MT. BARROW (4644ft)

Keith Lancaster
Mountaineering in Tasmania 1931 -71 Volume I, pp 1-2
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Note: The reports have been scanned in as written. I have included the height and distance indications, e.g.:
(1000'- 12m.- 4.45p.m.)
which read as follows: height in feet - miles for the day - time.
[1] On Sunday Nov.8th. 1931, at 7a.m., in company with J. Yates, I left the St. Patrick's river where we had spent the night fishing, on our way to Mt. Barrow. We followed the track around to the east of the mountain but became uneasy as the track did not appear to lead us any nearer to the summit. However, I have since learned that had we continued along the track we would have experienced little difficulty in reaching the top. But, forsaking the track near the ruins of an old shack, we struck out for the top and, after a hard steep climb lasting a good two hours through dense scrub and over rough rocks, we managed to reach a peak of the mountain which lay only about forty feet below the level of the summit. With this we had to be content owing to the encroachment of time, for the deep gorge which separated us from our goal would take about an hour to cross and return, and we had no desire to risk spending the night in the bush.

Nevertheless, from this vantage-point (approximately 4600 ft.) a fine view of the country can be obtained. Mts. Ben Nevis and Arthur are close at hand lending a majestic touch to the surroundings, while farther away appear Mts. Scott, Maurice, Victoria, Cameron, etc. in the north-east, the Western Tiers in the south-west, Launceston, Tamar valley and Mt. Roland in the west and north-west and the summit of the mountain in the south-east. Long sandy beaches appear in the north and north-east with a glimpse here and there of the sea. Our view, unfortunately, was terminated soon after our arrival by the thickening of the great cloud that had been hanging around the top of the mountain all the morning. The flora of the higher regions of Mt. Barrow is very limited and consists of a stunted species of waratah which, near the summit, grows not as high as a gooseberry bush but greatly assists the climbing over the steep, rocky ascents owing to its roots securing a very strong hold among the rocks. Another bush met with near the summit is a round spiky bush, but this would be very unpopular with the visitors who should find it in their way. The spikes of this bush are similar to those of the thistle and in formation the bush resembles a huge porcupine.

[2] The east and south of the mountain is very rugged and presents an imposing appearance, while the north and north-west which receives most of the weather is more broken and easier to traverse. Observing this, after lunching, we made our descent via the north-west side and gradually curving around to the north we re-encountered the track after a two hour trek, which, after leaving the higher altitudes took us through a denser undergrowth than we had experienced during our ascent, but we were rewarded with several moss-frequented man-fern glades with several varieties of beautiful creeper and trees to lend a charm to our outing. The road from Launceston to Mt. Barrow has a good surface and is rather hilly. All the way to Nunamara the road has a bitumen sur-face and from here to the turn-off, about seventeen miles farther on, a good surface is encountered. After a mile and a half along the Mt. Barrow road, the approach to the mountain becomes very steep and rather rough. Cars can approach very close to the summit but have to make the climb for the most part in low gear. The distance from Launceston to the foot of the mountain is about twenty-two miles. For further details see next Mt. Barrow trip.
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