Who hunted the Mount Pillinger plateau?


I have seen the Lake Leonis hut site 20 or so years ago and it is tiny. A man might hunt or snare to there, stay the night and work his way back to base the next day.
When I was a young chap, Basil Scott told me how he and Cliff went to their hunting ground. Up the South Mole Creek Track, across the top past Devils Gullet and down to Dublin. Then over to The Marsh (Walters) and up Maggs (somehow).
One year after a heavy snowfall, they found themselves snowed in and unable to return to Mole Creek. They stayed in the hut till their food was nearly gone, then they headed out with their faithful dog into the deep snow to run down a wallaby. They soon found one and the wallaby had a hard time getting any speed in the snow and the dog soon caught it.
They took it back to the hut and the meat lasted them and the dog for a few days but the poor dogs feet were a mess.
The sharp ice crystals had cut the dogs paws and they were bleeding.
Basil made a treatment using condys crystals ( Potassium permanganate) and bathed the dogs paws in it till he was well. By then the food was gone again so out into the snow they went again to catch another wallaby.
More treatment for doggys paws. This continued until the snow melted and they were able to return to Mole Creek. This involved crossing the Mersey River, the Little Fisher and the Fisher River, then up to the snow covered plateau and across to the South Mole Creek Track. Imagine how hard this trek must have been.

There is a little semi clear plain running off from the north east corner of Lake Leonis. The hut remains are there. I suspect the hut was built by the Scotts.

This type of response is what I love about Mountain Stories. At its best, it is an active forum where we can all share information about places that are so important to us. Thank you so much Rod for your recollections. You have so much to contribute and I look forward to further comments. Anyone interested in trying to relocate the remains of the Leonis hut?

Simon - you might try dropping a line into the forum on Sport Fish Tasmania - seems a few fishermen frequent the lakes now and take photos; I have a few of McCoy but as per Rod's submission, it's a rather remote area for just walkers, although I've heard anecdotal evidence there's a forestry spur before the Maggs Spur No.17 turnoff where an old trail leads. In personal experience, out of pure masochism I walked the new(er) Arm River track to Lake McCoy via the Mt Pillinger saddle a few years back and noticed a few ancient cairns on the plateau leading east and down toward the lake. Bushwalkers take the plateau rim overlooking Premier Peak and if it's any help, there's a geocache at McCoy where some folks may have come across one or both huts.

Thanks for sharing that information Damien. I am aware of that additional (perhaps old?) track from the north and think that these are the more likely access routes than one across the saddle from the west. I agree that anglers might be a valuable additional source of information though I suspect that many anglers subscribe to Mountain Stories.

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