Ritters Track by numbers


Another very interesting article, thanks.
A classic problem with cairns is they get added to. Not just the originals in size, but by way of new ones where others mark 'the way', when actually not 'the track'. Can make interesting walking! And frustrating.

Re coordinates. For those wanting a conversion its not rocket science for rough coordinates typical of hand held GPS.
Old system (AGD66) to new system (GDA94) add 112 metres to easting and 183 metres to northing.
Same place in GDA94 has greater East and North coordinates than agd66
See here http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/land-tasmania/geospatial-infrastructure-surveyi...
For most use WGS84 equals GDA94.
I'm referring to handhelds not centimetre survey grade GPS.

Thanks Richard. I've had that "add x metres to easting and northing" quoted to me before, but I guess I'd be looking at some neat spreadsheet solution whereby the data in the Ozi .wpt file, which appears eg -41.751510, 146.434300,42764.3705077, (and another 209 rows to make up Ken Felton's 210 mapped cairns) could be converted using a nifty Excel formula or similar to output the adjusted data to other columns. It's the sort of thing that makes my layman's eyes water! Of course, if you are able to do so, I'd be happy to send the data as an Ozi .wpt file or .gpx file! I suspect it might increase the agreement between Ken Felton's 2001 data and mine.

One of my former workmates inherited a hut from his father on Ada lagoon until forced removal.
I recall on many trips fishing in this area with him of the stories his father told him of the cairn marker track.
His name is John dando of Westbury- his father was Terrence Dando.

Great sleuthing Basil, a lot of work has gone into your research. Whether linked or not, a walk I completed from Lake Augusta to Daisy Lakes back in 2001 revealed a structure of sorts to the east of Lake Butters. In looking at the map of Ritters Track, this structure would have been very close to the track - what appeared to be a fireplace, timber supports and rock, outlining a 2-3 metre long by 1.5 - 2 metre wide (I assume) building located on the flanks of one of the high points between the south of Pillans Lake to the middle of Lake Butters. I couldn't guess the age however the floor and fireplace were overgrown with moss and young scorparia and the timber was in a state of rotting. Again only guessing, but it appeared to be large enough for one person to lay in with a fire at one end, and I recall discussing with my father at the time what a lonely place it was for a camp. Happy to provide more detail but sadly, no photo that I can recall.

Coming back to Richard's comments about conversion of waypoints to GDA94, I must say I only just noticed the link to Tas Govt's surveying website, and found the tables that not only express the corrections to easting and northing in metres, but also in seconds, which are, of course, fractions of degrees, so it should be possible for me to copy the coordinates into an Excel spreadsheet, and do the conversion to a new column. However, I'm still not sure what the value of 42764.3705077 (in my example above) stands for, and whether running the conversion on the easting and northing (after working out how to convert seconds into decimal fraction of degrees) without dealing with this further parameter will just end up with gobbledegook.
Can anyone shed any light?

Ok. Using the conversion factor on the website linked above by Richard, I then found a website which could convert the seconds into decimals of degrees. I extracted the data from my waypoint file of Ken Felton's coordinates into an Excel spreadsheet, ran the conversion factors on each easting and northing (using the "Fill down" function, of course!) and copied the result back into a new version of the waypoint file. I've asked Simon to attach a graphic of the result to my article above, but in the meantime, I found a very strong correlation between numerous individual waypoints in Ken's set, and those that David and I plotted in January (remembering that we didn't plot cairns when we could easily see another further on). According to the measuring tool in my software, the variation is down to a mere 10 to 20 metres in many cases. There are still the odd few anomalies, possibly transcription errors in the handwritten version (pdf file on this site), but I can safely say that if someone was following the latest converted version of Ken’s waypoints on a GPS, they would be passing within metres of nearly all his recorded cairns.
Based on Damien's remarks above about a shelter east of Lake Butters, and our observation that Ken's cairns from no. 134 to at least 146 appear to be much later cairns, and may follow a bushwalkers' track rather than Ritter's Track, I think there is still the need for a further search in the Lake Butters Ken's cairns from no. 195 onwards seem to coincide exactly with the last kilometre or so of the route from Lake Fanny to Zion Gate. Unfortunately, while David was on the recent Boots N' All walk that came back from Mt. Jerusalem that way, he was unaware that he was back on Ritter's Track, and did not record or photograph any of the cairns. Next time perhaps!

I walked what I thought was the Ritters Track in 1992. I went up via Higgs Track, then picked it up at the southern end of Lake Nameless. I walked alone and in beautiful weather, during April and it took two days to get to Mt Jerusalem. Reading this story just now makes me think that maybe for some of it I was on a more recently marked track as I did notice a difference in some of the cairns. I would like to take these coordinates and have another go now. Thanks for the story.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.