Mt Claude

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Mt Claude

Postby wello » Tue 14 Apr, 2009 9:55 pm

Has anyone been to the top of Mt Claude (on the southern end of the Mt Roland Plateau)? I had a go on Easter monday starting from the road at the southern end. A steep climb on a partially sealed track gains considerable height to a group of communications towers. A walkers track carrys on from this point, continuing north and climbing a little. A peak is reached by a short side trip. There's a fire observation tower on the top. It's obvious the next peak is higher, so on I go walking through pleasant heathland with good views to Western Bluff and the rest of the Tiers.

Reaching the next peak, its a jumbled collection of giant colglomerate boulders. A rough pad leads up to it, with the odd cairn marking the way through the rocks. With quite a few tricky squeezes, and a bit of basic rock climbing, I reached the top of the southern (and regretably, slightly shorter) of the two summit blocks. To reach the summit, you are then expected to cross to the other block over a 3 - 5m gap, bridged by a single sloping boulder. 20 to 30m drops on all sides! I took one look and decided it wasn't for me.
claude1.jpg
This is the summit viewed from the road below.
claude1.jpg (61.49 KiB) Viewed 14259 times


Apart from being cheated of the summit, this was quite a nice walk with a good track and good views to both mountainous areas inland and the farming areas nearer the coast.

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Re: Mt Claude

Postby stu » Wed 15 Apr, 2009 7:55 am

Ah yes, the old sloping chock stone to death fall problem :wink:
Yes Wello, I have been to the true summit of this one & it was a bit of a brown pant affair.
When we did it it was a terrible day with rain & wind which made things even worse.
In the end, rather than try to climb across the inward face of this chock stone we 'mounted' & sort of crotch slid across the top of it as best we could, the young lady in our group of 3 showing fine form & showing me and a mate how to do it! I wasn't that interested either initially as it was wet & looked nasty.
The crotch shuffle ('scissoring' as we named it after a very funny South Park episode) worked fine & we all got to the top, tho the reverse was a little trickier as we then had to downwards scissor the last little bit. I find conglomerate deadly slippery when wet!
I must say it was an unexpected obstacle on this one.
The walking up along that area is very nice tho & summits aren't everything (says the peak bagger :wink: ).
Mt Van Dyke (further along the range) is much easier, tho still slippery when wet.

Cheers.

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Re: Mt Claude

Postby theMISSIONARY » Wed 15 Apr, 2009 9:21 am

I've been up to the Little fire observation post but not to the summits proper i use to ride my mountain bike down from the observation post :lol: it was a fast trip down :wink:
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Speculator » Thu 16 Apr, 2009 9:07 pm

Uhuh, the walk to Claude is really great value for your efforts, particularly if you do climb to the summit cairn. These two photos were taken from there on a nice spring afternoon:

Image South

Image East

I'm still keen to walk from Claude carpark to Kings Road carpark sometime.

L8r.
Last edited by Speculator on Wed 13 Apr, 2011 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby billshep » Thu 16 Apr, 2009 11:17 pm

Wello, You can get to the highest tor on Mt Claude without crossing the chockstone. If you keep going on the pad between the crags, past the chockstone chimney, you will see a slit in the rock at the bottom of the summit block. There used to be a little cairn near it. Squeeze through the gap into a cave, and make your way up a slab to the light , exiting just below the top- its easy from there on. I left a rope on the slab many years ago to assist. I don't know if its still there. This route may give the odd scrape and scratch but its a lot safer than the chockstone! A headlamp would help in the wee cave.
ciao Bill
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby flyfisher » Fri 17 Apr, 2009 6:34 am

Gee that sounds interesting, must check that out.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby tasadam » Fri 17 Apr, 2009 11:13 am

flyfisher wrote:Gee that sounds interesting, must check that out.
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Ditto!
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Speculator » Fri 17 Apr, 2009 11:57 am

flyfisher wrote:Gee that sounds interesting, must check that out.
FF


Uhuh, it got my attention!
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby corvus » Fri 17 Apr, 2009 1:13 pm

flyfisher wrote:Gee that sounds interesting, must check that out.
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Im in.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby tasadam » Mon 08 Jun, 2009 6:17 pm

billshep wrote:Wello, You can get to the highest tor on Mt Claude without crossing the chockstone. If you keep going on the pad between the crags, past the chockstone chimney, you will see a slit in the rock at the bottom of the summit block. There used to be a little cairn near it. Squeeze through the gap into a cave, and make your way up a slab to the light , exiting just below the top- its easy from there on. I left a rope on the slab many years ago to assist. I don't know if its still there. This route may give the odd scrape and scratch but its a lot safer than the chockstone! A headlamp would help in the wee cave.
ciao Bill

Well we went for a walk today, made the summit via the cave.
Not sure whether I went the recommended way, but found the cave ok.
Followed the track as far as the summit area, it then sidles to the north and past the highest peak - what a huge lump of rock that is.
Continued around, eventually leaving the main pad and hugging the underside of the rockface. Noticed what could be a pad of sorts leading up through an accessable area so made our way (in a bush-bash kind of way) up this gully. Found a rope tied to a tree to assist in the climb but didn't need it there.
Then turned west (right) and headed along the ridge through a brief patch of thick scrub toward the summit. The scrub cleared as we got to the rocks, and found a plethora of tunnels and caverns around the rocks.
Found the darkest cave and went in - I knew we were in the cave you speak of. So out with the head torch and located your rope. If it is about 8mm and predominantly dark blue with loops tied in knots up it, yes it's still there.
Getting up the rope isn't that difficult, then it's easy to the summit cairn.
The only tricky bit is, as has been mentioned, that conglomerate is slippery when wet, which it was.

When in the cave heading out, we noticed a stick lodged in the rocks to the west but my wife thought that way looked too difficult for our dog.
Stupid dog won't stay put when told.
We left her further back from the cave, tied to a tree with our packs, but when we went back to get the head torch, I moved the packs and the dog into the cave. We decided to leave her untied since we knew she wouldn't climb in the cave. We're on the summit and the next thing we know, there is a dog wagging its tail at us.
I don't know how she got up, but she was too thick to go back the way she came so we had to lower her down in the cave, search-and-rescue style. Not easy.
When making our way back, there's a clear area underneath the summit column to the west where the track is. Looks good for a campsite, indeed it's been recently used, they had a fire.
There is a pad leading towards the rocks there, which I suspect is the access you referred to.

We had fun. All up from car to summit, lunch, photos, rests, not rushing, return to car, a tad over 3 and a half hours.

slope in cave (rope to right).jpg
The slope in the cave that needs to be climbed.
slope in cave (rope to right).jpg (64.71 KiB) Viewed 13940 times


Taken from Claude summit.jpg
Looking down a bit, to the northwest, from the summit of Claude.
Taken from Claude summit.jpg (129.15 KiB) Viewed 13940 times
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Ent » Thu 26 Nov, 2009 3:35 pm

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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Robert » Fri 27 Nov, 2009 11:11 am

I went up to Mt. Claude last weekend with four others. All in clag and chockstone only just discernable. Will now go back and look for the easier way. Thanks for all the information.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Azza » Sun 21 Mar, 2010 6:14 pm

Went up Mt Claude today, it was a bit windy and rainy initially but cleared up as we approached the summit.
My partner wasn't keen on the chockstone after reading the forum, so we decided to have a look around for the cave option.
Much like Tasdam I am not sure if I went the recommended way, but we sidled around under the rock face and pushed up through some scrub up a gully which had obviously been trampled through many a time before. I found a crack (I think cave is a bit of an exageration in my book, it probably wasn't the right one) that allowed you to climb up to just below the summit. Which just left some easy scrambling to the top. None of it was particularly hard.
For some reason conglomerate rock gets super slippery in the wet, in hindsight I think the chockstone represented a much a safer route down in todays conditions and involved less scrambling.

20 minutes of mucking around in the scrub and scrambling on very slippery conglomerate rock, versus 2 minutes of straddling the chockstone and its all over.
From on top of the chockstone itself you can't really see the drop on either side (its a pretty big chunk of rock), you'd have to do something very wrong to fall off - despite it being slippery when wet. Just need to straddling it and shimmy along...
Anyway my partner wasn't keen on scrambling down the way we went up, in contrast she found the chockstone much safer and far less intimidating.

The thing that struck me after going up one side and down the other was that you could probably just scrub bash round to the right from just before the chockstone and avoid the caves all together?

So I'm just not sure that the cave option necessarily represents a significantly easier route for those looking to avoid the chockstone - particularly if wet.

Cheers

Aaron
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The chockstone!
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby wello » Sun 28 Mar, 2010 3:25 pm

Armed with Bilshep and Tasadams advice, I had another go at Mt Claude in January this year, and was successful in making the top. From your description aljscott, I don't think you found the cave. It's easy to be sure it was the right one, as there's a blue rope inside, permanently fixed around a boulder at the top. It is a little tricky to find it, and I'm not convinced some of the advice here represents the easiest way. I too spent 20 minutes of scrub bashing in that gully immediately east of the summit block. Its a little bit tedious, and if more people go that way it will get more trampled. If fact the easy way pretty much avoids the scrub and uses much of the same route that goes to the chock stone. I'll do my best to describe.

If you're coming from the communication towers end (sorry can't remember the name of the road) look for a side track heading off to the right in a flat grassy area immediately before the summit blocks. The side track is quite obvious, but narrower than the main track. If you stay on the main track, it starts to descend quite steeply and traverses across the northern side below the summit blocks.

If you're coming from Mt Van Dyke (good walk from this direction, worth it if you have time), keep an eye out for the slot and chock stone on your left. Shortly after that, you'll climb onto the flat grassy area and locate the side track.

Once you've found the side track, follow it for 30m or so to the boulders on the side of the grassy area (there might be a small cairn there too). A bit of rock hoping and a few squeezes are now required and there are few carins. Despite this, its a fairly obvious route (look particuarly for worn sections where the track is on dirt rather than rock). The critical point is where a slot in the rock heads up toward the top of the more western and slightly lower summit block. This base of the slot is worn, and many people have gone this way - it leads to the chock stone. Instead of following the slot upwards, continue straight. Only a few meters further, and you get a view through the slot, with the chock stone above.

.
load01.jpg
Looking through the slot, with the chockstone above.


Continue on and look to veer left up a passage between two rocks to the cave. The cave is a dark vertical slot to start with, and I was pretty sure I was in the right place once I found it.
load02.jpg
The entrance to the cave


The cave goes in a few metres, then a sloping floor at the back needs to be climbed (this is where the rope is, and its a big help). You exit out a quite small hole, surrounded by rocks on all sides. It's only 5 or so vertical metres to the summit from there, but despite this the entrance to the cave is not obvious at all from the top. Its basic rock hopping, with no exposure.

Hope this helps, as I really beleive its the safer option (moderators, this might count as specific advice about an off track area, but I beleive the safety implications make this a worthwhile post. If you disagree, sorry for posting and I trust you'll remove it).

Cheers

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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Son of a Beach » Sun 28 Mar, 2010 5:19 pm

Being largely rock, from the description, I'm guessing it's not a particularly sensitive route in which case it's well within the rules as far as off track descriptions go.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby theMISSIONARY » Sat 03 Apr, 2010 11:20 am

well that gives everyone plenty of options to get to the top :D
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby tasadam » Sun 04 Apr, 2010 3:08 pm

wello wrote: scrub bashing in that gully immediately east of the summit block. Its a little bit tedious, and if more people go that way it will get more trampled.

Agreed, it was not the most scrub-friendly ascent.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Koolix » Sun 17 Apr, 2011 1:37 pm

Dear Wello,
We followed your track notes yesterday. They were spot on and we got to the top with out any difficulty.
Cheers
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby steveh72 » Mon 13 Jun, 2011 5:46 pm

Thanks Wello,

Followed your directions & reach the top via the "blue rope" fine, I first went via the chock stone & thought - not for this black ducky, then scambled back down & went via the blue rope cave option which was quite easy.

Cheers

Steve :D :D
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby tastrekker » Mon 02 Jan, 2012 11:17 pm

Loved experiencing both chockstone and 'cave' routes up Claude today before continuing over Vandyke and Roland. Glorious day. Pics on Facebook here.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby MrWalker » Tue 03 Jan, 2012 8:03 am

I don't know why you peak baggers insist in getting to the precise top of Mt Claude. The views going up are amazing since the track wanders back and forth across the ridge line, so you get alternate views to the north and the south. Because the views are in both directions they are overall better than either Mt Van Dyke or Mt Roland and the peak itself is more interesting to look at. Mt Claude also has the advantage that you can start at a higher level than if just climbing Mt Van Dyke or Mt Roland.
So it's worth a visit even without attempting to get to the topmost rock.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby tastrekker » Tue 03 Jan, 2012 9:18 am

G'day Mr Walker,
I agree with you wholeheartedly. Claude (as with most mountains) is well worth the trip even if the tippy top is not visited. I also don't know why us "peak baggers insist in getting to the precise top" of anything. I can't put words to it but it's a very strong urge that wells up from somewhere inside me. Perhaps someone else can express the drive better than I can. I think there's been a few peak bagging discussions here over the years which may give some clues.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby Taurë-rana » Tue 03 Jan, 2012 11:01 am

I agree with tastrekker - it is a very strong and irresistible internal urge that I think perhaps you are either born with or not. Maybe it has something to do with how competitive one is, or how much we need to prove ourselves? Or maybe for me it's because I'm short and therefore being able to look down on everything else is a unique and wonderful feeling not often found in everyday life! All I know is that it has been part of me since my first memories as a little child.
For me, being 'on top of the world' is a very powerful experience that isn't quite the same when I am a few metres below the summit.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby north-north-west » Wed 11 Jan, 2012 7:25 pm

Taurë-rana wrote:I agree with tastrekker - it is a very strong and irresistible internal urge that I think perhaps you are either born with or not.


As George Mallory said: "Because it's there." If you understand, you don't need to have it explained to you. And if you don't, there aren't enough words in all the languages in the world to explain it.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby User54321 » Sat 14 Jan, 2012 3:23 pm

I got into peak bagging because I like walking on an incline (trudging up hill helps me turn my brain off). I always go to the tippy-top because I think I would feel a bit silly or regretful later on if I walked for several hours/days and didn't do the last 2 metres.

I enjoyed Mt Claude. Nice, easy and interesting (with the brief climbing and rope fun at the top) peak. The last couple of metres (with the beginners climbing and caving) was what made the walk so good.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby doogs » Tue 03 Jul, 2012 6:55 pm

I guess I found a third way up to the summit today then!! There is a reasonably straightforward climb on the north side of the summit block which is accessed through the caves below the chockstone. It is on the face and up a crack with some exposure but easy enough climbing moves.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby stepbystep » Mon 30 Jul, 2012 7:27 am

I traversed from Roland to Claude last week. Very nice walk(for the north :P )

I went up Claude the way Wello went switched to Stu's 'scissoring' stone and came out via the cave. Wouldn't fancy going up via the cave pretty wet and slimy on the glom!

An ice cream stand in the fire tower would be an excellent addition!
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Mon 30 Jul, 2012 8:05 am

I'd probably prefer the wet cave than the wet chock stone though.. at least in the cave there are good ropes set up. And if you did manage to somehow fall in the cave it wouldnt be fatal.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby stepbystep » Mon 30 Jul, 2012 9:18 am

ILUVSWTAS wrote:I'd probably prefer the wet cave than the wet chock stone though.. at least in the cave there are good ropes set up. And if you did manage to somehow fall in the cave it wouldnt be fatal.


Howling wind would send me to the cave, the chockstone really isn't difficult when wet.
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Re: Mt Claude

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Mon 30 Jul, 2012 9:26 am

No it's probably not, but there is still exposure, none in the cave. And what kid at heart doesnt love a cave with batman ropes set up in it. :D
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