Monday, 21 December 2015

Tower Hill

21st December 2015

Tower West
Tower East

I had a spare day, so decided to climb a few little obscure peaks in the North-East. I drove out to Mathinna, and then up the windy forestry roads up towards the fire tower perched high atop Tower East. I pulled up right below the peak, and walked up the steep stair case to the top to let the fire warden know I would be wandering around for a few hours. I walked back to my car, contoured around the western side of Tower East, through some light scrub and scree fields to get to a good lookout spot to plan my day. I arrived upon a fantastic view of Tower West and the low saddle that joins it to Tower East. It looked like great walking, nice open gum forest.

And the walking was indeed delightful! The forested saddle section between the two peaks was easily my favourite part of the walk. Tall, straight Eucalyptus, with not much more than grass as ground cover. The soil is of poor quality in that region, so not a lot of under story plants grow. This made for a pretty unique looking place, and very pleasant walking; eyes up and listening to birds. I walked along at a great pace until the open forest turned into thick scrub and fallen trees. I charged through the scrub, trying to stay on top of the fallen trees as much as possible to make the walking easier, and soon reached the base of Tower West. It is more or less a ridge of small cliff faces, with occasional gullies running up to the top. All I had to do was find one of these gullies that wasn't too scrubby and climb up it! I found a gully to squeeze up. The first half was great, but it soon turned scrubby again, but I wasn't going to turn around to find another. I kept pushing through and soon reached the top! A short, satisfying climb. The view on top and along the ridge was good, especially out towards the monolith of Ben Lomond. A nice view of Tower East and where I had just come from was also visible. I hung out on top for a while, had some lunch and enjoyed the warm midday sun.

After my lunch, I stumbled down back into the scrub. Going down Tower West was A LOT easier than going up, gravity is a huge help. I found a less scrubby section to get back to my nice open forest and was soon heading to the base of Tower East again. I was soon climbing the stairs back to the top of Tower East again to let the fire warden know I was heading out (and to get my summit photo). We had a good chat and exchanged our concerns for a hot summer ahead. I thought it wouldn't be a bad job, sitting there with a cup of tea and a great view all day. I was glad to see no smoke on the horizon.

Only a 2 minute climb to the summit of Tower East, easy!

Looking towards Tower West.

So pleasant!!

Scrub-a-dub dub!

And here is my gully!

Looking to Tower East from the summit of Tower West.

Ben Lomond's vast plateau from Tower West. 

The summit of Tower East isn't the most scenic...

151 left.


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