have been a great help with their photos taken from north and south. Gives me a much better idea of the terrain. Thanks.
In another thread I had asked about the location of certain images from the early 1950s when I didn't recognize places. The Flame came up briefly http://bushwalk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=30999#p390274
, but that was it's only mention.
Now I need a more detailed understanding of the area to be able to reconstruct the 1952 trip and write the commentary. And that has led me to an interesting finding, a finding which will become a part of the AV script.
But first up a few questions:Ques 1
Dave took a panorama from the top of a gully in the area of Flame Peak, PD151 (below). The peak on the left, is that my "C", now commonly (but incorrectly) called Flame Peak?Ques 2
The summit of the official Flame Peak (my "A"), that's off photo on the right, isn't it?
From where Betty Seaton is standing in the photo below, what is the probable route the 1952 party would have followed?
• Walk to the right and mosy on south towards Ridge E3.
• At some point before Ridge E3, head east to pick up the central gully.
• Climb that gully, getting a view of The Font on the way.
• Keep climbing the gully till they reached B3, close to where PD151 was taken.
Does that sound about right?Ques 4
The party climbed a peak that day, and Dave took a photo (PD148, below). What is the most likely peak they climbed:
• The official Flame Peak (my "A")?
• the unofficial Flame Peak (my "C")
• or some other peak nearby?
To put it another way, given a party of 5 men and 3 women, all in their 20s, keen bushwalkers but not rock climbers (except Dave), without ropes, what would they have climbed -- what would they have been able to climb -- to get a good view after they had reached the base of "B3"?
PD148:THE NAMING OF FLAME PEAK1955
Chris Binks' annotations to his mid 1950s map, made after his trips to The Spires in Jan 51 and 54, makes no mention of Flame Peak. It's an interesting map. It names Southern Needles (Diamond Peak), North Peak (Observation Peak), Conical Mt, Shining Mt, and he moves the name Mt Curly to another peak and replaces the map's Mt Curly with North Star. But no mention of "The Flame".Skyline #7, Sept 1956
Keith Lancaster, in a hand-drawn map on page 39 (see crop below), names:
• High Spire
, 3660' (1115.6m). The location and height (within 5m of the present figure) says that High Spire is today's official Flame Peak (my "A").
• Double Spire
, 3650'. Unnamed today, my "H"?
• Outer Spire
, 3550' (1082.0m). The location and height says that this is my "C", today's commonly called (but unofficial) Flame Peak.
• The Flame
, a small pinnacle between the others.
The accompanying article written by Dave Pinkard, says:The High Spire is one of the Spiral Cluster, the imposing group of four sharp peaks assembled at the northern end of the main range of The Spires. Only a few yards away to the N.E. lies the double-headed Spire, but it is necessary to descend to a narrow razor-backed col before tackling this further climb. Eastward is the Outer Spire, which overhangs the West Gell valley and this can be gained by descending a steep gully on the eastern side of Double Spire for about 200 ft and then traversing around at the first opportunity. Between the Outer Spire and Double Spire rises the smaller member of the Cluster –- The Flame –- but what it lacks in size is compensated by its sheer ruggedness… A sketch of The Flame appears on the left of the front cover of Skyline #5.
And here's the cover, showing The Flame (my "B") on the left:Tasmanian Tramp #16, Dec 1963
On page 70 is a description of a trip to The Spires. Below is an excerpt:With The Spires as our destination, next morning we departed camp at 6:30am and soon were atop a small rise overlooking the Gell River. We crossed a small plain before ascending a narrow climbing ridge [my "E"?] under a grotesquely-shaped peak known as "The Flame". Soon the party was spread out on the ridge all looking for an easy way to the top of the main Spire. Unable to find one, we descended a precipitous gully, between the rock walls of the peak. Reaching the valley once more… before commencing a torrid ascent of another peak of The Spires, known as The Camel.
The description is rather lurid -- and incorrect. The use of the name "The Flame" was being applied, most likely, to the jumble of peaks north of today's official Flame Peak. It appears the HWC party passed through the area of Flame Peak without climbing any peaks, instead moving straight on to The Camel. This vague description has led to a naming error -- if you are of the mind that original names should be retained where possible.Nomenclature Board
At meeting #157 (year?) of the Nomenclature Board, Flame Peak was officially named:Was The Flame. One of The Spires, Tasmanian Tramp Number 16, page 70.CONCLUSION
Looks to me like everybody's wrong about Flame Peak – except Dave Pinkard and the original namer, probably Keith Lancaster. I'm open to correction on that last assertion.
The Nomenclature Board named a peak from a vague description by a HWC party, and applied it to the wrong peak. I'm not criticising; that's just what appears to have happened.
I quite like the idea of the mis-naming. It makes for a more interesting story when I finally write the script for this Xmas 1952 trip. It allows me to expand the story to include Skyline and Tramp, and introduce Dave's B&W photo of "The Flame" which became a painting for a Skyline cover.