(4736 ft.)

Keith Lancaster
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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.
On the morning of Friday, Jan. 1st. 1932, at 6.10 a.m., we set out on our journey to the Western Tiers. The morning was cool and cloudy and we made good progress through Deloraine and Chudleigh to Caveside where we left our bicycles at the residence of Mr. Parsons and continued on foot to the Westmoreland Falls. We lost over an hour through taking a wrong track before we began our walk to the falls, and here we began to feel the burden of our heavy packs which held the provisions and necessities for the week-end. The track to the falls is about a mile in length and passes through a beautiful shady glade where man-ferns, beautiful creepers and mosses combine to give a wonderful sample of our floral treasures. After traversing this pretty path for a half hour we came upon the Westmoreland Falls. These beautiful falls, surrounded as they were by such attractive greenery, proved to be a delightful scene and we left them at 4 p.m. feeling amply rewarded for the day's ride.

We had a little difficulty in finding the track leading to the mountain, but at length we were successful and, after a steep climb which took us nearly half-way up the side of the Tiers, we decided to camp for the night at 6 p.m. at a small trickling stream. During the early evening rain fell lightly at intervals, but it soon cleared up when a strong southerly wind sprang up. We had hardly two hours sleep that night due mainly to the cold wind, and in the early morning we had an anxious time in putting out a big fire caused by our camp-fire spreading to the adjacent bushes. Fortunately, after a perspiring effort, we extinguished the blaze.

At 5 a.m. we began the day's walking, climbing up the steep, pretty, fern-fringed mountain track to the table-land above. The Western Tiers, similar to Ben Lomond, have a wide undulating plateau at the top which is covered by numerous mountain shrubberies and rank mosses similar but with greater variety to the growth of Ben Lomond. From the summit, where a fine view of Mt. Roland is obtained, we pursued our way into the Tiers and arrived at the hut at the Chudleigh Lakes at 7 a.m.. Sandy Lake, on the aide of which is the hut, derives its name from the wide, sandy beach at the northern and of the lake, a peculiarity which is seldom met with around our highland lakes. Lake McKenzie, the larger and deeper of the Chudleigh Lakes, lies a few yards to the south-east of Sandy Lake. After lunching at the hut we spent some considerable time in cutting enough firewood, which is very scarce here, for the night and eventually left for Ironstone Mt. at 10 a.m.. We soon arrived at Lake Balmoral, a most beautiful and larger lake than either of the Chudleigh Lakes with a picturesque background of rugged hills. From here to the mountain we made our approach over rough ground covered for the most part with rank grasses and mosses which hampered our progress considerably. At length after passing several small lakes and over many small hillocks and valleys, we came to the foot of the mountain and after a short steep climb we gained the summit at approximately 1 p.m..

The view from this peak was not as extensive as I expected, being as it is the highest point of the whole Western Tiers. Many high eminences in the Tiers, rising nearly as high as Ironstone Mt., shut out a great deal but we were able to distinguish such peaks as Barn Bluff, Cradle Mt., Black Bluff and St. Valentine's Peak to the westward. Several lofty peaks lie to the south-west but, as we knew little of the peaks south of Barn Bluff at the time, I think it is advisable to refrain from mentioning them suffice it to say that a couple of the higher mountains still had a small cap of snow even though we were in the midst of a warm summer. I hope to make anoth-er excursion to this locality in the near future and would no doubt better appreciate the opportunity of viewing these mountains as we intend to increase our knowledge of the peaks in this area by actual contact with them this summer. We were denied a view of the Great Lake by a nearby eminence in the south-east the height of which must have differed little from that of Ironstone Mt. itself, while to the northward our vision was just as limited. The more pleasing feat-ures in the landscape, however, were much nearer at hand for below us we had a fine view of the beautiful lakes and hills that abound in the Western Tiers. From here an excellent view of Lake Lucy Long, the largest in the Tiers, may be secured.

After dining on this elevated pinnacle, we began our return journey to the hut traversing practically the same route as that by which we had come. A little after 4 p.m. we arrived at our destination for the night rather tired and footsore. During the night we managed to snatch a few hours sleep at intervals between stoking the fire, Immediately after breakfast we set out for the Devil's Gullet at 6 a.m. but failed to gain our objective owing to the lim-ited time at our disposal although we were well within sight of this rugged beauty spot. The country between here and the hut is different in its vegetation, resembling that of the lower altitudes and here we noticed a couple of kangaroos, a few hares and also three whip snakes which crossed our path. Arriving back at the hut we partook of a little lunch before continuing our return to Launceston.

At 10 a.m. we were afoot once more and made our descent of the mountain slopes, pausing at times to gather some lovely wild-flowers and ferns included in which were a few fine blooms of waratah. At this time of the year all the plants and bushes are in full bloom and the slopes and summit of the Western Tiers present a gorgeous and varied display of vivid colour. We reached the bottom of the track at noon and half an hour later we arrived at the farm-house where we had left our bicycle. Here an unexpected pleasure awaited us for we were invited to dinner by the generous proprietor and we partook of a bounteous and most appetising meal which was quite a treat after the rugged fare we had eaten during the week-end. After thanking and bidding farewell to our goodly host we began the last stage of our journey home at 1.30 p.m. and arrived in Launceston without incident at 5.20 p.m..

In reviewing this wonderful week-end, I must say that for beautiful and varied scenery no place I have yet visited could compare with this Utopia of scenic treasures. With its roaring waterfalls, shimmering mountain lakes, jagged peaks, luxurious flowers and ferns and lastly, but by no means least, its wild and magnificent Devil's Gullet, unsurpassable for ragged grandeur, it presents a worthy reward to the tourist. Also, throughout our tour we made very good time although, owing to such little sleep, we were feeling the effects of our arduous week-end at the finish.
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