MID-WINTER JAUNT TO BILLOP BLUFF (4065’)
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Sunday, July 20th. 1947 dawned so bright and clear that it gave promise of an ideal day for a mid-winter jaunt into the highlands. Accordingly, contact was made with prospective starters in the early morning and, after completing preparations, we left Arthur St., Launceston at 10.45 a.m., selecting the easily accessible Billop Bluff as our target.
We travelled via the Pateena Road, Longford and Cressy to take the next turn-off on the right and arrive at Billop Farm (700’ - 30m. - 11.40 a.m.). Permission to park the car being obtained from the farm and also directions concerning the route, we passed through a couple more gates before abandoning the car.
At 12.15 p.m., Jack, Norm, Trevor and I set off across the cleared paddocks, assailing a saggy ridge leading up to Little Billop - Billop Bluff saddle. Keeping near the crest of the saddle, we passed over the head of a steep gully descending to the north and steeper climbing ensued. The whole route was particularly scrub-free and relatively easy going.
Passing up the rock slope and approaching the summit, a little snow and ice was encountered but the increasing clouds now enveloping Billop Bluff were the main contributors to the chilly atmosphere. A short search on the summit and we soon located and gained the 10’ cairn on top (4065’ - 4m. - 2.20 p.m.).
It was unfortunate that we had chosen Billop Bluff as our objective that day as it was practically the only point within range where clouds persisted. Consequently, the view was very impaired and, at times, non est. Brady's Lookout, about a mile to the N. by W. (275 deg.), showed out very prominently and displayed a light coating of snow which was practically absent from Billop. Other features within our limited landscape were: Little Billop, 60 deg.; Miller's Bluff, 120 deg.; Arthur Lakes, 180-200 deg.; Cressy, 50 deg.; Dry's Bluff, 340 deg..
A fire on top produced some little warmth but, with time ever proceeding
apace, we had to start our return at 3.17 p.m.. Taking a course of 115
deg., we soon dropped down to the head of the gully at the junction of
the Little Billop saddle and, altering our course to 50 deg., directed
our steps along the crest of the saddle and then down to the car (7201
- 8m. - 4.45 p.m.). Lunch followed and then the car journey home, 6.30
p.m. finding us all back at Launceston.
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