To the south west of Mt. Patrick lies Mt. Penny West, another just-high-enough mountain flanking Arthurs Lake. Like its neighbour, it’s quite a short walk and both are usually undertaken as a pair. We certainly weren’t going to waste the opportunity to climb multiple Abels on the day. You will notice this trip report is short – well so is the hike to Mt. Penny West!
Date: 6th July 2019 – Summit: 1140m
Time taken: 1 hr return.
Difficulty: A tiny bit of a challenge, through fairly dense and untracked scrub, but over a (very) short distance. A good place to practice navigation.
Type of track: Off track.
Access from: Arthurs Lake Rd, just before the boom gate.
Mt.s Patrick and Penny West are generally tackled as a pair, due to their close proximity to each other and the fact both are quite short walks to their peaks. Unlike the rather underwhelming Mt. Patrick, however, Mt. Penny West does actually make you earn its summit – and rewards you with some great views too.
With Mt. Patrick complete, we returned back along Arthurs Lake Road to a yellow boom gate about 2km east of Morass Bay. A small but noticeable cairn along the lake side of the road gave away our starting point
Any notion of a clear pad to follow were quickly dashed as we entered into snow gum forest with a thick, scrubby understorey. From here we began to work our way through the vegetation in the rough direction of the summit, all of 700m to our north-west.
Occasionally a depression or cutting in the flora suggested we were following in other’s footsteps, but for the most part, it was just a straight up scrub-bash. Thankfully the boronia and the like offered minimal resistance, though gaiters were appreciated!
After a few hundred metres across undulating ground, the elevation increased noticeably, as did the rock underneath. Unfortunately the cover of scraggly snow gums didn’t recede as we gained altitude, which made identifying which of the three main ‘knolls’, just visible ahead, was the true high point. I went ahead climbed the nearest (easternmost) knoll and – sure enough – the actual summit was the next one along. The view to the north and east was worth the detour – a nice taste of what was coming.
Dropping back into the narrow gully immediately west I soon caught up with Tracey and Natty, who’d already begun the quite steep climb up to the summit. (Ben always races for high points, Natty and I chuckled as we continued straight past him to the actual summit knoll 😛 – Tracey). The boulders tended on the large side and some awkward scrambling was required in places. But before we knew it, the substantial rock cairn-pile came into sight – we were at the top!
We found the summit of Mt. Penny West is compact and vegetated, but unlike Mt. Patrick, the main view north is tree free. We enjoyed the sweeping view of Arthurs Lake and its surrounds, with Mt. Patrick, Sandbanks Tier and Parson and Clerk Mountain all visible in the distance.
View enjoyed a snack and a few photos for prosperity, then commenced the climb back down and retraced our route (kinda!) back to the road. Other than Natty taking a brief tumble over some rocks, we made quick progress and were back at the car within an hour. Two Abels in a morning – not too shabby!