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Day 1

Arriving at the Walls of Jerusalem car park two things struck me.  One, it was overflowing (on a Monday), which is not a good sign for remote bushwalking. And two, a sign warning of thieves in the area.  To fit into the carpark we had to unhook the trailer, which makes it much more susceptible to theft, not to mention our sleeping area, which we can't lock. Guess we just need to trust in humanity sometimes!

Off we went up the first three kilometres past "Trappers Hut" through what we call "typical" Australian forest. This first stint was a good solid uphill and once again I reminded myself that we need to get our pack weights down.



As the terrain started to level, the amazement levels went up.  Meandering around a lot of "tarns" (small lakes) we experienced yet another of Tassie's landscape miracles.  Even on this nice and sunny day, the water looked far too cold to tempt us for a swim (see, we do learn, after all, how often can you get your extremities frozen off).





Arriving at "Wild Dog Creek" campsite after about 3.5 hours walking (including stops for morning tea, photos and chatting to other hikers), we decided to push on to "Dixon's Kingdom".  But not before lunch.  On the way up, talking to a steady stream of people coming down, we found out that this was a long weekend, which explained the full carpark (but not the thieves).  For the rest of the walk, we only saw the odd walker, which is perfect to experience the solitude of the bush with the occasional swapping of stories and socialising.

What we were not prepared for was "Herrod's Gate", the unofficial entry into the "Walls of Jerusalem" proper.  Crossing the gate hit us with the most amazing view of the national park.  It is hard to explain, but it looked like something out of a fantasy novel, the camera footage and photos cannot do it justice.  With the "West Wall" flanking the west (surprisingly!) and Lake Salome in the east.






Skirting Lake Salome we soon came to the pools of Bethesda that offered an idyllic (unofficial) campsite.


A few minutes further we crossed "Damascus Gate", the saddle between "Solomon's Throne" and "The Temple", both of which we planned to visit and climb tomorrow.



On the last kilometres to camp (Dixon's Kingdom), we met a couple that gave us the encouraging news of a change in the weather for tomorrow, including snow and possible storms.  Hard to believe looking at the blue sky day today.  On arrival at the hut,


we dropped our bags at the campground and head up to "Mt Jerusalem" with about 4 hours of daylight left.  It is a steady easy (i.e. no scrambling) way up the mountain past more tarns and the wind increasing every step.  It took us about 50 minutes (from camp) to reach the summit with another display of magnificent 360 degrees view with hundreds of tarns in all directions.





With some internet reception on the peak we verified the weather for the next few days, and the couple we met earlier was not joking. Tomorrow would be pretty bleak with things getting better thereafter.

Back at camp we set up the tent well away from trees (due to the increased wind and risk of branches/trees falling) but sheltered between low scrub.  The old hut was taken up by a group of hikers, so after a quick dinner (cooked in close to zero degrees) we spent the evening in the tent and watched the weather rolling in.



Day 2

With continued rain and the wind howling throughout the night, I didn't stick my head out of my sleeping bag until Kerrie got excited about seeing snow settle on the tent in the early light of the day.  After a 20-minute snow dump everything looked magical in the white covering, but with that magic also came the cold.



The large group of hikers left and we were able to use the old hut, for breakfast, with another couple of guys.  It was great to chat and talk about hiking and ways of how we do things differently.  Their packs were extremely light compared to ours, but they also had no luxuries e.g. coffee, cheese, etc.

With a break in the weather, we decided to make a dash up "Solomon's Throne" and hopefully "The Temple".  Once we got to "Damascus Gate" we were nice and warm and the weather looked quite good.  10 minutes later on the way up the "Throne", over big slabs of rock, the clouds started to roll back in and Kerrie started to get a bit worried, but I wasn't to stop now and miss this peak.  The way up was made pretty good with the rock slabs along the path having been placed flat for easy accent.  As we passed through a large crevice we could hear the wind building up.



At the peak we were battered by wind but still had great views before it started snowing afresh.



It was time to go, but another 10 minutes later the sun was out again.  It is amazing how weather conditions can change this fast in Tasmania.  This allowed us to also climb "The Temple", which provided yet another perspective looking back at the "Throne' and through the valley in which we had walked yesterday. Once again as we reached the summit the clouds rolled in and we were treated to another snow storm.




This rolled through quickly, and with blue skies, we headed back to camp. Just as we were arriving it started snowing again. This continued all day so rest of the day we spent in the hut with the other two drinking tea (with a little bit of Scotch) and having a good old yarn.



Day 3

The night provided us with another dusting of snow, but we woke up to clear skies and sub-zero temperatures.  Although our tent was like an igloo - covered in frozen snow and cold.





After a leisurely breakfast in the hut we scraped/shook the snow from our tent, packed up, said goodbye to our friends and headed off towards Lake Adelaide via Lake Ball.

At 10am we set off walking still with snow on the ground.



Lake Ball was very scenic and we especially liked the old lakeside hut, where we had morning tea overlooking the lake.


We continued walking through some amazing landscapes yet again.


The descent to Lake Adelaide was a lot faster than expected and it only took us 2.5 hours from our last campsite.  Although the Lake Adelaide campsite looked nice by the water's edge, the wind and the early arrival made us decide to only stop for lunch and then push on to the car park.


Shortly after we left Lake Adelaide we ran into another walker who couldn't find his way through to the "Walls of Jerusalem" track.  He tagged along with us along the scenic route past lakes and tarns.

Surprisingly it only took 2 hours from lake Adelaide to "Trappers Hut".  After another hour downhill, we finished our hike with another pleasant surprise, our car and trailer were perfectly fine.

After having done the "Overland Track", "Walls of Jerusalem" is also definitely up there on the awesome list.  The last three days were just a blast and we are looking forward to our next Tassie adventure, but perhaps minus the snow!

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