The Mount Ossa name appeared on an 1860s map by geologist Charles Gould, following Frankland's theme of applying classical Greek names. However Gould showed Mt Ossa where the much lower Mount Nereus is located today. Jorgensen had variously called it Parsons Hood and Mount Dundas. Both of those names have since been ascribed to other mountains. Beattie added to the confusion by calling it Mount Backhouse. As late as a 1901 geological sketch, four of the major peaks of the Pelion Range were numbered rather than named.
Mt Ossa may have been first climbed by either the trackcutter Robert Ewart or the trapper and prospector Paddy Hartnett from his base at Du Cane Hut.
This 1617-metre dolerite peak is the highest mountain in the Pelion Range and indeed in all of Tasmania. Its head and shoulders profile can be seen from many other peaks, and from points along the Overland Track. It was officially recognised as the highest peak in Tasmania after an aerial survey in the late 1940s. It is best climbed by the good track from Pelion Gap, a side-trip of about three hours return.
Further reading: I Boss-Walker, Peaks and high places, Hobart, 1950; J Chapman & J Siseman, Cradle Mountain, Lake St Clair and Walls of Jerusalem national parks, Blackburn, 1990; B Wilkinson, Tasmania's mountains over 1100m high, Launceston, 1995.