Ascent of Mount Roland on 2019-01-25

Climber: Jude N.

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, January 25, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Roland
    Elevation:4049 ft / 1234 m

Ascent Trip Report

The track to Mount Roland proved to be the easiest part of an impromptu traverse of Mount Vandyke and Claude. It was a muggy and overcast day, with the smoke from the fires filling the valleys. I sweated a lot making it up onto Roland’s scrubby summit plateau, but made good time to the rocky summit from which there were sweeping but very hazy views. Returning to the saddle below Vandyke, I set off for a second summit of the day. As I had been quick, the idea of traversing to Mount Claude became more and more appealing. After a scramble, I took in impressive views of the great northern bluff of Mount Roland from Vandyke, and decided I’d continue and make a big day of climbing Claude as well. The ridge line towards Claude was not too steep and the track seemed quite well used as it passed through pretty scrubland. Along the way I made a side trip to an unnamed peak which may be higher than Vandyke, which took some scrambling and bush-bashing but gave fine views. Back on the trail, it was now time to descend into the saddle between me and Claude. It was then a substantial climb back into the subalpine zone. As I approached Claude it looked rather innocuous but I was feeling tired and the closer I got the scrubbier it looked. The track descended around the side of it so I decided to cut through and climb the two summits. The scrub was, unfortunately, extremely dense and unpleasant, and the huge boulders were not much easier. I found myself under them a few times and was quite scratched by the time I reached the first summit. I didn’t climb the final rock as I could see the other summit had a cairn on it. It looked difficult to climb but I made my way there, slowly and painfully. I found a steep scramble up the side, and somehow made it to the cairn. This seemed to be a stroke of luck as a fair few people seem to have failed to summit Claude. I descended the same way to be sure, and decided to head straight down to the track. This was a bad idea, plunging me into impenetrable scrub which I would sink into until I could barely see sunlight, and certainly couldn’t see solid ground beneath me. It was a nightmare pushing through, and I could have easily just sat on a rock and cried. After some very sketchy down-climbs using vegetation to create a semi-controller descent, I burst out onto the path, to my great relief. The rest of the track to the end of the range was easy, fortunately, as I was exhausted. My friends picked me up at the road.

Those attempting should make sure to leave the whole day as it is 24km. Do not attempt to cut across Mount Claude - follow online instructions if planning to climb it.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble

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