Walk: Schnells Ridge Location Schnells Gallagher
Red Tape track - Anne River - Schnells Grade: MR Days: 1-3 Distance: 13.5 Hours : 9
Scotts Peak Rd with track at Red Tape Crk 2:15 140k
I have observed this range over a period of period of more than 20 years and the last in 2002. Originally it had
very little signs of walker impact, but this has gradually changed and since 1994 the route leading up Schnells
Ridge has been turned into a track by users and is gradually becoming boggy. There is no difficulty in ascending over the fairly open ridges away from the track and doing this may help save the area from degradation and provides more enjoyable walking. Ultimately the Parks and Wildlife Service will need to make a decision on whether to encourage or discourage use of the evolving track. The track has some less impactedsections but in general is quite pronounced and worn all the way to the highest western peak.
Once on top and after the so-called twin summits there is a narrow and somewhat tortuous cirque line to traverse, taking about an hour to negotiate. It is a mixture of jutting and sloping rock and low scrub with an at times obscure pad and is really the domain of experienced walkers. Anyone worried by heights and exposure may find this section a problem.
Although the route is fairly obvious, the pad becomes fainter the further one progresses until it finally disappears altogether on the high eastern peaks. Parks & Wildlife Service aerial monitoring photos also confirm the pad ceases. A ridge runs down from here finishing in scrub before reaching the plains. The area padded is mostly not much more significant than a well worn animal pad.
Camping can be at the eastern tarn although it is slightly humpy. There is a small flat plateau on the nearby peak to SE that would be OK.
Smiths Tarn is found some 300 metres below the ridgeline at the bottom of quite steep slopes. The tarn is difficult to reach, with the final section a battle through high scrub. It takes at least half an hour to get down and quite a bit longer to get back. There are certainly no pines there and the edges are scrub lined and the shore not flat as in the photo. More scrub lies between Smiths and Moraine Tarns and even thicker stuff on the sides of the moraine if exiting that way.