princess next to Lake Tennyson, out behind Hanmer, in the St James Conservation area.
This was a trip I had wanted to do with the CTC a couple of weekends ago, but had to shoot down to Cromwell and so climbed Ben Lomond instead. So I sent out an email to see if anyone was interested in doing this trip and ended up with three of us heading up to the start of the St James Cycle trail on a stunning Sunday morning. We left the car about 10 am and headed off along the Cycle track for about 10 minutes, past the locked gate, before striking off across the sometimes boggy and grassy flats towards the base of Mt McCabe. It was quite a distance to the start of our climb up McCabe from the car and after a short stint in the forest we battled our way up to the summit through the long snow grass.
First lunch on McCabe allowed us to enjoy the views of Lake Tennyson and our destination as well as revealing to us the good drop in height before we climbed back up towards Princess Bath.
The ridge got steadily more rocky and challenging as we ascended to about 1900M before we found the scree slope that would take us down to the Bath.
Lovisa was feeling the heat of the day and was keen to head on down for a dip in the lake and Andrew was keen to do likewise, but being so close to the top, Uncle Roddus was keen to have a go at the summit, and so kept climbing while the other two dropped down to Princess Bath. The climbing got more and more challenging as I got closer to the top and I was aware that it was going to take longer than I hoped and that it was getting a bit to difficult for me to tackle safely on my own, so I backed tracked along the tops and dropped down to the lake in the hour that I said I would be gone.
The next question was as to the route we were going to take back. One option was to travel back along the ridge on the opposite side of princess Stream but none of us were all that keen to climb back up to point 1906, especially me, after my rock climbing near the summit. While I was having second lunch, Andrew found the route off the lake following the water leaving the lake. We followed the cairns down before crossing a shingle scree that took us down to the stream. The walk down the valley involved some minor scrub bashing and long snow grass before we found a good animal trail that took us down to the lower reaches of the valley.
The long trudge back to the car along the St James Cycle Track took us about an hour with us arriving at the vehicle about 5:45 pm, having walked 18km and climbed about 1100m
|Trudging across the tundra towards our destination way off in the distance.|
|Closing in opn our target.|
|Climbing Mt McCabe.|
|Gteat view if the lake, A perfect day for excellent photographs.|
|Uncle Roddus on Mt McCabe.|
|Lovisa and Andrew with a great view of the upper Clarence valley and the route we took on the Pask Hut trip last spring.|
|Things starting to get a little rocky.|
|Our first view of Princess Bath.|
|Another stunning shot ofr the Upper Clarence.|
|Andrew and Lovisa heading down for a bath in the Bath.|
|And another shot of the upper Clarence.|
|Uncle Roddus at Princess Bath.|
|Heading down the Princess stream.|
|Nice shot looking back up valley to Mt Princess.|