SNOWIES AND JUBILEES
|Home to Index|
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, Feb. 9th. 1962, I was one of the
L.W.C. Party that travelled by Club bus from Launceston to Maydena where
we camped overnight. Next morning we journeyed up the A.N.M. Road (Styx
River Road) towards the Snowy Range, seeking the junction of an old road
on the right. We left the bus here and started on foot at 8.25 a.m. along
the old "road" towards the Snowies which lay at 110 deg. mag. We lost a
little time in locating the foot track farther afield, but soon were pushing
on again through a myrtle forest. At the end of the forest the leader (Otto
Jakubczyk) split up the party, appointing me to lead the section of seven
going to the Jubilee Range as well: Peter and Hugh Johnstone, Terry Gill,
Ken Church, Mary Morwood, Kay Johnstone and myself.
At 9.45 a.m. my section set off, ascending through low scrub towards the range summit. At 10.40 a.m. we gained the crest of the first summit of the range - Peak 4 of the Snowies. Swinging southwards, we had easy open going to reach the crest of Peak 3 at 11.10 a.m. Resuming at 11.27 a.m., we continued south, halting for lunch on top of a low plateau rise in the trough between Peaks 3 and 2 at 12.40 p.m. Off again at 1.30 p.m. we climbed around the west of the next rise and then almost over the top of the high hill ahead to swing over the base of Peak 2, crossing a stream at 3 p.m. to reach at 3.5 p.m., a little high, a lake, blocked in by a moraine up which we climbed towards this highest peak of the range. Another higher lake showed out, over towards Peak 1.
Gaining the summit of Peak 2 (4300' - 3.20 p.m.), we looked anxiously over the route to the Jubilees, the most important view (to us) in an extensive panorama. The sky was still overcast but the clouds were well above us and visibility quite good. The route down to the Jubilees seemed reasonably clear but the whole course was not fully revealed.
Leaving the top at 3.40 p.m., we reached the base of the talus (3.50 p.m.), resuming at 4 p.m. westward down the open ridge crest. We veered to the S.W. as the scrub increased on the lower slopes, and even to S. as heavier going occurred. We secured some relief when we followed a creek down through open forest, but horizontal closed in on all sides and progress then became very slow. At length we reached button grass at 6.5 p.m., but not the free, open going we expected. It was a mixture of high button grass, ti-tree and bauera and made our approach to the base of the Jubilees a tough proposition in the late afternoon.
We settled for a reasonable campsite near the base of a climbing ridge near a tiny creek at 6.50 p.m. Through a misunderstanding by our leader, there were only two 3-man tents for our party of seven, so I elected to sleep out under the shelter of an adjoining copse. We had a late meal and retired at 9.30 p.m. There was a light wind, an overcast sky and some humidity. Light rain commenced about 11 p.m. and one tent became uncomfortably crowded with sleep elusive.
Sunday was dull with low clouds around us. I was up at 5 a.m. as we had a big day ahead over unknown territory. We were off at 7.10 a.m. SSW up to the crest of the nearby ridge to good open going. Turning westward, we covered two miles in the first hour, including the crossing of a gully, then wound about a little to secure the best approach and reached the western side of the Jubilees at 9 a.m. to look down on Mt. Anne's heavily wooded foothills.
Resuming at 9.10 a.m., we turned N.W. and then N. along the western high ridge leading towards a high peak to the N. Rain began to fall and so did the clouds. We passed over a succession of western side peaks to gain the highest peak of the Southern Jubilees (3200' - 10.5 a.m.). The cold westerly rain and the low clouds were now becoming a menace - conditions unpleasant and visibility bad. We continued N.W. along the western edge for some time until the altitude began to recede substantially. We then picked out a col linking with a ridge to the N.E. and followed this up onto the Northern Jubilees, reaching the large cairn on its No. 1 summit (3100' - 11.45 a.m.).
We continued eastward with much probing in the mist to reach an eastern edge peak at noon and see a hopeful lead away to the N.E. as the weather started to clear. Descending N.E. through open going, we stopped for lunch at a creek (12.20 p.m.) and lit a good fire by which to warm ourselves. At 1.30 p.m. we resumed, along with the rain. Descending N.E. we crossed a gully and encountered mixed forest and scrub, but a small opening helped us along northwards until we again entered scrub and forest, this time much more troublesome. At last open plain was reached (3.30 p.m.) - the one we had seen from the hightops leading northwards along the high ridge-top along the western bank of the Styx River.
We continued northwards, exploiting the open lead, keeping generally to its eastern edge until we reached its northern extremity (4.10 p.m.) where we turned eastward and descended through forest to the river (4.35 p.m.). Here we lost Ken, who was ever wont to break away from the party. Climbing the rise on the eastern side of the Styx River, we expected to reach the road above at any moment but a Styx tributary in a deep gully barred the way and we didn't emerge until 5.15 p.m. to unite with the other party soon afterwards.
We lunched together and then waited around for Ken who was late in emerging, but ultimately he turned up and we set off homewards belatedly at 7 20 p.m., arriving at Launceston at 1.20 a.m. next morning, substantially behind schedule.
|Home to Index|
If you would like more information on Keith Lancaster's diaries, please feel free to send me an email.