Scrambling adventures, rock surfing and amazing views. Despite its reputation, hiking Mt Ernest in Queenslands Scenic Rim was certainly not boring!
Mt Ernest, it’s the little mountain that's featured in over a 1000 photos without ever having been the main focus.
Nestled right in between Barney and Lindesay it is often overlooked as a hiking destination and, although I'm glad I finally did it, I'm in no hurry to repeat the experience!
I’d often seen Ernest from the summit of Barney, and knew that eventually I would be tempted to climb him. However I'd often been told of the boring trail, loose rocks and lack of views, and with so many beautiful hikes in South East Queensland to explore it wasn't a mountain high on my adventure list.
Last weekend though I had the opportunity to finally attempt the climb and, despite the fact that I am never, ever interested in repeating the experience, I’m glad I made the effort and finally summited Ernest.
With a long week of work behind me I set off early Friday afternoon for Flanagan’s Campsite near the base of Mount Barney. After an evening of roasting potatoes in the fire, catching up with friends and drinking maybe one too many glasses of mulled wine, we awoke early Saturday morning and began the journey to Mt Ernest.
The initial walk in was picturesque. We trailed in beside a quick flowing creek, chatting and rock hopping, a random lemon tree adding a surprising touch of colour (and another layer of flavour later that night to the mulled wine!) however this was quickly offset when we reached the base of the mountain…
The first section was sheer hell, loose shaley stones littered the steep ground making it hard for your feet to find a purchase. Rocks were constantly being thrown back by the people in front and the call of “rock!” quickly became common place.
Eventually we hit the first of the large boulder sections and at this point I thought perhaps it was worth it. The rocks had lots of cracks and small pinch holds making the scramble up challenging but fun.
After the first section of boulders we continued among the leaf litter and small rocks to the first peak where we were able to enjoy views in either direction of both Mount Lyndesay and Mount Barney. From this point in the hike was much more enjoyable, although not pathed we followed the ridge line up over boulders going off track to climb wherever possible and enjoying the view of Barney along the way.
After 4 false peaks we eventually hit the actual summit where we sat and enjoyed morning tea before debating the merits of returning back down versus staying on the mountain forever...
Eventually we began the journey back down, stopping again at the first peak to enjoy the now cloudless view of Lyndesay (ok I’ll be honest we were procrastinating as we didn’t want to attempt the walk down but with good reason!) Although I stuck to the boulders and down climbed wherever possible eventually I had to face the dreaded loose leaf litter and shale where I slipped and surfed my way down the mountain slope to the creek bed and the welcome respite of the path back to the car park.
Although I loved the scrambling and the views were a nice perspective, I'm not in any rush to repeat the downward climb section of this hike! Though if anyone knows another way down using ropes I could be tempted to go up again...
“Lost is a state of mind, I prefer to think of it as exploring” - Lia Skye
What to Expect
A varied path with some bush bashing, bouldering and slipping and sliding! Nice views of Barney once you hit the first peak.
How to get there
Put Yellow Pinch Car Park into your GPS or click here for Google Maps
Water – At least 3 Litres depending on how much you drink and the time of year you choose to hike in.
Take Gaiters!! Whether they protect you from prickles or snake bikes this is definitely a gaiter worthy hike!
Poles, I've never tried themas I like to have my hands free but one of my friends had a set and he seemed to find the downward slope a little easier...
Take a main meal such as a wrap or salad as well as some snacks. If your interested in reading about my fave vegan hiking snacks click here.
As always make sure to take all your rubbish and packaging with you!
Further Reading (for all the technical deets)
You can read more about Mount Ernest e by clicking here