2014 November: Short climb of Legges Tor in Ben Lomond National Park, Tasmania, Australia
Having recently climbed the highest mountain in every State/Territory in Australia, it is time to consider the 2nd highest mountain. :-)
After today's Legges Tor, I only have the ones in NT, SA and Qld to tick off :-) ... waiting for a kind soul to do the hard work of obtaining permissions from the aborigines to climb Mt Edward in NT and Mt Morris in SA. As to Mt Bellenden Ker in Qld ... I need to do some research on it :-)
The other 2nd highest peaks I have climbed are:
• Vic - Mt Feathertop in 2014 - photos and an account of the climb are in:
• NSW - Mt Townsend in 2014 - photos and an account of the climb are in:
• ACT - Mt Gingera in 2013 - photos and an account of the climb are in:
• WA - Mt Bruce in 2012 - photos and an account of the climb are in:
In the north-east of Tasmania is the magnificent massif of Ben Lomond, with an imposing and precipitous cliffs. Its highest point, Legges Tor, 1572m, is the 2nd highest peak in Tasmania.
It is easy to reach its summit ... less than half an hour of leisurely stroll from the nearby Ben Lomand ski village. The drive to the ski village is far more exciting ... At first the road ascends gently through eucalypt forest. Then the trees clear and all of a sudden, steep escarpment with dramatic dolerite cliffs looms over you. The next thing you know, you are looking up at Jacobs Ladder - 6 scary hairpin bends one after another on a narrow unsealed road ... see the following map and photo #4.
Map, Route & GPS file
My GPX file can be downloaded from:
Timeline & Distance
12:07 0.0 km Start at Legges Tor trailhead - 0.8 km north of Ben Lomond ski village
12:35 1.3 km at Legges Tor summit
13:00 1.4 km Leave Legges Tor summit
13:14 1.9 km at Giblin Peak summit
13:19 1.9 km Leave Giblin Peak summit
13:47 3.5 km at Legges Tor trailhead
Total 3.5 km; 1 hr 40 min.
(Above distance is from Google Earth. My Garmin Montana GPS gives 3.6 km)
Pictures - Dolerite cliffs
1) Looking at the dolerite cliffs from the bottom of Jacobs Ladder ~~~
- The main mound on the right half of the pic is Whymper Crag.
2) Looking at the dolerite cliffs from the bottom of Jacobs Ladder
3) (Continuation to the right of previous pic)
4) At the top of the cliff, you get this dramatic view of Jacobs Ladder - 6 scary hairpin bends one after another on a narrow unsealed road
5) Looking up from the bottom of Jacobs Ladder at the hairpin bends ...
It may not seem scary from the photo, but when you are the one sitting behind the wheel, it is a different story.
6) At one of the haripin bends.
Each bend has been given a name:
- Strickland Corner
- Black Corner
- Hanging Corner
- Waterfall Corner
- Watchtower Corner
- Gateway Corner
7) When I reach the 1st bend, Stickland Corner, 3 women in the red Mazda look distressed. (The white car is my hired car.) Upon enquiring whether they need help, one of the women says she was so terrified of the steep drop of the cliff that she refused to be driven up. I suggest she close her eyes, lie on the back seat and pretend to go to sleep. No use, she says it won't alleviate her anxiety. The other 2 women are keen to go up. But not able to convince the women with acrophobia, they reluctantly turn back down the mountain.
Ben Lomond Ski Village
8) If you manage to negotiate the hairpins successfully, you will soon come to this small ski village. At the time I'm here, it is a ghost place, not a soul around except for an odd tourist here and there. They snap a few photos, then leave.
Legges Tor is the highest peak in the photo. One can simply walk towards it from here ...
To Legges Tor
9) ... but on the way up, I noticed 0.8 km down the Ben Lomond Road, there is a blue sign with "Legges Tor" written on it. So I drive back down to where this pic is.
10) Start the walk here.
11) Legges Tor is in front.
12) The huts are lodges for skiers. They are empty now. To go up to Legges Tor summit, turn left in front of the hut at the centre of the pic.
13) Legges Tor summit is in front.
Legges Tor summit
14) From the trailhead, it takes only half an hour of leisurely stroll to reach the summit cairn.
The thingie immediate to the left of the cairn is a solar panel.
Further to the left, the structure is for ski tow.
15) An obligatory summit photo
16) It is very flat around here, not much of a view. A few meters away is a small rise with a smaller cairn on top.
17) Towards the southwest, about 400 meters away, is a little knoll called Giblin Peak.
To Giblin Peak
18) Walking towards Giblin Peak
At top of Giblin Peak
19) At the top of Giblin Peak is this ski tow.
20) Looking back towards Legges Tor (left side of this pic). The summit is where the bigger cairn is.
21) Looking down towards Ben Lomond ski village. I could have descended straight down towards the village; but decide to retrace my steps back to where the car is parked.