BEN LOMOND ONCE AGAIN
by
Keith Lancaster
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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 Saturday, April 16th. 1994 I visited Ben Lomond for what hoped to be my last ramble in that region. The morning was overcast when I left Launceston at 8.10 a.m. and I encountered fog along the Upper Blessington Road soon after passing White Hills. This continued until I came above it on the Ben Lomond Road into bright sunshine and a cloudless sky.

I reached Carr Villa hut at 9.10 a.m. and set off along the track to Legges Tor at 9.20 a.m. with the usual light day pack. About way along the track at 10.33 a.m. I turned off and headed S.W. by S. towards distant high ground which could embrace Coalmine Crag. My course took me across undulating country before descending into the broad, elongated valley of the Borrowdale wherein I crossed the upper trickle of Rafferty Creek at 11 a.m..

From there I ascended the high ridge to the S.W. and continued to climb to what was the highest crest in that vicinity. At 11.30 a.m. I reached the top of this eminence which proved to be Menamatta Peak (1470 m. - 4823'). The Menamatta Tarns lay grouped together to the S.W. in Piesse Vale. Coalmine Crag lay farther along the ridge at E.S.E. and Stacks Bluff was becoming very prominent in the S.E..

At 11.50 a.m. I set off for Coalmine Crag along the relatively open ridge with a cool westerly breeze behind me . A pleasant walk ended in a minor rock scramble to the tall slender rock cairn capping Coalmine Crag (1490 m. - 4889' - 12.15 p.m.). The view was extensive but differed little from the previous peak, although the long ridge tapering down from Giblin Peak hinted that the way back may produce some problems. Consequently I vacated the top immediately to worm my way down through the rock and low scrub to reach Rafferty Creek near the south end of the Borrowdale.

I halted for lunch here from 12.45 p.m. to 1.3 p.m. at what had grown into quite a steady stream. Then rock hopping became the more pronounced method of progress as the rocks offered a faster speed than pushing through the light vegetation. A steady ascent continued along a course not far below the ridge crest until at last the head of a ski tow on Giblin Peak came in sight. Then a final effort brought me up to the summit (1550 m. - 5085' - 2.2 p.m.).

I made a short descent to the east before turning northward seeking the staked track leading to Carr Villa. No stakes showed out on the west of the ridge, although. I located a couple of isolated shacks. Pushing farther northward I located a staked route, but this seemed to be heading towards Markham Heights and I promptly discarded it. Soon after, I found a further line of stakes which appeared to be right on course at 2.30 p.m.. Adhering to it, I was soon convinced I was on course and after the succeeding long drag I reached Carr Villa at 3.40 p.m.. A quick change of footwear and a warm coffee drink, and I was away at 3.48 p.m. to reach home at 4.50 p.m..
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