Friday, September 09, 2005

Assault on Mt Lindesay

The Badjalung people had many stories about Mt Lindesay (they called it Jalgumbun) designed primarily to discourage Indigenous people from climbing the mountain, but it seems almost certain that some either ignored this or had permission to make the ascent. Stories of Aboriginal people climbing the mountain were common in the district. Evidence suggests that Mt Lindesay was first climbed by Europeans sometime between 1846 and 1848, well before the claimed first ascent reported in local Queensland and New South Wales’ newspapers in 1876. It seems highly likely that it was the Queensland Collector of Customs, William Thornton, one of the Kinchela brothers—either John or James—and a third unnamed man, who reputedly used large vines hanging down the cliffs to gain the summit. A huge bushfire swept through the district shortly after the first claimed European ascent. On the second ascent of the mountain on 9 May 1872, local pastoralist Thomas de Montmorency Murray-Prior and Peter Walter Pears, a tutor, climbed what is now the tourist route on the mountain’s southeast corner.

Illustration: The Sydney News, 1886.

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