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Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 1:50 pm
by shardie
Armed with a GPS file from an 'online friend', a mate and I headed off towards Mt Barney National Park. We parked above the Upper Portals (accessed by 4WD's only via Waterfall Ck Rd, South of Mt May camping area) and set off a bit after sunrise. We descended to Yamahra Ck via a well-worn track followed the creek to reached the junction with Mt Barney Ck around 7am. The track to Monserrat lookout is on the North side of Mt Barney Ck & on the West side of Yamahra Ck.
The track to Monserrat is easy to follow & a good opportunity to warm your leg muscles as you ascend from 550m to ~1000m on this 1.8km leg of the trek.
steep ascent Monserrat.jpg

MtBarney from MOnserrat.jpg

From Monserrat, we said goodbye to an easily followed track. We said goodbye to the open eucalyptus forest. We said hello to push-your-way-thru dark rainforest & headed SW across a hidden saddle to a nearby (600m leg) un-named peak. Note: there may be a discernible track from Monserrat to Mowburra..........but we didn't find/follow it.
thick rainforest.jpg

Much of the time you could walk under the spectacular overhead vegetation but at times, that same spectacular vegetation, was in your face & making the going difficult. The 360 degree views from Mowburra Peak are wonderful. I have done Mt Greville a few times and the 'scars' that are Palm Gorge & Waterfall Gorge are very obvious from Mowburra.
Looking NW from MowburraPeak.jpg

Heading easterly along the ridge from Mowburra takes you to a 1.8km slope off the mountains back to Yamahra Ck. At this point, have a quick motivational pep talk to your leg muscles. It takes an hour & a half to make the way down a steep slope (descent of 400m) thru knee high grass hiding rocks/holes/branches/logs. My advice is "Keep Calm & Carry On". At the bottom of the slope, head towards Grace's Hut [Note, Warning, Achtung: I am unsure if this is private property :? There was a group of people (maybe two families) at the buildings, we waved as we passed and they friendly waved back.]
From the GoogleEarth view, you can (hopefully) see we followed saddles, slopes & ridges to make the circuit. It took us ~7.5 hours. We were able to complete the walk with the directions from the GPS file (see Wikiloc, search for Bluefreddo) although we completed the circuit in a clockwise direction (Bluefreddo walked anticlockwise).
Monserrat & Mowburra Peak.jpg

.........all up, a good day was had by all :)

Re: Monserrat Lookout & MOwburra Peak

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 1:56 pm
by Pteropus
Hi Shawn, It might be my computer but your photos are not displaying. They just come up with a little red X and the word 'Image'. Anyone else getting that?

Re: Monserrat Lookout & MOwburra Peak

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 2:01 pm
by shardie
I am unsure how long it takes panoramio to update/upload the images :-S It's my first attempt of including images with the text rather than uploading as attachments.
I'll upload the attachments just on the off chance my 'inserting images' doesn't work.

Plan B - inline the attachments :)

Re: Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 2:16 pm
by eggs
Photos look ok here

Re: Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 2:17 pm
by Pteropus
Attachments are working fine now. Nice trip! Seems like a few of us all got out on the weekend!

Re: Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 4:58 pm
by ofuros
Enjoyed your adventure shardie, thanks for sharing.
What was tick situation like....last time i was in the area they tried to drag me into the bushes !
Any informal camping areas on Mowburra like the one at Monserrat ?

Re: Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Mon 07 May, 2012 9:16 pm
by shardie
Hi Ofurus,
As the world is your toilet if you are a guy..........................every site is a campsite if you have a hammock ;-).
I would avoid Yamahra Ck at this time of the year as it is 'brass monkey country'. We experienced the crunch of frosty grass and its only the start of May.

no ticks, only one leech, however I'm still picking out fibres & thorns and I am throwing out a shirt rather than removing all the cobler pegs.

We were going to make this trip into an overnighter but I wasn't successful at herding the cats/mates.

Re: Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 7:21 am
by ofuros
No ticks..check, a rogue leech...check, cold crunchy Yamahra campsite..check, & plenty o' tree's for my hammock on mowburra to watch
the setting sun...& enjoy the happy hour.
Its all good. :D

Cheers for the update Shardie....

Re: Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Tue 28 May, 2019 12:29 pm
by Kuhr
Thank you for the report you posted here Shardie, it was very helpful.

I went with two friends last Sunday to walk a similar route, up to Mowburra Peak from the further-est north ridge to the west (with permission)

The track was initially a 4WD track, we did lose it over a small knoll, but regained it contouring to a low grassy saddle that headed up to Mowburra Peak. The walking track on wards was through knee high grass but very distinct. Good views from the peak, but trees got a bit in the way.

We then proceeded into the rain forest, which was a complete eye opener..not that we could see much. The plan was to avoid Duramlee Peak, and contour around Focal Peak via cedar pass to Montserrat Lookout. I can see now we contoured maybe 200 metres too far north of the pass, and slippery scree slopes, steep gullies and very scratchy vegetation in our faces was our lot. It was extremely slow going, and any sign of a trail was fanciful on our part - there is none. Even when we regained the ridge and were supposedly on the Focal-Ballow trail, nothing resembling a trail could be seen until we hit an unnamed peak not long before Montserrat, and even that trail was vague and easily lost.

After a very trying trip through the rain forest, we finally emerged right on top of Montserrat to the best views of Mount Barney I have ever witnessed, even better than from Mount May. A shame it was at this point overcast!

The trip down the ridge from Montserrat to the stockyards was very distinct and easy going through open eacalypt forest, a pleasant change from the ordeal we endured beforehand. Eventually we made our way back from here to Cleared Ridge and the cars.

My takeaway from this is that a walk to and from Mowburra Peak itself, or to and from Montserrat Lookout itself would be a great day walk, but I would not subject the rain forest section between them on anyone I liked, although perhaps time will diminish this memory into a less unpleasant reminiscence.

All up we finished just shy of seven hours, considerably sooner than we intended, considering I am a larger walker and not as fit as some, with plenty of daylight hours left. We encountered no leeches or ticks. Both my companions did have a slight brush with a stinging tree, but not serious.

A great walk, but not sure I would repeat the entire circuit with the rain forest section.

I took photos, but not sure how photos work or if I should post them.

Re: Monserrat Lookout & Mowburra Peak

PostPosted: Wed 29 May, 2019 11:26 am
by dalehikes
Hi Kuhr,

There is no footpad whatsoever in the focal peak area besides faint ones when you get closer to Montserrat. It is a navigation juggling act in there. I found the rainforest to be incredible and thoroughly enjoyed the push through there. Although, I'm a Lamington nut so rainforest bashing is my favourite activity :D