Keith Lancaster
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.
At 7 a.m. on a frosty Saturday morning, 19th. July 1997 Marcus and I were away to explore the western peaks of the Mt. Cameron contingent. The sky was clear as we journeyed eastward via the East Tamar and Bridport with the rising sun dazzling our eyes.

Good progress was made via the Waterhouse and Tomahawk Roads to the Old Boobyalla Road which we followed southward, passing the long lake on the Boobyalla River on our right and soon after took a narrow branch road on our left running eastward. This we followed to where it crossed a damp valley and became rough. We chose to turn back and park the car about a half km. farther back (9.20 a.m.).

Our plan seemed to be to follow the valley up northwards towards a high peak we checked at 60 deg. (roughly E.N.E). At 9.45 a.m. we set off with light day packs crossing a low ridge to reach the valley and follow it to the N.E.. We kept fairly close to the 60 deg. in following up the valley to where the climb steepened as we ascended a substantial hill.

At length the top of the hill was reached and this revealed a wooded gap below, and above which a much higher elevation occurred. After crossing the wooded gully a steep climb brought us to the base of a rugged granite summit. We angled around the eastern side seeking easy access towards the summit, but found the upper large granite structure was rather a formidable opponent. We curved around the northern side and then towards the west, but still a good ascent route to the summit was not located.

It appeared to me that a violent earthquake could have occurred many centuries ago in which the top 30' of the summit rock had been lifted upwards and then dropped back in an irregular position whereby much of it overlapped in a way that obstructed the original approach. However the agreed time had arrived and we were obliged to abandon further attempts to find an acceptable ascent course and hasten back to the car before dark.

We began by retracing our course around to the eastern side, finding a few delaying obstacles en route. But once out from the offending debris we made reasonable progress down to the wooded gully and up onto the top of the hill beyond (1.45 p.m.). Our descent of this hill on the homeward course of 240 deg. was not as simple as expected for the rocky section was rough and slippery requiring abundant care and patience. As we neared its base, Marc chose to explore the edge of the valley below for a clear passage while I examined the slopes of the adjoining ridge. I encountered heavier vegetation after a while and edged upwards towards the crest of the ridge for better progress and here we seemed to lose contact, although we expected it would be regained a little farther along.

I found the ridge crest quite good walking and made good progress until I suddenly awoke that the ridge had changed course deceptively and taken me too far off course to the right. To straighten out this error, I changed my course leftwise and then encountered all manner of recriminations. I was unable to make vocal contact with Marcus, so persisted in curving to the left, encountering swampy and scrubby patches and finally wooded creeks.

I was getting very tired with this rough treatment to which trippings and falls were contributing. I crossed a bad swamp well laced with cutting grass to reach the foot of a ridge up which I clambered as best I could in the approaching twilight, hoping to gain a glimpse of the road from the top. Instead I heard a call from Marc down below. This established contact but I couldn't gain from him whether he was at the road, car or where.

Down I went towards him and again encountered swamp and cutting grass on the flat below. However, we were close again and I struggled through to join him. He had only just located the road and felt sure the car was parked no more than a half km. away. So off we went along the sandy road, to me the elixir of a country stroll, and we reached the car at 5.45 p.m. in the gathering dusk. A few minutes later we were driving homeward where I arrived at 8.15 p.m. to set about heating up a tasty stew and then attending to cuts and scratches and the ultimate comfort that only a warm bed can supply.
Home to Index  
If you would like more information on Keith Lancaster's diaries, please feel free to send me an email.