SECOND WYLD’S CRAIG FAILURE
(THE ASCENT OF DANIEL' S LOOKOUT [Mt. Misery])by
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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 Saturday, March 30th.1940, I set out from Launceston at 3.40 p.m. en route for Wyld's Craig, in company with Jack and Harold Daniel, the latter making his initial mountaineering effort. Following the same route as I took on the previous effort, we reached the Broad River (330’) at 7.30 p.m. and promptly set about preparing camp for the night.
At 5.30 a.m. next morning, we broke camp but, owing to the boggy nature of the road due to recent rain, we had to abandon the car after three and a half miles (780’) at 6 a.m. and proceed on foot. Passing the mill (1120’ – 1½m.) at 6.35 a.m., Clerk's Hut (1570’ – 3½m.) at 7.10 a.m., the mile sign (1770’ – 4½m.) at 7.35 a.m., the second hut (1885’ 6m.) at 8.7 a.m., 5 mile tree (2260’ – 8½m.) at 8.58 a.m., we reached the Misery saddle (2370’ - 10m.) at 9.30 a.m. after a four hour’s walk.
The weather was only fair, several clouds hanging around and the bush was wet with yesterday’s rain. Wyld's Craig was visible to the N.W. but we did not choose a direct course but headed northwards, hoping to find a somewhat easier passage by keeping well above the Florentine. The plan of assault was to hold our altitude until we were opposite the long eastern shoulder of Wyld's Craig and then descend and cross the Florentine and attempt to ascend the eastern shoulder, which appears to hold the least obstruction.
Plunging through the forest where myrtle and its usually associated tree growth provided an efficient retarding barrier, we discovered our first live native snail in the depths of the forest. After forsaking the track, we did not get a glimpse of the peak or, for that matter, any other landmark owing to the density of the bush. After two hours in the bush we were looking for a suitable tree to climb to survey our position. In due course, we were successful in that respect, only to find we had over shot the mark by some distance. The peak was enveloped in clouds and was only just distinguishable and still remained several hours away. We were wet and tired and realized sufficient time was not available to complete the climb. What else remained but to give in again and return?
At 12 noon (13m.) we turned our backs to Wyld's Craig and pushed our way towards the top of the Misery Ridge. Better progress was made upon attaining the ridge, although we still encountered plenty of scrub resistance. More than an hour passed before we secured a glimpse of the hill on the Misery Range at the northern side of the track. We ascended to the top of this peak by 1.35 p.m. (2700’ – 15½m.) and agreed to have lunch there. On a clear day a nice view must be possible from this peak which looks down on Reconnaissance Hill to the south on the other side of the track. The day, however, was not suitable for sightseeing as low clouds hung around in all directions - in fact it was raining ere we had half finished our lunch. Wyld’s Craig is N.W. by W., the Denison Range is W. by S. and Mt. Misery is S.S.E.. This briefly describes the view from ‘Daniel’s Lookout’ and even these were hard to discern.
At 2.10 p.m. we started the descent to the track, reaching there at 2.30 p.m. (2370’ – 16¼m.). Then the long track journey commenced and the gradually downward slope made for good time. The rain fortunately held off until we were near the timber mill and at 5.50 p.m. we gained the car (780’ – 26¼m.).
After changing into dry clothes, the difficult car journey had to be overcome in rain and the deepening gloom. Darkness descended before we made the metal road and the home journey was slow as we were all rather tired and frequent driving changes had to be made before we returned to Launceston about midnight.
The trip put up new figures for a day's walk on a mountain – 26¼
miles - beating the previous best effort of 21½ miles established
at Waldheim. It also proved the worth of the Daniel Bros. In standing
the strain of many hours’ hard walking. It appears evident that
to succeed with Wyld’s, it will be necessary to reach the Misery
saddle by daybreak and rely solely upon the compass for direction in making
the peak through the jungle.
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