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On the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 8th. 1952, a small private party comprising Ken Church, Jim Turner, Frank Turner, Pat Willson and myself left Launceston by car on a plan to climb St. Patrick's Head. Driving via the Main and Esk Highways, we took the St. Helens road from St. Marys and, after about a mile, turned to the right up the Irishtown road, which kept a small creek to its eastward. Taking the first turn to the left beyond the timber mill, we soon reached the end of the road close under our conical objective, which was rendered invisible by the thick cloud and steady rain which had set in. From the farmer at the road's end, we learned details of the route of the overgrown track which led to the summit and, after seeking the necessary authority, took sanctuary in a nearby stable and shed, where we prepared the evening repast, later splitting between car and stable for the night's repose.
The rain continued unabated throughout the night and our prospects of fine weather sank hopelessly low in keeping with the barometer's course. Enthusiasm for the short climb and consequent ducking was not pronounced and only Ken and I responded when the move was made at 11.15 a.m.. Soon reaching the end of the road, we continued up across the paddocks to a ploughed paddock beyond. Here the scrub formed the boundary and we had been advised to seek the track at the top left corner of the field. Our first track led but a short distance to a green field above us to the left. Returning to the ploughed paddock, we took another track starting almost at the same point, and this led diagonally up-hill towards our objective, but evidence of its continuation was not apparent beyond an old fallen tree a short distance along. Returning once more to the ploughed field, we probed around the top edge seeking a further track in vain. Ultimately, we explored a 'roo pad which led from the top end of the paddock and, when the base of the peak showed up through the mist but a short way ahead, we chose to push through the light, wet scrub which barred the way.
Approaching the base of the peak, we gained a good track running practically horizontal below the rocks. Turning to the right along this, we soon rounded the south-western corner and were working up the south-eastern side, where we were astounded to find wire ropes fitted along the track to provide hand over hand haulage on the steeper grades. Still swinging farther eastwards, the track weaved around the buttresses, finally approaching the summit from the east where the provision of a wooden ladder would kindle anew the protests of disgust from the true mountaineer. On top was a rather substantial trig-station (2227' - 2m. - 12.25 p.m.) in a very exposed position from which a most interesting view must be possible on a clear day. However, the mist and rain still continued and our stay was one of very short duration.
On our return, we carried on along the track beyond the point where we
had entered it whilst ascending. Soon we were amongst the low scrub which
was fast encroaching upon the track. It was particularly overgrown around
the point where the large tree had fallen and this accounted for us not
finding it whilst actually upon the correct course early in our walk.
Shortly, we re-appeared in the open and thence all was plain going back
to the car (970’ - 4m. - 1.15 p.m.), where a complete dry change
of clothes was essential. Shortly, we were off again upon our car journey,
driving into improving weather and gaining home about 9 p.m..
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