Tom's Tum (no rope)

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tom's Tum (no rope)

Postby gbagua » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 10:01 am

Hello folks,

To my understanding the rocky outcrops which fall under the name of Tom's Tum is located at the start of Eagle's Ridge, Mt Barney.

There is information online about how to tackle these rocks but in my experience it is confusing rather than explanatory.

What I have come across when scrambling/climbing the TT group without a rope:

1. First knoll
2. First Tom (I assume it's the southern one). Please confirm if it's not.
3. Second Tom
4. Third Tom
5. Fourth Tom

1. Scrubby hike which starts from the Lower Portals next to the gate. Descent is done going West. One particular guide (Haliczer walks) states the following:

"To descend off the knoll, backtrack a little and head east and down the granite into the saddle."

Would love to see the author doing that. What I saw on the East is a vertical drop off...unless he is an expert climber capable to downclimb unroped 15 grade routes with ease.

2. Scramble up the dark looking slab. No issues. About grade 4.
3. Here's is the interesting scramble which is way under graded. Easily a grade 14 climb if you take the left chimney-like feature of the rock. The other chimney is across the vertical slab that separates the two.

Please provide details if the left chimney is the right way to go. We tried the one located on the right side and it looked messy and not a reliable ascent without using climbing gear.

One of us managed to climb the chimney plus the slabby top part which is covered in lichen. He deemed it quite an sketchy and risky climb.

4. After this bump (still on the 2nd Tom) there is a small saddle and followed by the next bump, which I assume is where the forced abseil is located on the top.

5. We bypassed the last bump (4th Tom) by a short detour on the East side before dropping down to the Isolated Peak saddle.

Is it possible to scramble up the final bump too?

1. Could anyone provide exact information about how to hike the TT passed the first knoll without using a rope?
2. Any abseils will be bypassed by detouring the sticky bit(s).

I hope the information here provides ro be useful for future hiking parties.

Much appreciated. :)
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Re: Tom's Tum (no rope)

Postby trowland » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 8:39 pm

Quite interested in this topic. I'm planning on tackling Eagle's Ridge somewhat soon without a rope. From my understanding, it's possible to accomplish with a few deviations from the ridgeline.
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Re: Tom's Tum (no rope)

Postby CBee » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 9:13 pm

yes no rope needed, but to bypass the chasm on the eastern side is a long way down, and Eagles ridge is something you want to do at a brisky pace if you want to finish it under 12 hours. Also, the descent from Isolated peak to North-Isolated saddle has a couple of convenient abseiling spots that save more time (but bypassable). The Tom directly past the first abseil point, is in my view a rock climb can be done without gear but the rock is super sketchy and loose. IMO is better to bypass the buttress to the left and into scrub and vines. Soon you'll see a chimney on the right to regain the ridge, it looks steep and has an overhanging move at the top, but there is a convenient tree to grab. Easy as. Also, the first Tom scramble is doable with a lower bypass in thick scrub. My 2c: bring a rope on Eagles and if scrambling is not your thing, choose another route. But escape routes on the east are plentiful.
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Re: Tom's Tum (no rope)

Postby gbagua » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 8:03 am

Also, the descent from Isolated peak to North-Isolated saddle has a couple of convenient abseiling spots that save more time (but bypassable).


Yes correct, while coming down on the Eastern side of the ridge (when facing Isolated). There is a downclimb involved right at the end of the traverse. 4-5m long.

The Tom directly past the first abseil point, is in my view a rock climb can be done without gear but the rock is super sketchy and loose.


Which of the bumps is the abseil located on? I assume in the third, right?

Well ascending the 2nd Tom is also difficult. Only one of us did it and he said it was very difficult. I didn't want to do it as he said there was a vertical drop at the top, but he didn't mention he had to down climb to a smaller saddle and climb again the 3rd bump. He managed to down climb to the small saddle as from of the top of the third there was a drop off.

*Do you climb/scramble the last Tom/4th bump too?
Can you down climb it without using a rope. We just went around the last bump by doing a traverse at the bottom on the Eastern side.

Note: We traversed/detoured on the Western side of Eagles to bypass the 2nd and 3rd Toms.

My plan next time is to only detour the Tom that involves the abseil at the top.

Cheers!
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Re: Tom's Tum (no rope)

Postby CBee » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 5:21 pm

Not sure you have to ask Aardvark. I have done it 3 or 4 times but I only recall 1 abseil on the Tums, I don't count all outcrops. It's an obvious spot with a convenient tree. Vertical, maybe 20m or so, into a chasm. Then you need to start contouring left to proceed. The rest does not require abseiling.
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Re: Tom's Tum (no rope)

Postby Aardvark » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 8:45 pm

In recent years i have several times gone direct to the saddle south of Isolated Peak via Barney Ck on the west, or from the east.
It's been a long time since i did the entire Eagles Ridge from Lower Portals. When i last did it we didn't take a rope and we did find a way around the east of any significant obstacles. It took a bit of to and fro and guess work to get it right around Toms Tum. Having a rope to ab-seil will only save time if you're not slow with delays from beginners and you are proficient with setting up.
The part which sticks in my mind as challenging is the final part of the descent off Isolated Peak. It's funny how you can block out some parts though, over time. That's such a long day on Eagles.
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Re: Tom's Tum (no rope)

Postby gbagua » Wed 06 Apr, 2022 8:43 am

Thanks guys. I have hiked the entire TT twice already but been unable to scramble/climb all the bumps except for the first one and part of the 2nd one. The ascent of the 2nd Tom is probably the hardest scramble in QLD. Way more difficult than the chimney exit at the Caves Route (Tibro). It's buttress that reminded me of many of the climbs at Frog Buttress. Grade? It could be easily an 18.

CBee, I know there is one forced abseil but where exactly is it located? Is there an alternative route to bypass it by down climbing the top from another point or exiting via a nearby ridge?

i'd love to climb all the Toms. This is my plan :)

Aardvark, contouring the bumps wasn't an issue. It's al donr from the Western side (West to me is the left when facing Isolated).

Coming down from the Isolated shoulder is OK except for the final down climb bit at the end of the traverse (4-5m down with reasonably good holds). Beware of wet rock if weather isn't entirely dry as last Sunday we found patches of wet rock.
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