#SheisAbelChallenge – Empowering Women to Summit Tasmanian Mountains

Tasmanian Abels information

Why the #SheisAbelChallenge?
Tasmania is a wild place. A brutal beauty. Australia’s most mountainous state. Tasmanian is the perfect choice for hiking, trekking and summiting accessible mountain ranges achievable in a day. Our island home is covered in so many networks of World Heritage Areas, protected Parks and wilderness reserves it’s almost impossible to avoid hiking and walking. However, getting started, hiking solo, finding like-minded friends and reaching your first few summits can feel a little intimidating, time consuming and a lot of hard work for most women.

#SheisAbelChallenge hopes to:

  • Change perceptions that summiting mountains is predominantly a male pursuit and suitable only for the super fit;
  • Encourage women to explore and feel confident exploring Tassie’s wild places;
  • Celebrate and connect everyday women adventuring and living in Tasmania; and
  • Attempt to Summit an Abel.

What is an Abel?
There are lots of mountains in Tasmania, ranging from gentle sloping hills to rugged cliffs and snow-capped peaks. An Abel is a Tasmanian mountain which has a minimum height of 1100m and has a summit or minimum drop of 150 m on all four sides. Bill Wilkinson coined the term for these mountains which meet the above criteria after Abel Tasman the first European to sight them. At last count there is 158 Abels in total scattered across the state which range from an accessible moderate hike to remote and extreme multi-day options.

What is an Abelist?
An ableist are hikers/bushwalkers who have completed all the Abel ascents. As at May 2016 only 15 men ‘bagged’ all 158 Abels and just one badass female.

How to get involved?

  • A comprehensive list of all Abels can be found here.
  • Join our Wild Island Community here and find a buddy
  • Check out our blog on Tasmania’s six most accessible Abels.
  • Join our closed Facebook community or Instagram page.

Featured image credit: carmelboyd_ Instagram

How to enter our competition and go in the draw to win awesome prizes?

** this competition has closed **
Simply post a photo of you on the summit of an Abel (or close by) and tag:
#wildislandwomen or
#sheisabelchallenge to Instagram or Facebook; and/or
Post a photo of you on a summit of an Abel in our closed Wild Island Women Facebook Group.
Competition runs from 1 November 2018 to 1 May 2019 and lots of prizes are up for grabs!

Six Accessible Tasmanian Abels to Ascend in a Day

Cradle Mountain Abel

Looking for a new hiking challenge or ready to test your fitness up one of Tasmania’s stunning ascents?

An Abel is a Tasmanian mountain at 1100 m or above in height and with a minimum drop of 150 m on all sides.  Bagging one, or a few, of these impressive Tasmanian mountains is a great accomplishment and with only one woman currently crowned as an Abelist, it is something exciting and well worth working towards. 

So where do you begin?

There are 158 Abels, coined and compiled by Bill Wilkinson and named after the first European explorer to sight them, Abel Tasman. Some mountains are quite remote and take loads of commitment however, we have selected six of the most accessible Abels in Tasmania that can be hiked within a day and located close to city centres which will give you invaluable experience to conquer tougher climbs and multi-day hikes.

Remember though it’s never ‘easy’ to bag an Abel.  You will need to be prepared, of reasonable fitness and check the forecast before attempting any of the Tasmanian mountains on the list.  We recommend researching full details of routes, as well as information on starting points and terrain, before you decide which matches Abel suits your ability best.

1 Collins Bonnet

1261 m | 5 km return | Abel  78

Trail head  located within a 45 minute drive from Hobart.

Why climb this Abel?

From the trail head the trail climbs from 600 m to just over 1200 m altitude.
You can return on the same track or take one of the many loop tracks which includes both Trestle Mountain and Collins Cap.
Allow 5 – 6 hours to  climb Collins Bonnet Return and 8 hours if you want to cover two of the three peaks.
The excellent views across the Derwent Valley and Mount Wellington Plateau

Image credit: hailey.grayson via Instagram

2 Mount Roland

1234 m |  9 km return | Abel 92
Trail head located near the edge of Sheffield approximately an hour and a half drive from Launceston.

Why climb this Abel?

  • A good day hike that is easy to follow, with a large portion of the walk across the plateau to warm up with a small creek crossing and rock scramble to finish.
  • High alpine boardwalk through alpine vegetation.
  • Opportunities for side and round trips across the escarpment and 360 degree vistas from summit.

Allow 4 – 6 hours return to climb Mount Roland from Gowrie Park via O’Neil’s Road.

Image credit: adnrew via Instagram

3 Mount Field East

1272 m | 4-6 hour loop/10km trail | Abel 73
Trail head located within an hour and a half from Hobart

Why climb this Abel?

  • Diverse range of terrain, vegetation and flora
  • New and recent boardwalk and upgrades
  • Start from either Lake Fenton or Lake Nicholls car park
Mt Field East Abel

Image credit: madeleinetbecker via Instagram

4 Hartz Peak

1254 Elevation | 3-5hour return 8km | Abel 84 
Trail head within an hour and a half from Hobart

Why climb this Abel?

  • Gorgeous mountain wildflowers.
  • Plenty of photo spots and picnic areas.
  • Ideal for families on a good weather day.
  • Side trails and track to the lakes.
  • Open shelter on top for emergencies.
Hartz Mountains Genevieve White

Image credit: genevievewhite_photographer via Instagram

5 Mount Wellington

1271 m | 2.5 to 3.5 hour circuit | Abel 75
Mount Wellington Loop hike , Organ Pipes, Zig Zag and Panorama Track
Trail head approximately 16 kms from Hobart.

Why climb this Abel?

  • Accessible and proximity to Hobart.
  • Significant views on a relatively flat track to begin and nothing too strenuous.
  • Best views of Hobart.
Organ Pipes Track near Mount Wellington

Image credit:@jenswandering  via Instagram

6 Cradle Mountain

1545 m elevation | 7 – 9 hours return 13km | Abel 5
Trail head located within a 2.5 hour drive from Launceston and 1.25 hours from Devonport. Allow extra for time for the shuttle bus to Dove Lake.

Why climb this able?

  • Cradle Mountain is both exhilarating and astounding, exhausting and morale boosting all at the same time.
  • Summiting will give you a huge sense of satisfaction and confidence to start longer and overnight hikes.
  • Most photogenic places in the world.
  • Alternative return track options.
  • One of the Top 5 highest Abels in Tasmania.
Cradle Mountain Andrea Pavela

Image credit:@andreapavela via Instagram

Have you hiked an Abel
or planning to?

Don’t forget to submit your summit photos to
#SheisAbelChallenge
to go into the draw to enter fantastic prizes.