INGLIS IN THE SNOW
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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 Friday, Sept. 9th. 1955, I was one of a L.W.C.
party which left Launceston at 7 p.m. and arrived at Waldheim after midnight.
Saturday morning was relatively clear and I left at 8 a.m. with Bob Rusher for Mt. Inglis. Our proposed route was via the Bridle Track and Overland Track to the high col adjoining Cradle Mt. and Barn Bluff, and thence around the northern side of Barn to Mt. Inglis. There was an abundance of snow on the higher sections of the track - crisp, hard, frost-crusted snow which was easy to walk upon. Many of the guide poles were completely covered and only the chimney and roof of the Kitchen Hut was visible.
At 10.25 a.m., we left the Overland Track (3850' - 6m.) and followed up the natural ridge-crest towards Barn Bluff. Along the Bluff cirque hung an impressive cornice, its back seamed with tiny crevasses, whilst away down below the presence of many small 'schrunds bore witness to the existence of occasional avalanches. We swung around Barn Bluff at a high altitude, encountering some resistance from the low shrubbery and unstable snow. Then we picked our way through leads amidst the snow gums to descend towards Mt. Inglis. From a fairly clear shelf, we chose a course through a sparse gum forest to a lower clearing from which the ascent of Inglis commenced.
Here we encountered some stakes of the old E.G. Innes track to Tullah, but lost them amidst the high scrub. The snow amidst the scrub had lost its crust by now, rendering the ascent more arduous. Even above the scrub, the snow was treacherous and the final few steep feet of Inglis cost quite an effort (4000' - 11m. - 12.45 p.m.). Here we ate our dinner and felt the keenness of the wind as we gazed around. Barn Bluff dominated the whole scene, exhibiting a sharp peak from this angle, not unlike the Matterhorn. The whole of the Du Cane Range showed out magnificently as well as most other peaks of the Reserve, whilst Murchison, the Tyndalls, Sedgwick, Owen and other peaks of the west added variety. The Fury Gorge and Lake Will were other dominant features.
At 1.25 p.m. we commenced our return and chose to follow the old line of stakes in the hope of obtaining an easier route. We soon found our mistake as they led around the far side of Lake Will and, despite continual pressure, we did not regain the Overland Track until 3.15 p.m. in the Lake Holmes area (15m.). Then followed an undulating walk to Waterfall Valley, succeeded by a steep climb up on to the high col (3850' - 181/2m. - 4.25 p.m.).
The thick snow along the high country had lost much of its stability and the ensuing change of gait wrought havoc with tired legs. Whilst endeavouring to favour a cramped leg muscle, I strained my opposite knee and found progress somewhat painful over the latter stages. Dusk was descending when we regained Waldheim (2850' - 241/2m. - 6.38 p.m.).
The few clouds of yesterday were absent as Sunday dawned and at 8.15 a.m. I left alone for the Little Horn. I appreciated my early solitude as my strained knee exhibited grave warning signs on the downhill walking. At Lakes Lilla and Dove I had some grand views of Cradle, but there was very much more to see from the summit of Hanson's Peak (3680' - 31/2m. - 9.27 a.m.). From here Cradle and Emmett looked grand, and the glimpse down into the lake was fine indeed.
Continuing along the track towards the Kitchen Hut, I discovered a branch track to the Little Horn just beyond the turn-off which encircles Lake Dove. The ascent was via the obvious gully but, as the upper section was choked with soft snow - the hot sun having a decided effect on the snow now - I exploited the bare rock along the edge. The first section of the climb was rather steep, but the summit furnished a glorious view which was enjoyed all the more with the warm sunshine (4200' - 51/2m. - 10.25 a.m.).
The great craggy cliffs of Cradle from Weindorfer's Tower southwards were coated thickly in snow right down to their base. Mt. Emmett and Lake Rodway presented a charming study to the south, beyond which rose many mighty peaks of the Reserve. Lake Dove bared itself below and must rank amongst our most magnificent lakes. Northwards rose St. Valentine's Peak and Black Bluff, with Roland, the Western Tiers and the Walls sweeping around to the east.
At 10.45 a.m. I left the summit and retraced my route back to the main track, then deviating southwards to visit the Artists Pool. I was back at Hanson's Peak at 12.5 p.m., hoping to link up with Bob for dinner, but his party was not in sight. I continued on towards Mt. Campbell and located his party of four on my ascent. Whilst they descended down to the track to boil the billy, I continued up to the broad summit of Campbell to reach the summit cairn (3850' - 101/2m. - 12.45 p.m.). The view was not so extensive from here, although it was quite interesting.
Soon I rejoined the party back on the track. After lunch, we made our way leisurely back to Waldheim (2850' - 15m. - 3.10 p.m.) and set off for home shortly afterwards, arriving in Launceston at 9 p.m.
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