Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Mt Roland - 26 Dec 2006

Mt Roland from Claude Rd, 26th Dec 2006
My brother climbed Mt Roland (near Sheffield) with me on Boxing Day. Three hours return was the estimated walk time for the route from Claude Road straight up the north face. Chris is pretty fit, but it’s all “jogging round Lake Burley Griffin” fitness. The steep walk was another thing, and he found it a challenge. Anyway, we made it, (took us about 2 hrs each way!) and the views are spectacular, particularly given the steepness of the terrain.
Scoparia on the Mt Roland plateau, 26th Dec 2006The track starts in Kings Road, leading up the hill from the village of Claude Road. It climbs to the base of the cliffs, and then sidles left (east) to the bottom of the gully which obviously cleaves the cliffs from bottom to top. It climbs very steeply up this gully, often enabling use of hands to climb as well as feet. Once above the gully, there’s very pleasant walking for maybe 1.3 km across the top of the mountain, with only a couple of places where rock-hopping or scrambling is required. The wildflowers were quite attractive, and extensive areas of Scoparia made a pleasant scene.
View from the top of the gully on the track to Mt Roland from Claude Rd, 26th Dec 2006Views from the top are said to include Cradle Mt, but it was cloudy in that direction. The view to Bass Strait is certainly impressive, and the whole plain is laid out below the mountain. The walk along the plateau looks like it would be great. The plateau walking seems quite easy, and the guidebooks suggest the grades are gentle.
View of the Sheffield area from near the summit of Mt Roland, 26th Dec 2006On returning to Sheffield, and obtaining the pamphlet about the walks, I note that it says of our chosen route “This approach is potentially dangerous and is not the recommended track to the Mt Roland summit.” The others are longer though, and we didn’t have the time to take a longer walk. Sore knees at the end of the walk reminded us of the steepness and magnitude of the climb, which is around an 800m rise, around 650m of which seems to be gained in about 2.5km (maybe less) from the start of the walk. Here's a website with a lot of pictures and info about the Mt Roland area.

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