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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 62

Mount Earnslaw

Mount Earnslaw

comes prominently into view, the great glacier sparkling on its bosom, 9,168 feet above the sea. We must try the ascent, and on arrival at Glenorchy, a ride of twelve miles over a good road, brings us to the gorge, and following the left bank of the Rees River, here over shingle flats, there through birch groves which stretch away on either hand up the steep sides of the ranges, we page 45 pass the Lennox Fall, which leaps out of the dark green forest over a black precipice, which is fringed with delicate ferns and mosses. Now we must abandon our horses, and, shouldering our swags, toilfully ascend through the forest so as to camp on the plateau at the foot of the Birley Glacier. We make ourselves as comfortable as possible, and, disregarding the thunder of descending avalanches in distant ravines, we sleep the sleep of the wearied. Refreshed, next morning we continue the climb; long snow grass impedes our action, but patches of the mountain lily relieve the tedium with beauty and sweetness. We reach an ice platform 8,000 feet above the sea, and must abandon the other 1,200 feet, not being equipped with alpine gear. The scene is one of wondrous beauty; looking away from the rocks, ice and alpine plants surrounding us, we see glittering ice-covered peaks and domes of glacier formation. There are numbers of points of interest besides Mount Earnslaw, such as Diamond Lake and several charming valleys, but we must return by our steamer to Queenstown, and pass on to the glories of