Keith Lancaster 

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Note: This report has been scanned in as written. I have included the height, distance and time indications where used, e.g.:
(1000'- 12m.- 4.45p.m.)
which read as follows: height in feet - miles for the day - time.

A small party of L.W.C. members left Launceston by private transport at 2 p.m. on Sat., March 27th. 1954 bent on a week-end trip to Mt. Albert. Journeying via the Main and Esk Highways to Fingal and thence to Mathinna, the first turn to the right was taken at the crossroads just before entering the township. About four miles along the road, the turn-off uphill on the left to Alberton and the Mathinna Plains is passed and within less than a mile our road ends at a gate near an empty farm house and outbuildings.

Beyond the gate, a rough road carries on across a small creek, not far beyond which the “road” forks – one branch following up the western edge of the Dan River valley and heading into the timber to the eastward, and the other branch crossing the river and valley immediately and heading into the timber eastward. Whilst the remainder of the party prepared camp, Norm (who was leader) explored the latter branch whilst I was deputed to investigate the former. I followed this old timber road along the side of the hill where two large fallen trees made mechanical transport impossible. After about a mile, the road ran out on the plain and crossed the Dan, ending at an old sawdust heap on the other side of the valley about 1¼ miles from camp. It looked probable that old logging tracks from this abandoned mill-site would lead well up the high hill behind and assist us towards our invisible goal. Alternatively, it was possible that an easier route up the valley may be found and the high hill circumvented, although thickening bracken fern and scrub raised some doubts. Low, threat¬ening clouds coming in from the north concealed the mountain and the approach of darkness denied further exploration.

Norm followed his branch road for about two miles, far beyond the mill site near the Dan, the route making some altitude on the high hill and could well assist us in our approach to Mt. Albert. After consideration, Norm decided to tackle the approach from the branch road I had explored. The party split between tent, barn
and car for the night and, despite much thunder and a light sprinkle, the early morning sky was cloudless.

Astir at 6 a.m. and away at 8.5 a.m., we soon reached the saw-dust heap, discovering a couple of old huts nearby and a logging track leading up-hill. This led us well up the hill-side before fading out and the remainder of the ascent through the gums had few difficulties. After the main ascent, the hill tapered off and we made gradual height as we pushed back along its eastern scarp. Continuing northwards through flatter country, we encountered light ti-tree and other well-broken scrub. At length, both Mts. Victoria and Albert showed out ahead, indicating that our course had been good. A slight descent brought us out on a button grass clearing leading almost to the base of Albert.

Choosing the N.W. peak as the highest, we moved in towards the scrub in two parties. Encountering a tangle of bauera, cutting grass and ti-tree immediately, we had a strenuous tussle before we were clear of it and ascending through light timber. The upper climb was steep and rocky and the party arrived at the summit at intervals from noon to 12.30 p.m. (3700’ - 5m.). Clouds had accumulated during the morning and there was a cool breeze on top. Lunch was taken on the sheltered S.E. side of the peak. Mt. Albert possesses a high peak at each end, separated by a substantial saddle. Obviously, there is little in height between either peak but a careful scrutiny lent support to the claim that our peak was about 10’ higher. Mts. Victoria, Arthur, Barrow, Ben Nevis, Saddleback, Ben Lomond, Snow Hill, Blackboy, Nicholas and Young all showed out distinctly, along with many bays and beaches of the East Coast.

Away at 1.5 p.m., we exploited a more hopeful button grass lead north of our outward route and finally arrived at the Dan valley a little north of our sawdust heap to reach our camp-site (1260' - 10m. - 4.30 p.m.). Under way for home at 6 p.m., we reached Laun¬ceston, after breaking the journey at Conara, by 9 p.m..

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