Rock Scrambling the Glasshouse Mountains (QLD)


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Summary

For a hike with a difference, the iconic Glasshouse Mountains has you covered.

Both Mt Beerwah and Mt Tibrogargan are essentially free rock climbs instead of traditional hikes – and you’ll be using hands and feet to scramble up the rock face.

Mt Beerwah is the highest of the Glasshouse Mountains making it a slightly more difficult climb than Tibrogargan.

I tackled the 364 metre Mt Tibrogargan with a friend a few months back and wasn’t really sure what to expect. It was a humid day on the tail end of summer and I sweat a lot! It was hard work.

About a third of the route up Mt Tibrogargan is a hike, and then you hit the rockface. The first section is the steepest and most challenging. If you’re scared of heights, don’t even try. There are parts that are almost vertical and you’ll need upper arm strength to pull yourself up.

It takes about 45 minutes of rock scrambling to reach the summit. The way down seemed a lot easier than going up and it took me less than half an hour.

Learning my lesson from my first sweaty encounter with the Glasshouse Mountains I waited until winter to tackle Mt Beerwah.

I couldn’t have picked a better day with not a single cloud in the sky. Two minutes into starting up the rockface I realised I probably shouldn’t have attempted this alone – it was a lot steeper than I thought and I cursed my short legs.

After a few minutes sitting on the rockface wanting to keep going but worrying about falling. a local came along who had done the hike a couple of times before. He went ahead and guided me up the steep bit I struggled with and then it got easier, although it was definitely much harder than Tibrogargan with more steep sections.

After about a 45 minute rock scramble – you hit a ledge with the peak of Mt Beerwah soaring straight up above your head. Then it’s a winding, steep path up for about 15 minutes to the summit.

All the hard work is worth it when you reach the summit and get 360 degree views over the other Glasshouse peaks, the pine plantations, out to Mt Pomona and over the D’Aguilar Range.

Going back down is slow going and much harder than Tibrogargan. You really need to pay attention. I was sliding down for most of it or going backwards to reach the footholds.

Both these rock scrambles are hard and should only be attempted by experienced hikers with a high level of fitness – and no fear of heights. The drier the conditions the better to allow good grip on the rocks. Don’t even try if there’s showers or rain. There are many very steep sections of the climb. Warnings are the base of the mountain warn that injuries or death may occur on the climb.

Be careful not to dislodge rocks and shout warnings if you accidentally do dislodge a rock.

How To Get There

The Glasshouse Mountains are located about an hour from Brisbane. Head north down the Bruce Highway and take the Glasshouse Mountains tourist route exit and follow the signs.

Mt Beerwah is located off Mt Beerwah Road down a short dirt track leading to a carpark.

Mt Tibrogargan can be accessed from a carpark off Barrs Road.

Essential gear required

  • Hiking shoes
  • Camera
  • Hat and sunscreen
  • Water

Skill Level

Challenging

Distance covered/Elevation

Mt Tibrogargan: 3km return/364 metres

Mt Beerwah: 2.6km return/556 metres