Mt Barney - East Peak - South Ridge

Mt Barney Summit

South Ridge is the easiest track up Mt Barney (but it's NOT easy!). Sometimes referred to as Peasants' Ridge (a dig that only Peasants would take such a boring route up the mountain), South Ridge is an excellent choice for a first ascent of Barney. The track has triangular trail markers but there are still opportunities for navigational difficulties if you're inexperienced.

You MUST start early in the day. Expected time is 8-10 hours with almost 1200m of climbing from the carpark. Make sure to leave early to allow time for any mishaps and be prepared to turn back if necessary.

Lookouts
Scrambling or Climbing
Navigation Required
No Dogs Permitted
Eucalypt Forest

Getting there

The walk starts from the Yellow Pinch carpark. From the Mount Lindesay Highway travel through Rathdowney and turn right on to the Boonah-Rathdowney Road. Turn left 8km later onto Barney View-Upper Logan Road. Follow the signs past Bigriggen, Flanagans Reserve and the Lower Portals turn off to Yellow Pinch at the end of this road.

Maps

Topographical maps can be generated from the government's QTopo website: http://qtopo.dnrm.qld.gov.au/Mobile/

Route/Trail notes

Start on the track up and over Yellow Pinch from the end of the carpark. This short but steep climb will give you a bit of a taste of what is to come. Halfway up Yellow Pinch there is a gate on your left. Follow the fire trail through this gate.

After approximately an hour's walk along this trail you will reach a signed fork. This is the start of the South Ridge. Take note of the picture of the triangular trail markers you will follow later on the track. Follow the right fork to begin your climb.

The track is well defined for quite a way past this fork. Eventually you'll reach some scrambling areas. Keep an eye out for the triangular route markers and make sure to look back regularly to help with the return navigation. There are two rock sections that stand out: one a large slightly exposed slab with a crack running through it, and the other, a narrow staircase.

The South Ridge ends at a knoll, which means you'll actually descend into the saddle between the East and West Peaks. After traversing this knoll you'll enter the Rum Jungle. Depending on speed, the climb so far will take 3-4 hours. This is a great place for a rest, or continue on a few minutes to the Old Hut campground (just over the creek). You can top up your water in the creek if it is running.

There are no distinct tracks up to the East Peak, general advice is to go up! Make sure to look back early in your climb to identify the Old Hut site. You'll want to aim for this on your return journey. After a few false summits you'll reach the peak. Expect this to take 5-6 hours from leaving the carpark.

During the return be careful to retrace your steps. Remember when you come out of the Rum Jungle you need to climb over a knoll before starting your descent. A fork at the start of this knoll heads immediately downhill but this track will take you via Egan Creek, a much tougher route. Keep an eye our for the route markers to confirm you're on track.

Permits/Costs

Climbing the mountain is free. There are costs for using either of the campgrounds in the East-West saddle.

Other References

TODO: List some guidebooks

Comments

Did the south east ridge / south ridge descent with a friend for the second time today. Managed to make it up and back after approx 5 hours, though last time we did it in about 7 hours.

One thing to keep in mind on the south ridge descent is to turn right for a slab descent at the number 5 SR marker. The trail continues to the left, though this isn’t the correct route. Not sure where the other path leads but I heard from others that it can be difficult to navigate back from.

Poggers on 23 Feb, 2019

I did this with a group of 9, camping at Rum Jungle overnight...was great to break up the walk, but hard with full packs. The rest of the group went to the summit while I stayed back and explored my surroundings, found the water pools to freshen up and resupply water.
A great challenge.

LadySim on 12 Jan, 2019

Ascent via South Ridge to Old Hut camp, summit east peak late afternoon. Down via South Ridge the following day.

3hrs5mins to campsite, 1hr to summit
2hrs40 back to south pinch carpark

jamo96 on 19 Dec, 2018

Started climbing early (6am). Slight navigation error as we reached the saddle meant we scrambled around some faint trails a bit and skipped Rum Jungle entirely. Picnic at the old hut site then up to East Peak for glorious views. Visited Rum Jungle on the way back down. Descent was quick but legs were complaining a lot! Plenty of water in the saddle creek.

Richard Mason on 2 Oct, 2018


Manon on 21 Sep, 2018

Incredible climb, started off at around 7:45am, would’ve liked to kick off a bit earlier but I was running late. It kicks into gear pretty quickly. I’m a novice climber so I knew this would be a challenge. A previous climber guided me up, so staying on track was easy as he knew the way very well. It was hard going for a long while until we reached rum jungle (I definitely would’ve gotten lost had I attempted it alone). Here it started to rain so I filled up my water at the creek and we waited until it eased. The entire peak was covered in fog so I knew we wouldn’t get views. The scramble up to the peak is very fun - daunting at first but really once you get into the rhythm, it isn’t that hard. Miraculously, we reached the peak and the fog had cleared - perfect 360 views for the 45mins we stayed up there. Decided to head off as it was getting late, coming back down the rock scramble was fun - a lot easier than I thought it would be when I was going up! Once we left the peak, the fog returned (it was meant to be) - smashed out the descent in just under 3hrs. Absolutely destroyed my knees but it was worth every second. Got down to the car at 5:30pm, just in time to watch the sun going down. Incredible day, there are no words. Definitely a good level of fitness needed, and lots of confidence in yourself.

Chantelle on 7 Apr, 2018

Hiked up and back to East Peak via South ridge (peasants ridge) for my first mt Barney hike. Challenging but very rewarding hike, views were spectacular, couldn't have asked for a clearer day. The track upto Rum Jungle was easy enougth to follow with only a couple of false tracks that could put you off cource. The track from Rum Jungle to East peak was a little more difficult and navigational skills are deffinitly recommended for this. Next time I will plan it to camp at Rum Jungle to split the walk across two days. Would rate it as hard, 18.5km, 9hrs.

Dan on 17 Mar, 2018

Early this year I started hiking as a way to regain some semblance of fitness and found I thoroughly enjoyed it. Somewhere along the line I caught the Barney Fever and set my goal to hike the Peasant Ridge.

A few months ago I thought I was ready and set out. Barney taught me otherwise. I only made it as far as the slab and returned to the car park defeated, but determined to train harder to make it next time.

So two days ago a friend and I set out once again, frustrated by all the recent wildfire closures that had prevented us going in the cooler weather. This was the most physically exhausting and mentally demanding thing I have ever done in my life. Somehow no matter how tired, how much I wanted to stop I kept going and we made it to Rum Jungle, then up the east peak to a small set of cliffs (1300m elevation) just shy of the summit. Running low on water (I had brought 5L, still not enough!) and exhausted we couldn't find an easy way around them so turned back. The hike back down was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Exhausted, dehydrated, we somehow put one foot in front of another and half-climbed, half-slid down Peasants Ridge again. I almost slid right off the slab on the way down, only avoiding it by hooking my foot on a tuft of grass.

The highest hike I had been on before this was Mt Joyce at Wyrralong Dam (which shares similar steepness of slope with Barney, but far less elevation). Still not bad for a guy who at the start of this year had shortness of breath walking down the hall to work, and did most of Peasants Ridge and the Summit while still weighing in somewhere over 120kg.

No matter how often you read this in other comments, I cannot stress it enough - be prepared for this one. If your debating the weight penalty of an extra litre of water, forget the weight - take the water. You'll regret it if you don't.

Cannot wait to go back next time, maybe on an over-nighter at Rum Jungle. It is a beautiful place to camp up there.

Kuhr on 30 Sep, 2017

3.5 hours up, 3 hours down to/from yellowpinch carpark plus 1 hour of sidetrack through the ferns at the base of the peak north along the creek and back up the creek to find the crossing to rum jungle.

Chris on 25 Apr, 2017

A great overnighter at either rum jungle or old hut. Be prepared: If there is a white out you can become lost easily. Good knowledge of the mountain or a topo map and compass will save you.

Zerpy on 19 Apr, 2017

Hiked up with full overnight packs in a group of six. Two of us had done the trip before but the rest hadn't. Took us aprox. 7 hrs each way. This is the most challenging walk I have done so far, love the views from the top and its never too hard. Some parts are pretty intimidating and it is almost essential to take track notes as some parts are not obvious where to go. Not much wildlife to see, a few bugs and some lizards at the top, but the real beauty is the landscape and that really you have to earn it.

Lawdaddy on Aug, 2016

We found our limit for 1 day, 12.5 hrs total, 7hrs up with a 6.15am start and down in 5 hrs by 6.45pm. We took the peasants ridge to the east summit (by 1pm). My 5 year old was just a tad slow, he never complained or struggled, just dawdled from rum jungle down. We never got lost and made it to the road width graded path before dark which guaranteed an easy walk without stressing. We had 4 layers on the top, pants, gloves, and beanies, 1.5 days of food, 8 litres of water, 2 headlamps and 2x200 lumen torches, GPS, GPS watch, a mobile phone, and a UHF. Everything but a tent which we will use for any mountaineering over this distance again - 14km round trip, and 1352mtrs high.
Gorgeous view and it made our previous trip up Mount Maroon look small.

father&son on 2 Jul, 2016

Up Logan's Ridge, Down South East. 3.5 hours up including a tea break and enjoying the views. Make sure you up to this one, heading back down it is likely more risky than topping out with some reasonably exposed scrambling sections. Fantastic day out though!!!

B_T on Jun, 2016

This climb is epic, perhaps I shouldn't have done it as I'm over 60 and not very fit (though I am fitter now because of it). I climbed with 3 others, a strong, fit couple around 30 and a 50 yo woman also fairly fit. This was their second attempt. (On the first, they'd taken a wrong turn, spent a lot of time bush bashing and returned the same way broken and defeated.) It was a beautiful sunny day.

We left the carpark just before 9 which was a couple of hours too late and didn't all take jackets, another mistake (there was an icy wind blowing at the top) About a 3rd of the way up I was tired and struggling and by halfway I knew I'd made a stupid, stupid mistake. But we kept going with almost no breaks. The 50yo, with her shorter legs, sometimes needed help up the rock slabs (we had a rope) and the young guy was struggling with his fear of heights next to the high cliffs and narrow ledges.

We'd picked 1pm as our turnaround time, but as we didn't want to go back down the SE Ridge as it was so hard, we kept going and reached the summit at 2:30. We'd been meeting 2 families with their young kids as they stopped for a snack and break and as they continued up past us, the parents would yell, slow down, come back, stop running. We last saw them going down to the saddle, still running.

We were at the saddle by 3:30 and knew we'd be finishing in the dark. I'd borrowed a vest which kept me warm enough, but my legs were in a lot of pain and going downhill was very slow. My dilemma; if I bent my legs, I'd fall down but I had to bend my legs to climb down and it was still a long way down. It is also very easy to lose the track; we lost the track 5 times on the way down but I'd plotted the tracks on the app View Ranger. What a saviour!

Just before dusk we took a wrong turn (which I didn't check on the app) and ended up at a cliff which we finally got down with the rope only to find no track. I checked the app and in the fading light we could see the Peasant's Ridge silhouette, then found a faint path back to it. Now it was very dark, we had one headlamp and a phone touch to light our way and my tracking app to guide us.

I didn't know how my legs were holding me up. The slightest decline was really painful and I had to hold on to someone or use a stick to stop from falling. Needless to say it was a slow decent but we were below the big rocks and once we hit the open country again, we could stride out.

Despite everything, we returned safely, 2 and a half hours in the dark and 11 hours after we set out. Please don't underestimate this climb, prepare well (warm clothes, head lamps and a rope, battery packs for your phone). We were careful, stuck together and helped each other out.

The views were fabulous, we could see all the way to Mt Warning, with gullies and great cliffs at every turn. It's the hardest thing I've ever down (it's heaps easier if you're young and fit), but I'm really glad I did it. Would I do it again?. Probably not. I'll stick to the smaller mountains.



Nichola Wallace on 28 May, 2016

An unmarked trail up Mt Barney. Supposed to be the easiest but still a little bit of a challenge. It was the second Mountain i had ever climbed. I have now summited Mt Barney twice and it is still my favorite hike so far. It has what i believe the best view ever! I have camped in Rum Jungle at the top, woke in the night in the clouds! It was amazing! Have also done it in one full day but im not the fittest person and did struggle a little bit.

Annalise Burton on 20 May, 2016

Well, this was quiet the hike. Might I say, take loads of water as 4Litres was still not enough even on a day where we could have been rained on. The east peak is steep and dangerous rock ledges all around but a quicker way up to the summit.

I hiked with a group of about 8 in varying fitness levels but we all made it together. The ascend had my legs burning at times and tests muscular endurance but as always the descend although quicker made my knee joints ache from the constant time under tension.

We got thrown off with trying to find the south ridge track as we lost sight of the West peak which is crucial in navigating this trail. We bush bashed a little but could tell from the vegetation that we veered to far left. 30minutes later we found the track to everyones relief. It could have been a hike gone bad as the weather was threatening to rain but we all pushed on and succeeded in a joint team effort.

The hike is as it states, 9 hours if you don't allow for much stopping and resting time and are able to navigate without getting lost. Do have your wits about you, as people do get caught out on this mountain, take plenty of water, ration your food incase and be cautious with both climbing and descending as its forest areas are slippery.

I would not advise to do on a hot day as water is essential although you can fill up in the streams at the top and around Rum Jungle. Be sure to pack a space blanket incase you get stuck out for the night!

What a challenge it was, physically it was demanding, mentally I felt totally fine. But better preparation next time will make for more comfort.

The next time I attempt this, I will go with people of the same fitness level, as the constant stopping/starting does wear down on your muscles and mentally makes you think of the aches and thats when it becomes tolling.

moniqueunique on 27 Mar, 2016

We decided to do this as a two day walk. We got to car park later than expected and decided to overnight at Rum Jungle which is the in the saddle between the peaks. We left early the next day and went up the East Peak. Awesome 360 views. There were three pairs of Wedge tail Eagles soaring above the peaks and we spent a few hours watching them and taking in the views. We then descended and packed up our gear and walked out. We both picked up a few paralysis ticks on the way that needed removing by a Doctor followed by antibiotics for a week. Despite this we will do the walk again. The walk up took us 6 hours with very heavy packs. We had 6 liters of water each, but still ran out. Luckily we found a clear stream flowing just before the climb up the East peak so after returning to camp to pack up we refilled three bottles each, treated the water and had enough to get us back to the car park.

Brian on Mar, 2016

Up Logans and down Peasant's. Crowded, long and uninspiring route for most parts IMO. Even if not tricky by any means would be challenging due length.

Anonymous on 12 Aug, 2015

9hrs to climb up Logans Ridge and then down South Ridge. Worth being prepared for this trip as things could turn pear-shaped in a hurry. Had difficulty finding track off East Peak to Barney Saddle and then accessing South Ridge trail start. Logans Ridge a great scramble with a few challenges. Worth doubling back sometimes if you run out of acheivable track. Done river-crossing near base during high waters to add to the fun! Will do this again with palns to stay overnight and climb West Peak.

John on 4 May, 2015

Walked up peasant's ridge for my first walk in camp! Very excited but exhausted. The track was easy to find up to rum jungle, the track to east peak a little more difficult and I would imagine so when the regular cloud comes in. Camped at rum jungle and then walked down the next morning. Tough walk for someone approaching 50 with good fitness. Whetted my appetite though!

Susan cramb on 8 Jun, 2014

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