Mount Unapproachable

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Mount Unapproachable
Mount Unapproachable is located in Northern Territory
Mount Unapproachable
Mount Unapproachable
Location in the Northern Territory
Highest point
Elevation505 m (1,657 ft)
Coordinates24°19′S 130°04′E / 24.317°S 130.067°E / -24.317; 130.067Coordinates: 24°19′S 130°04′E / 24.317°S 130.067°E / -24.317; 130.067
LocationNorthern Territory, Australia

Mount Unapproachable is a mountain in the southwest of the Northern Territory, Australia. It is on the northern side of Lake Neale.[1][2] It is about 505 metres (1,657 ft) above sea level. The area is far apart from other towns. The nearest towns are Kaltukatjara (116 km away), Kintore (135 km away) and Yulara (138 km away). The mountain is mostly made of sandstone.

The mountain was named by explorer Ernest Giles in 1872. Giles was on an expedition to find a way across the desert from east to west. He had just found and named Lake Amadeus. He could see the mountain rising to the west, and hoped to find water there. But, he was unable to get to the mountain because his path was blocked by the lake.[3] Giles in fact over-estimated the size of Lake Amadeus and missed the bridge of land between Amadeus and Lake Neale.[4]

In 1889, Giles' second-in-command, W. H. Tietkins, came back on his own expedition and surveyed the area.[5] He wrote that he travelled to the Bloods Range, to the south of Lakes Amadeus and Neale. He named the highest peaks Mount Harris and Mount Carruthers. From the top of Mount Harris, he could see Kata Tjuṯa, the Petermann Ranges and the Tomkinson Ranges. Tietkins then travelled to the east for three days, and came to Lake Amadeus. At the western end of the lake and on the north shore, he described a sandstone range, which he named Long's Range after his brother-in-law. He climbed a nearby set of hills, and identified Mount Unapproachable as the westernmost peak of the Long's Range.[6][7] He reported that his team reached Unapproachable around the middle of June and then spent several days travelling around the western edge of Lake Amadeus.[4] He corrected Giles' earlier mistake and successfully mapped the lake's western shore.[8][9]

Another team of surveyors visited the area in 1926, led by Donald Mackay and Herbet Basedow. On 1 July, they climbed a hill that Basedow identified as both Mount Unapproachable and Mount Harris. He found them to be the same mountain after comparing his own observations with those of Giles and Tietkens. Basedow decided that this hill was the Mount Unapproachable that Giles had described, and that Tietkens had mistakenly renamed it Mount Harris.[5][10] But, on modern maps, Mount Harris and Mount Carruthers are the names given to two peaks in the Bloods Range.

References[change | change source]

  1. G. H. Knibbs (1910). "Official Year Book of the Commonwealth of Australia". 3. Melbourne: Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics (Australian Bureau of Statistics): 68. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. "Geographical Notes". Nature. 40: 551. 3 October 1889. doi:10.1038/040551a0.
  3. Erwin H. J. Feeken, Gerda E. E. Feeken (1970). O. H. K. Spata (ed.). The Discovery and Exploration of Australia. Thomas Nelson. p. 191.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "A noted explorer: interview with Mr. W. H. Tietkens". The Advertiser. Adelaide. 2 August 1912. p. 9.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Man Who Climbed Mt. Unapproachable". The Mail. Adelaide. 22 April 1933. p. 2.
  6. Geographical Society of Australasia (9 November 1889). "Mr. Tietkens's Explorations". The South Australian Chronicle. Adelaide. p. 5.
  7. William H. Tietkens (1891), Journal of the Central Australian Exploring Expedition, C. E. Bristow, Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, p. 50
  8. D. Appleton (1891). Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events. 15. Carl Sandburg Collections. p. 359.
  9. Scottish Geographical Magazine. 13. Royal Scottish Geographical Society. 1897. p. 416.
  10. Herbert Basedow; Donald Mackay (March 1929). The Geographical Journal. Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society. 73 (3): 3. "The Mackay Exploring Expedition, Central Australia, 1926" More than one of |pages= and |page= specified (help); Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help); Missing or empty |title= (help); |contribution= ignored (help)