Published: August 6th 2007February 10th 2007
For a challenge I thought I would climb (and walk up) the four main legal peaks of the Glass House Mountains in a day. Mt Coonowrin is currently closed for climbing due to lose rocks.
According to the aboriginal dream time story each of the peaks represents a member of a family. Mt Beerwah was the pregnant mother, Mt Tibrogargan the father, Mt Coonowrin the eldest son and the rest of the hills the other children. The eldest son would not help his mother escape from the rising sea instead running away with fear, the father struck Coonowrin, resulting in the crocked neck. Later Coonowrin would beg for forgiveness but the family could only weep in shame (resulting in the many small creeks in the region).
The white fella version of the creation of the mountains is a volcanic eruption which occurred around 25 million years ago. Much of this volcano has now been eroded leaving behind the distinct Glass House Mountain peaks. Captain Cook spotted and named the mountains in 1770, most probably after the glass houses in England. Mt Beerwah
Ascent Height: 369m
Duration: 4 hours (including accent and descent)
The first peak
I climbed is Mt Beerwah, I got to the base at around 1.30 am as I wanted to be on the summit by sunrise. The start of the walk is a fairly easy bushwalk, with lots of cane toads to avoid stepping on. After about 600m the rock face begins, its not particularly steep but fairly smooth particularly at the start making this the hardest peak out of the ones I climbed. I had the moon illuminating the path and I stoped at a few points to take photos. Eventually the rock face ends at a huge overhanging cliff, the track follows the cliff face around to a point where a steady track reaches the final summit. I reached the top at around 3.45am, with lots of time to spare before sunrise.
The sunrise wasn’t particularly spectacular unfortunately, the early rays did illuminate the landscape nicely though.
I started making my way down at around 6.15am, taking the same route as on the way up. I managed to get slightly lost right near the summit, but it did not take too long to find the correct route down. About an hour and a half later I was back
From a previous trip, waiting for the sunset on Mt Beerwah.
down to the base of the peak. A young lady jumped off the summit and landed right next to me with some sort of hand glider, unfortunately I didn’t notice this until she hit the ground with a thud only a few meters from me! What a way to make your way down. Mt Tibrogargan Circuit
Duration : 1 hour
Next I did the circuit walk around Mt Tibrogargan, no climbing is required for this one. There is a great lookout with views out towards Mt Beerwah and Mt Coonowrin from this circuit. Further along there is a great view of the eastern side of Mt Tibrogargan. Mt Ngungun
Ascent Height: 184m
Duration: 1.5 hours (including accent and descent)
This one is all hands free, starts off with a fairly easy bushwalk up, including some steps up. Further along it gets a little steeper along a brown dirt track and finishes off with a steady bushwalk up. From the peak of Mt Ngungun, Mt Beerwah and Mt Coonowrin are almost right in line making for great photos. The route down is once again the same as for the route up. Mt Tibrogargan
From a previous trip.
Ascent Height: 304m
Duration: 3 hours (including accent and descent)
Once again the path to the peak starts of as a bushwalk along a well formed track (the same one as the circuit track). Eventually the track branches away from the circuit track and goes through a section with lots of rocks making it easy to twist an ankle. This ends at a rock face and the climbing stage begins. Mt Tibrogargan has probably the steepest climb of the mountains, the hardest section is once again at the start but there are lots of hand and feet holes making it fairly easy. There was a terrified girl around 10 years old trying to make her way up with her dad along this section. The climb becomes easier the further up you go.
The summit has a plateau with quite thick scrubs and small trees. The western side has great views of the other peaks which make up the Glass House Mountains, while on the other side the eastern side has a view of the ocean, Moreton Island, Bribie Island, and the Sunshine coast. As I rested on the eastern side a falcon made a few passes not
far away. The way down is once again the same as the way up. Mt Beerburrum
Ascent Height: 110m
Duration: 50 minutes (including accent and descent)
I left the easiest one for last wanting to get to the top to see the sunset. The road climbs probably about half way up this peak, and the walking track up is paved all the way up to the top. I got to the car park at around 5.50pm not leaving much time before sunset and being well exhausted I made my way up. The path goes through a small section of remanent rainforest on the way up. At the top there is a tower used for spotting fires and it is possible to climb to the middle section of this tower. I made it to the top in time to watch the sunset. There is a great view of the other peaks from here. In the South a large thunder storm was brewing over Brisbane.
I made my way back to the car tired and blistered before heading back home to Brisbane through the thunderstorm.
There are more photos below