Glass House Mountains National Park – again.
After spending 3 days wandering the trail of the Glass House Mountains, I’m back to climb one that doesn’t have one. This time I’m walking with my hiking group and the mountain is Mount Tunbubudla East, a 300m tall, off track climb and is rated hard, mainly due to it being trackless.
Getting to the mountain is a mission in of itself. The old ‘major road’ that it’s off is actually a boggy dirt road and is untraversable without an off-road vehicle. We parked at the entrance and as a group walked about a kilometre to the muddy starting point. We waited for others to arrive and find us before we headed off into the untracked grass at the base of the mountain.
I led the way, pushing a path through the long grass for the others to follow. At the beginning there was a vague track, but this soon disappeared. The initial portion of the climb was up tree laden, broken ground. With no track, I had to evaluate each step and find suitable gaps between tree branches.
The climb became steeper before flattening out the higher we got, but because of the thick tree cover we were unable to see the views. As we approached the top we came to a large rocky area which did allow us a better view, north across the other Glass House Mountains.
We reached the top and sat for lunch at the rocky cairn. I surveyed the route leading towards the West peak but found it too steep to descend. Alone it would have been fine, but with a large group in tow I made the call to return the way we’d come. This disappointed some, as the climbing down in that direction would have led to the climbing of the smaller, steeper twin.
The climb down held the same issues as the climb up – a lack of trail – and it’s also harder to see where you’re putting your feet. I again led, picking our way down the side of the mountain. We arrived at the base in short order and walked across the needle covered grass until we reached the muddy road. We could have climbed the other peak, but the mutual decision was not to. A kilometre later we were at the cars and headed off for a well-deserved beer at the Beerwah Hotel.