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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Mount O’Reilly

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Harland Road

Mount O’Reilly is a forest covered mountain west of Samford, east of Mount Glorious, and sandwiched between Cedar Creek to the north, and the South Pine River to the south.

Our aim today was to ride to the top along Harland Road, and then follow a steep fire trail southward under some powerlines to the main road, 500 metres below.

To get there, Simon and I took “the scenic route” from Lawnton to Bunyaville, then over the Samford Range to Ironbark, along the Lanita rail trail, through the back blocks of Samford Valley, up the Goat Track to Mount Nebo, and then up to Mount Glorious.

Harland Road

At Mount Glorious, we turned down Harland Road which meanders through some spectacular forests before devolving into a dirt track which goes over the summit of Mount O’Reilly.

Mount O'Reilly Fire Trail

Once at the summit, we turned south to follow an overgrown fire trail southwards. I found the traces of a track on Google Earth and thought it would be worth a try. The only problem is that Google Earth didn’t show you how rocky or overgrown it was.

Land Slip

But the thing that stopped us dead in our tracks was a land slide halfway down the mountain. The road follows the side of the mountain in some places, and in one spot, the side of the mountain had fallen away. There was a gulf over a hundred metres wide, which was too deep and dangerous for us to cross. There was no way around it, no way through it. So we had to turn around and head back up to the top of the mountain again.

Once at the top, the alternatives were to grind our way back up Harland Road to Mount Glorious (a tough climb), or to scramble down the northern side of Mount O’Reilly to Cedar Creek following a trail that Darb, Graham and I took a few of weeks ago.

Lake Samsonvale

Simon and I decided to try our chances scrambling down to Cedar Creek. It was as thick and as overgrown as last time, and the views were just as spectacular.

Mount Lawson

We eventually made it down to Cedar Creek and slowly made our way home to Lawnton via Winn Rd.

All up the trip was just under 90km and took 7 hours. I took it slower than usual so Simon could enjoy the ride a bit better. With over 5,300kcal of energy burnred, and 1,730 meters of vertical ascent, it was still a challenging ride. I’m giving it 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

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