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Ascent of Mount Townsend on 2018-01-19

Climber: James Stone

Others in Party:Dan Bull
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, January 19, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Townsend
    Location:Australia-New South Wales
    Elevation:7247 ft / 2208 m

Ascent Trip Report

Further details and photos can be found here

http://clachliath.com/2018/03/australias-five-highest-summits/

Started from Charlotte Pass. Descended to the crossing of the Snowy River which was straightforward via strategically placed boulders. There then followed a long haul up to the junction with the track between Blue Lake and Carruthers Peak. Blue Lake looked decidedly blue on this scorcher of a day, and very tempting for a dip. Dan had already decided to forego Twynham so as to go for a swim.

We parted company and I toiled up the slopes ahead in the heat. There is a track running along the ridge line between Twynham and Carruthers Peak. Had I done my research properly I would have known this. It would have saved me some reascent as I had agreed to rendezvous with Dan back at the Blue Lake junction. I followed the track as it swung around gaining height gently with the battered trapezium marking the summit in view from a long way off.

Views from the top were a little hazy because of the heat. But Kozzy and Townsend were easily seen. Blue Lake is tucked too far into the coombe below to be seen from the summit.

I returned the same way passing a straggled group of four who were also wilting in the heat and who were in the midst of a three day backpack.

Part way down the ridge I was able to signal to Dan to meet me further along the track. We duly met up near a stream where another group of four backpackers weren't making much progress. We dipped shirts and hats in the stream to cool off.

The track passes over Carruthers Peak with its Snowy Mountains Water Authority plaque and down the other side.

We had decided to approach Townsend by dropping down to Lake Albina. This gave Dan another excuse to swim whilst I went around the head of the Lake. I rested there and had some water and food watching Dan a few hundred metres away where the Lake narrows.

We each made our way separately up the flanks of Townsend and managed to miss each other on the knobbly ridge. So we met on the summit with its decaying trig pillar. As reported elsewhere there is a short section of scrambling to make the top.

Kozzy was just across the way. Twynham looked a long way off. The panoramic views were extensive.

We now had to decide our route back to Charlotte Pass. I was tempted to go via Rawson's Pass as the way from there is easy (apparently). If logistics and time allow, a through walk to Thredbo looks appealing.

But the decision was somewhat pre-empted by the fact that Dan had left his rucksack on the other side of Lake Albina.

So we in effect reversed our outward route. It was probably the quicker of the two but did involve climbs out of the Albina basin, over Carruthers and up from the Snowy River.

Every time we found water various items were dipped in to cool. The challenge was not so much the distance or height gains but the heat and lack of respite from the sun. I don't think that I have ever been so dehydrated despite regular intakes of fluid. 10 hours including stops.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear



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