With a free day off work three of us headed up to explore Mount Brandywine in the Callaghan Valley. The odds were against getting to the summit given the low cloud and in coming storms, but we set off early to try and catch a break in the weather. Luckily, this paid off and we were able to make it to the summit to enjoy some beers and lunch before the clouds came in and the weather turned nasty. Having familiarized ourselves with the route on the way up (vaguely) it meant that finding our way back down wasn’t too problematic. This is how it went…
After a little detour on a closed mining road, we eventually found and drove up the 4×4 access route to park just below the winter snowmobile hut. From here, it was a short walk up to the start of the infamous Brandywine meadows.
Following a path along the right hand side of the valley, we soon arrived in the bowl at the base of the peak. The meadows were stunning and given the weather, it meant we had the place to ourselves, which made it only more magical.
Once we reached the bowl at the end of Brandywine Meadows, we turned left and headed up through the bolder field to the South West ridge.
Once we got to the top of the bolder field and before heading up the sold dark granite ridge in the top right of the above picture, we had some pretty good views over Mount Fee. From this point, we climbed up the ridge to the right and followed that to Brandywine Glacier.
We made our way along the top edge of Brandywine Glacier to arrive only a short scramble to the summit.
No great shots from the summit as the clouds came in so I will have to go back. We did, however, get to enjoy a few cold beers before the weather really came in.
The descent back down was somewhat… cloudy and wet.
A great little hike/scramble. All in all took about 7 hours, with breaks. Would recommend camping the night at the meadows to really make the most of exploring the ridge once up top.
Finally…The name Brandywine is believed to have come from a wager between two surveyors (Jack Nelson and Bob Mollison) for the Howe Sound and Northern Railway over the height of the Falls. The correct guess winning a bottle of brandy(wine). The height was measured with a chain and it was Mollison who won the bottle of brandy and Nelson then named the falls Brandywine.