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Objective: MT. YOUNG
We left Launceston at 1.40 p.m. on Sat. via the Midland and Esk Highways, turning off at Fingal along the road to Mathinna, where we turned right, crossed the South Esk and lost a little time in locating the correct turn-off for Mt. Young.
This turn-off is through a cattle guard alongside a gate nearly two miles beyond the South Esk crossing. The road is unmetalled in places but has a reasonable surface and soon starts climbing steeply and more steeply around the slopes of Mt. Blackboy, finally coming out on top on a high broad ridge. A timber mill is passed on the left after 4½ miles and a mile farther on we lost half an hour in deviating around a large fallen tree. Soon after, we passed a sawdust heap on the left and at 7 miles we entered a large clearing where our road forked, the left branch going to an old house and sheds and the right fork down to an old mill site where one sound hut remained.
After some exploration, the bus was brought down to the mill site at 6 p.m. and camp was pitched. The weather was clearing rapidly after the afternoon's rain and good views of Mt. Albert were available, whilst Mt. Young remained still concealed somewhere to the east. A good campfire and sing-song concluded the day.
A clear frosty morning had us astir early on Sunday and we were away at 7.45 a.m. for Mt. Young. We crossed the small creek and followed up the old road formation to the N., passing a loading ramp near the top of the rise and continuing along it until it became evident it would maintain a steady descent. Then we swung off to the right, ascending to the ridge crown through light scrub and then pushed E. along the crest, which gradually recedes, until at 8.35 a.m. Mt. Young was sighted for the first time on 60 deg. mag. with a clearing close at hand at 85 deg. mag.
We soon reached the clearing which had extensive bracken cover and extended to the rock base of Mt. Young. It would be over a mile to the base and took quite a while to negotiate. Then a scramble up the rocks through light scrub brought us to the 2964’ summit at 10.35 a.m. A clear sky permitted an uninterrupted view embracing the whole Ben Lomond massif, Mts. Blackboy, Saddleback, Ben Nevis, Barrow, Albert, Victoria, Elephant, St. Paul’s Dome and Nicholas, with glimpses of East Coast beaches and Georges Bay.
Lunch was had on the summit and the fallen trig. was hauled up and re-erected. Some of the party spent some time climbing on the northern monoliths before descending to the clearing at the base and starting buswards at 1.55 p.m.
We adhered to the ridge a little longer and thus located a strong animal pad or old foot track leading down through the bracken and reached the first creek in the broad valley below at 2.20 p.m. Rejoining the remainder of the party a few minutes later, we headed S. down the valley for a while, then turned W., shouldering a low ridge and heading towards the far end of the clearing.
We had hopes of locating an access track from the clearing to the roadway, and made our way towards what appeared to be a rough marker in the form of a tripod of dead trees; but when we reached it at 3 p.m., it turned out to be just a mutilated tree. At 3.15 p.m. we entered light forest of gum and manfern, knowing that the other clearing around the road was not far away. Soon we entered an old milling shoe track and followed this down to where it emerged at the old mill site at 3.50 p.m.
Here we had an early lunch before setting off in the bus at 5 p.m., reaching the nearby road fork ten minutes later after some deviations by the bus through scattered logs. A further delay was experienced in bypassing the fallen tree and we reached the Mathinna-Ringarooma road at 6 p.m.. After a couple of stops en route, we arrived at Launceston at 9.40 p.m.
This pleasant walk would be well worthy of repetition soon and I would emphasise that next time arrangements be made for rock climbing gear to be taken as the northern monoliths of Mt. Young provide some unusually attractive chimneys and cracks.
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