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Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sun 05 Jul, 2015 9:14 pm

Hi all,

First of all - I am basically a Barney novice, having only been there a couple of times. My first trip was about 5 years ago, when I did the south ridge to east peak and return. Earlier today I had a shot at south-east ridge to east peak and descent via south ridge (some pics below).

Was just wondering if perhaps some of the more experienced Barney hikers here might be able to help assemble a list of routes on the mountain from easiest to most difficult? I (and perhaps others) would find this very useful, to have an idea of what the next 'step up' is in regards to routes, having now done possibly the two easiest ones. Robert Rankin in his Secrets of the Scenic Rim gives various routes a rating (1-5) based on technical difficulty and exposure, however, this does not take into consideration navigational challenges or other difficulties relating to distance/time required etc, which might factor into which route would be most suitable to tackle next. I have no rockclimbing experience and would prefer to avoid ropes, at least to start with (as I don't exactly know how to use one...).

The south-east ridge was great fun, the views were awesome... particularly loved the razorback section about halfway up. Only had trouble in one spot at a small rock slab that had some water trickling down making it very slippery (Cams has a photo of the rock in question on his blog here, 2nd image down: ... ast-ridge/). Some thrilling views of the east face from near the top.
Looking down on what I assume is the lower sections of Logan's Ridge
Not far to go now! Half an hour from the east peak
From the summit (or near enough)
West peak and rum jungle during descent from east peak

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sun 05 Jul, 2015 11:15 pm

I can't be of much assistance sorry, having only done S, SE and Logan's, but this link here has a little additional info: ... l#label007
Navigationally I found Logan's a little more challenging than SE, there being a few more sections where difficulties/exposure can be reduced by having a look around.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Mon 06 Jul, 2015 6:27 am

No help either.....but your pics make me want to scramble up a few more of 'Ol Lumpy's' ridges. 8)

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Mon 06 Jul, 2015 8:00 pm

Oh yeah.
Got my first taste of Barney recently and will be back for more.
Great photo's

You can look on Brisbane Bushwalking Clubs website.
There is a pdf where they use their gradings across a whole range of walks / climbs.
Most of the Barney options are there.
South (Peasants) easiest then goes up from there.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Mon 06 Jul, 2015 10:06 pm

Thanks drewmac and findbuddha.

From the BBC pdf listing the Barney walks, it looks like it would go something like...

South Ridge
Isolated Peak via NE Ridge
SE Ridge / Savages / North / Midget / Barney Gorge / Barrabool Peak
Mezzanine / Logans
Logan-Savages / Eagles
Short/Long Leaning Ridge (apparently requiring an abseil)

Bushpeople's guide gives the following 'rankings':

South Ridge
Gwyala Peak
Egan Creek / SE Ridge
Midget Ridge / North Ridge
Barney Gorge / Rocky Creek / Barrabool Ridges
Savages / Barney Spur / Logans / Mezzanine
Moonlight Slabs / NE Ridge
Eagles Ridge
Leaning Ridges

And just for comparison, I'll include Rankin's rankin' (for technical difficulty/exposure):

Gwyala Peak North Ridge
South Ridge / SE Ridge / Midget Ridge / North Ridge / NE Ridge / Barrabool Ridges / Barney Gorge / Egan Creek
Mezzanine / Savage's / Barney Spur / Rocky Creek
Eagles / Leaning Peaks / Logans

Ah, so many choices! It's difficult to know where to start. It's interesting to see Logan's float around a fair bit between the three sources.

Gwyala appears to be the easiest option I haven't done, but the base point is Upper Portals... which is already a long walk in (from north of Mt May without a 4WD)... suspect this would be pushing it for a day trip, although I haven't done any walks in this section so not sure how much time I'd need to allow for it.

The other options that appear to be on par with South and SE are Midget Ridge, North Ridge and Egan Creek. Has anyone done any of these routes recently, or have any comments on their 'scenicness' or interest (not much point in scaling a mountain for the sake of it, without much in the way of good views/nice forest to walk through!).

Also, what's the trip up west peak from the saddle like? I've heard it's a bit more hairy than east peak...

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Tue 07 Jul, 2015 10:07 pm

Hey, not sure if this should be a new thread or not but I'll ask here anyway.

A few friends and I are planning to do mount Barney in just over a weeks time and I was wondering how difficult it would be for a group of somewhat inexperienced people. Is there anything in particular that might be overly dangerous or that we should look out for? At this stage we're planning to do the south ridge walk.

Oh also, is this doable in a single day session?

Thanks in advance guys

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Tue 07 Jul, 2015 11:36 pm

Hey bobby,

As mentioned previously, I am certainly no Mt Barney veteran. However, the mountain is a considerable undertaking for the unprepared and I would suggest that you bushwalk regularly or are of good fitness before attempting it. It really depends on what you mean by 'somewhat inexperienced.' I would recommend going with someone who has done the route before, or that you have sound navigational skills as there are few markers and it is not uncommon for people to get lost on the mountain. In fact, during the walk described above I encountered someone who somehow became disoriented and lost the track - he was yelling out 'help' for some time and was fortunate that there was someone nearby that heard his calls and came to the rescue.

If you are not a regular bushwalker, I might suggest to tackle an 'easier' mountain first. Nearby Mt Maroon, while still a tough walk, is a much easier option. If you have trouble with this walk, I would reconsider attempting Mt Barney at this time/with that group. There are many other more straight-forward hikes in the area that are much easier, shorter and provide just as spectacular views.

Having said that, if you are fit and navigationally sound, Mt Barney is an excellent day out. For a first time (particularly without someone who has been there before), the South ridge is probably the way to go (again, based on my limited knowledge of the mountain). It can certainly be done in one day, although you should get an early start. With a large group of 'somewhat inexperienced' walkers you can expect to take most of the day to reach the East peak and return. Many first-timers run out of time to scale the east peak from the saddle, having started too late in the day - at least, this is what I noticed on the weekend. Make sure you have a pre-determined turnaround time to avoid being caught out after dark. One option is to camp at the base of the mountain (it is roughly 1 hour walk from Yellowpinch carpark to the campsites along Cronan Creek) and climb Mt Barney with a day pack the next day. This will save you having to lug big packs up the mountain and give you more time to enjoy the views.

Apart from navigation, the only thing you need to be aware of is that there is some considerable scrambling required in this walk, particularly from the saddle to the east peak. None of this is very difficult if you are used to scrambling on rocks, however, and the exposure is never great. Expect to go through several litres of water, although there was plenty of water at the saddle on the weekend if you can treat it en route.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 08 Jul, 2015 12:17 am

Hey thanks for the reply, I shouldn't have been so vague, but by inexperienced I mean we have bushwalking and some light scrambling experience, but nothing that required a great deal of fore-planning. We're all in pretty good physical shape, was more worried about the scrambling/navigation aspects of it.

I'll look into Mt Maroon though, might be a better option, especially since it would be a shame to have to get so far up and turn around before the peak because it got too tricky. Thanks for the suggestion.

I was thinking leaving 6am from Brisbane, for a roughly 8am start, I think this should leave enough time if we don't dawdle too much. I'll have to have a talk to everyone going to see how comfortable they would be with more difficult terrain and make a decision from there, but maybe the more adventurous of our party can attempt it another day.

Thanks for the great post

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 08 Jul, 2015 9:09 am

If you are in good shape and have done plenty of bushwalking/scrambling then you should be fine to complete the walk in a day, just bear in mind that you will need to keep on the move to give yourself enough time as you must ascend (and then descend) 1000 m!

In terms of navigation, the first couple of hours are very easy - you follow a dirt road to the base of the mountain, which eventually becomes a wide path at the start of the south ridge (there's even a sign at this point). As you start the ridge proper the path becomes less obvious, but there are orange markers nailed to the rocks at certain places to keep you on the right route. The higher up you get, the more scrambling involved. There is one section with a steep, wide rock slab that I have read is difficult in the wet, but you should have no troubles with in the dry as there are indents in the rock where you can get good holds.

At the saddle there is an obvious campsite where the ground is cleared - if you have started early enough you should be fine to make the east summit from here. I would allow about 2 hours return to this point, although you may need more time if you want to sit up on top for a bit. There are several faint tracks to the east peak from the saddle, but as long as you head in that general direction you should make it fine. Be aware that whiteouts are quite common here, and this is where having a compass and topo map becomes important. Also worthwhile packing a jacket etc as the weather can change quickly near the top, even if the rest of the south east is clear. When returning to the saddle simply aim for the west peak and you will end up back in the rainforest near the creek. Be careful not to head too far north at this point. When you descend from the saddle back down the South ridge, remember you need to ascend for about half a km first, don't take a downhill path or you will not find the correct track.

As with climbing any rocky mountain, I would give it a miss if the weather looks iffy. Better to choose a fine day, get great views and avoid slipping on wet rock. ;)

Mt Maroon is definitely a worthwhile walk in its own right, if you are not confident for Barney right off I would give it a shot first - you certainly won't be disappointed with the views from the summit.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Tue 28 Jul, 2015 1:58 pm

It's all probably a bit subjective, but here's my order (mixture of exposure and effort):

    Pretty much all the creeks leading to the eagle's ridgeline (to isolated saddle)
    Moonlight slabs (to isolated saddle)
    Egan Ck
    Rocky Ck
    NE ridge/creek of isolated
    Barney Gorge
    Eagle's (to isolated saddle)
    Eagle's (isolated saddle to N)
    Short leaning

Obviously a fair few of the western ridges are missing there. Up to about Barney Gorge in that list, I wouldn't say there's any more "climbing" moments than SE or S, just more navigation. Logan's by some measures is a bit more technical than some that follow it, but it's such an established route that it's hard to get in other forms of trouble. Your kilometreage may vary.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 29 Jul, 2015 8:15 pm

sef wrote: Logan's by some measures is a bit more technical than some that follow it, but it's such an established route that it's hard to get in other forms of trouble. Your kilometreage may vary.

Yeah, haven't done all of the routes rated, but I can't get my head around those which have Logan's similarly rated to Eagle's - I thought Logan's was considerably less involved.

What are the slabs / cliffs to the right of Eagles? I got stuck with some friends going up there when we were young, dumb and poor navigators and the last part was very exposed and scary, short sections of probably grade 12-13 climbing at the end. With packs on and many hundreds of metres of free fall below - well I was very, very scared!

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Thu 30 Jul, 2015 12:14 am

Barney is a great part of the world. Mike Groom used to do laps up it to train for Everest. I can't recall an easy time on Barney. Eagles Ridge was one of the hardest with so much up an down and abseils and wrong routes, etc. etc. While it was a few years ago now, and since then have been mostly Tassy hiking, the last hike was an epic which involved: in from car park to Lower and Upper Portals, this was after those floods and the you couldn't rock hop above the upper portals to the camp near the start of the gorge, I hiked around back up to the ridge and my buddy waded through head deep freezing water; day 2 up the gorge, seemed a lot more exposed than I recall from younger years, camped below the saddle at the old hut site (forget name); then up west peak and contoured around then out towards Gwaila peak where there is no track and intense vegetation, eked out a crappy camp in the scrub with trickles of water from a rock soak for night 3, bashed onwards the next day up the next peak and eventually down the ridge back to Barney Creek, and then the very long trudge on the inland route back to the car park arriving at about 11pm. So, if you are completely crazy, check it out.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sun 02 Aug, 2015 1:36 pm

Thanks guys,

Thinking for my next shot at Barney to ascend via North Ridge to North Peak, up to East Peak and then down Egan Creek from the saddle. Should give me some interesting variation and those routes look like the next 'step up' from what I have gathered so far. Any idea how long this might take all up (compared to other routes)?

My understanding for North Ridge is that you first ascend Logan's, then cut across Rocky Creek to North Ridge. Is the location where you depart Logan's obvious? If anyone has any shots from this route that would be great to get a look at. :)


Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Thu 06 Aug, 2015 3:41 pm

Hi, I am taking a small group up Barney in 2 weeks, keen to go via Logan's for the first time. I have been up and down Peasant's & SE Ridge numerous times. Just needed someone to confirm the set off point for Logan's and is it as hairy/scary as some people have suggested. Should I bring ropes and harness?

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sat 08 Aug, 2015 11:53 am

'hairy/scary'? Yes there is some exposure and it is steep near the top but everyone will assess that differently depending on experience and how easily you get spooked.
Robert Rankin ('Secrets of the Scenic Rim') recommends 'that anyone attempting this ridge have some basic training in rockclimbing, and if packs are heavy, a rope is essential for protection' and this is followed by a description of the route.(page 64 of Issue 1)
Incidentally Issue 2 of his book is currently available and I would recommend you get yourself a copy.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Mon 10 Aug, 2015 9:09 pm

I've spent a fair bit of time on the mount now, and would generally agree with sef's opinions above. Note that there are several variants of most of the routes... for example Logans has quite a well worn 'Teeny's track' that bypasses a lot of rock slabs/lovely arete higher up, but trades that lack of exposure for slower, dirtier going. Similarly you can avoid sections of the dirty (and frankly dangerous) chimney section right near the top by opting for exposed rock work/slithering through scunge... consequently your mileage will vary depending on your chosen route.

I would never ever go anywhere on Barney without a light rope/slings. We've used a rope to protect noobies who weren't confident, hand-over-hand down the gulch from Leaning into the gorge, rap down the Rocky Ck waterfall, speed progress after getting bluffed out coming down Nth etc etc etc... for the weight involved it's a no-brainer insurance policy... especially if you get your mate to carry it!

Champion_Munch: you've signed up for a pretty long day there.... I love Nth ridge... all the views and slab work of Logans but somehow it never seems as arduous. Once you've capped out Nth Pk why not head straight back down Rocky Ck (rope strongly suggested for one small waterfall section) and end up back where you started... shorter distance to travel makes for more time to get lost^H^H^H^ enjoy the sights in daylight!

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Tue 11 Aug, 2015 8:39 am

Thanks for the tip wokket. I have never gone hiking with a rope before - can you explain to a noobie how you would use it exactly??


Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Tue 11 Aug, 2015 7:35 pm

Hopefully somebody more knowledgeable than me can chime in, but for something like the Rocky Ck waterfall it generally consists of:

1. Take one end of said rope behind a suitable tree (the larger and more secure the better)
2. Tie a light knot in the two loose ends (to keep them together, and as a good habit to be in)
3. Re-flake the rope evenly as a double so you end up with an arm of full of double rope, and the middle of the rope sitting behind your chosen tree
4. Toss the rope down the steep thing you're needing to get down - Make sure it reaches the bottom!!!
5. Get down the steep thing using the rope as needed... I won't go into too much detail here as it varies depending on your skills/the countryside.., everything from just using it as a hand-hold (like any other fixed rope/chain) to a full abseil (Leaning Pk!) is potentially up for grabs
6. Once everyone is down untie the knot, pull one end to get your rope back, and continue on.

You can also tie people in to an end/the middle (if carrying slings/carabiners, or good with your rope work) and have one person stay on top and belay them down steep sections for safety (and similarly up)... we did this on West Pk last week. The steep chimney just below the summit was pretty damp/grotty. We went up without a rope but decided discretion was the better part of valour coming back down. Only added a couple of minutes to the trip but was immeasurably safer for all involved.

If you're not really used to abseiling/basic climbing rope-work it might be worth hanging with your local rock-climbing crew for a while. You'll learn way more about climbing technique/ropework than you ever thought you'd need!

Of course you can even just use it to pack-haul and make everyone feel a little more confident by removing the back-heavy sensation.

Does that help?

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 12 Aug, 2015 11:14 am

Thanks wokket, that makes good sense. What length rope do you recommend for the Rocky Creek route? Is there a particular type of rope you would normally use for this kind of dig?

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sun 16 Aug, 2015 12:17 am

Champ there is a small rock cairn on the right as you ascend logans for the start of the north ridge traverse. There are phone gps hiking aps that aren't to bad with pre traced tracks( orux maps )etc

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Tue 19 Apr, 2016 10:47 pm

Last Sunday I returned to Barney and combined the South-east ridge with Egan Creek for the next 'step up.' This time I didn't find SE difficult at all - the little section last time that I had trouble with ('Wave Rock') was dry this time around and posed no troubles. Took 3.5 hours from Yellowpinch to East Peak, but much slower return via Egan Creek (5.5 hours) so ended up a fairly long day. The creek is very pretty, particularly high up close to the saddle, although lots of scunge and vines towards the end which made it fairly slow going. Plenty of water in the creek but most of the waterfalls could be skirted around easily enough. An enjoyable challenge, looking forward to the next Barney adventure!
West Peak from SE Ridge up top
Waterfall on Egan Creek
Cronan Creek

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 15 Jun, 2016 2:36 pm

Thinking of doing Eagles next. Whets the quickest return route as I don't want the hassle of car swap/bicycle?

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 15 Jun, 2016 8:00 pm

Just don't go this weekend, severe weather warning again for SE QLD

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 15 Jun, 2016 10:29 pm

tybrisbane wrote:Thinking of doing Eagles next. Whets the quickest return route as I don't want the hassle of car swap/bicycle?

Assuming your car is at the lower portals car park, return via Rocky Creek.
Description here:
and, as it says, avoid in wet weather.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Mon 29 Aug, 2016 9:49 pm

Made a return to Mount Barney just over a week ago, tackling the north ridge this time on up to east peak and down the peasant route. Loved the open slabs on north ridge - lots of great views and everything seems to be in flower at the moment! Probably the trickiest part was finding the easiest route from north peak down to the east-north saddle, as there is a gaping chasm in between. Also the cleft at the north ridge summit seems to be a funnel for water to trickle down the ridge, so it was a bit slippery towards the top. Unfortunately there was a lot of bush burning going on at Mount Ballow so it was quite dusty and difficult to see much from about halfway up.
Some hairy looking sections partway up north ridge, realise they are quite easy when you get a bit closer
Not far to go...
Isolated peak and Mt Maroon, near the top of north peak.
Bossiaea rupicola (red bush pea)
Leptospermum species (tea tree)

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Wed 31 Aug, 2016 9:51 pm

drewmac wrote:Oh yeah.
Got my first taste of Barney recently and will be back for more.
Great photo's

You can look on Brisbane Bushwalking Clubs website.
There is a pdf where they use their gradings across a whole range of walks / climbs.
Most of the Barney options are there.
South (Peasants) easiest then goes up from there.

I've just checked out the BBW site and was amazed at the detail they provide with regard to a wide range of walks. Far be it for me to criticize (I was privileged to be a member of this fine club in the late 60s-early 70s) however it seems to me that a system along the lines of the Hobart Walking Club in the 1990s might be more usable for beginners! Briefly, it is a "binary" description combining LENGTH of walk and DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY. Typically, the grading of walks ranges from S/E (short-easy) to L/R (long - rough). Ironically, there are few "short" walks on Barney (except, of course, Lower Portals - and that doesn't go to the summit(s)!) Peasant's Ridge is one of the LONGER walks (16-17kms) but its degree of difficulty is not great (in relative terms, I mean)

It's important to remember that a long-easy walk can be just as demanding (physically) as a short-difficult walk.

While distance is something that (in theory, at least) can be accurately measured, using one of those hi-tech gizmos; far more problematic is the question of "grading" terrain (slope, vegetation, prevailing weather conditions, condition of surface, etc)

In other words, the whole exercise is problematic! Better just to enjoy the experience and not be bothered with all that other stuff!!!

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Thu 01 Sep, 2016 2:15 am

"The Wedding Cake" from Cronan's Creek
Barney East (from Yellow Pinch)
Ernest & Lindesay from South Ridge
The Septuagenarian on East Pk

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sat 10 Sep, 2016 10:23 pm

Still climbing mountains into your 70s Nungulba, that's incredible - I hope I am still able to summit Barney at that age!

A query for experienced Barney walkers: for my next trip, I am thinking of heading up Barney Gorge, across to West Peak and then down Midget Ridge. Is this actually achievable in a day, or am I really pushing it (starting from car park)? For comparison, the other routes I've done have taken: SE/South 6 hrs; SE/Egan Ck 9 hrs; North/South 8 hrs. I usually start walking around 7-7:30am, so with sunset after 5:30pm that would give me 10-11 hours of light, perhaps a little more if I started a bit earlier.

The route would be entirely new to me past the Lower Portals, and I've read that midget ridge is fairly scrubby so not quite sure how long the descent would take. I really enjoyed Egan Creek and would like to explore more of the western areas, particularly the gorge. I imagine that if Barney gorge takes longer than anticipated I could bail out and just head back down the south ridge and back along the roads, but it would be nice to get up to West Peak for once.

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sun 11 Sep, 2016 8:47 am

I did Barney gorge about a month ago and from memory it took me about 4 hours to get to rum jungle from lower portals car park . I think I did the south east / south ridge walk in about 5.5 hours last time so I would assume you would take a similar amount of time as me to do Barney gorge. This would give you 6 or 7 hours of daylight to summit west peak and decend which seems like it should be plenty (I havnt climbed west peak or midget ridge so I don't know for sure)

Re: Mount Barney Routes Ranked

Sun 11 Sep, 2016 5:30 pm

Thanks Drazah, that makes me feel a bit more confident. What were the conditions like then? I understand there are a couple of waterfalls that you need to bypass low down in the gorge
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