|190. MOUNT UDOR.|
"the party emerged from the mulga and scanned the horizon for Mount Tudor".
|Idriess, Ion. L. Lasseter's Last Ride. 28.|
Ernest Giles was the first European to discover the mountain on the 21st of September 1872 and named it Mount Udor after the Latin 'udus', for moisture or dampness, with reference to the rock pools that he found in the vicinity. Blakeley's misspelling is understandable, but Idriess's ability to ferret out the facts is under question. Apparently neither man had read Giles 'Australia Twice Traversed', one would have thought essential research for Idriess, yet he never bothered to correct the embarrassing mistake. Michael Terry had ample evidence to belabor Idriess and his lack of knowledge of Australian exploration or for that matter, bushcraft.
The first C.A.G.E. Expedition was halted by broken ground about two miles east of the Mount on 4/8/30, and Coote and Blakeley have one of those rare moments were they agree in context but not in dramatic detail. Blakeley's one prosaic paragraph explains that he and Coote climbed the scree slopes to the base of the cliffs, hoping to gain enough height to see a way through the sandhills to Illbilla. the way forward didn't look promising, although Blakeley thought he could see where Bob Buck's camel pad should go. The men were away for two hours and on the way back to the trucks Blakeley got a "bit bushed" in the thick mulga, Coote fired a shot to attract the attention of the camp, which was only 300 hundred yards away.
Coote's account of the climb to the bottom of the cliffs and what happened there is not a bad read although obvious journalism. In fact the couple of paragraphs written about his feelings of minuteness in the presence of immense cliffs and boulders and his narrow escape from a rockfall are quite exciting. The place so impressed Coote that he gave over three pages to Mount Udor and got the name right. He agreed with Blakeley that the way to the Ehrenberg Ranges looked fraught with sandhills and plenty of matting and mulga.
At page 28 of Lasseter's Last Ride, Idriess has the men anxiously scanning the horizon for 'Mount Tudor' after emerging from miles of mulga, and a couple of pages later, apparently still searching, they find their Aboriginal guide, Micky was no help, "Micky was quite bushed. He would turn to any point of the compass in describing where Mount Tudor lay". both men were oblivious to the fact that Micky was way out of his country and never travelled past Haasts Bluff. And that is all Idriess had to say about Mount Tudor, very likely because Blakeley saw little of note except sandhills.
© R.Ross. 1999-2006