Alpine NP – Mt Howitt 112013
01-03112013 – KRMNPA Alpine NP
01112013 – SOTA VT-004 Pryces Plain
02112013 – SOTA VE-016 King Billy No1 and VE-012 Mt Marjorie
03112013 – SOTA VT-001 Mt Howitt
APRS Limited G3 Limited
Had taken from the 1st to the 4th of November off. Enough time for a multiple overnight trip exploiting the Alps Walking track before summer weather. So left home on the Friday the1st and back Monday afternoon.
Day One – Friday 1st November
Drove down to Melbourne then across taking the Princes Freeway to Traralgon. Head up inland to Licola then heading up the Tamboritha Road. Keep going until reach the Howitt Rd car park. All the roads were open and in 2WD condition.
Arrived onsite on dark. Decided to camp at Howitt Rd Car park as had not walked into MacAlister Springs before. Should walked up to MacAlister Springs camping ground. It is a clear wide track and lands you at the base of Mt Howitt. This would have saved me 4.8K each way for the next two days. It is a clear track that could be navigated in dark.
Qualified VT-004 Pryces Plain on way up.
Day Two – Saturday 2nd November
The plan was for three summits being VE-020 Mt Lovick, VE-016 King Billy No1 and VE-012 Mt Marjorie then Mt Howitt for evening activation. The plan is to trek out and activate on the return trip. Droped Mt Lovick so only went as far as King Billy 1. This was directory related to camping at Mt Howitt car park not MacAlister Springs. Had lost 2hrs walking time and didn’t want to be walking in dark. The terrain was good as can follow the Alpine Walking track to all points of interest so up to weather and light now.
Checkout the view from new toilets at MacAlister Springs.
View from Mt Marjorie. Very exposed on the summits but weather was good if not sunny. Had to use sunscreen as no where to hide once setup. Setup on King Billies using a tree.
Poor signals. This was to be the norm for the day. Bad conditions.
VK3/VE-016 was worth the walk. Whilst only 5 contacts due to conditions, managed 3 S2S contacts. CW with VK3BYD on VK3/VE-006 as well as VK5ANL on VK3/VN-003 and VK3MRG on VK3/VN-005 .
VK3/VE-012 and still poor signals. 4 contacts including VK3PI on VK3/VC-012 and VK2IB on VK3/VE-130.
Got back to Mt Howitt in dark. Putting the antenna up was a struggle as only rocks on site and now fading light. Got it up and listening was well as a couple of calls when she came down so given the poor conditions still in play decided to leave for the day and get back to camp.
Picked two 10 pointers for the day. Was in cover when the weather turned. Not a bad outcome.
Qualified VE-016 King Billy No1 and VE-012 Mt Marjorie
Day Three – Sunday 3rd November
Had already decided to drop VE-043 Mt Despair due to the added walking in times. So plan was to walk out to VE-022 Mt Speculation and returning to pickup VT-001 Mt Howitt for evening activation.
Got further around and wind gusts were increasing.
Decided to return to Mt Howitt and leave Mt Spectular to another day
EndFed Dipole strapped to rock on Mt Howitt.
Made it back to MT Howitt for pre UTC.
6 S2S contacts. Weather was coming up from the south and you could see it. Decided to leave as soon as weather turns. Had radio equipment packed up when the first snow showers came. Had jackets and pants as ready for harsh weather. Started the walk out back to Mt Howitt Camp. Easy walk. Snow starting to patch when back at camp. Decided to change sites as reasonably exposed at current camp. Noted a couple of sites on the way up. Found a site called ‘A4’ and setup in a better protected site.
Qualified VT-001 Mt Howitt for my 18Km walk.
Day Four – Monday 04th November
Camped at VT-002 Mt Reynard in the snow. Spent all night in the tent and worked a couple of SOTA stations who also out in the night. No boogy men here!
Woke up to several cm/s of snow. Slept well as sleeping bag and swag in the tent works well. It would be a different story if had to spend time. Tent not big enough to stand in. Also nowhere to keep shoes / stove under cover out of snow. No water got in so dry night but having a area covered by fly would be an advantage in snow.
Up early and the snow had not stopped. Couple of cm of cover now. Had a cup of tea and a look around and decided to pack up. Packed up camp into car between showers and went for a walk to find the track. Found the start to tracks but was not comfortable in the snow. Still snow showers with no indication they were going to ease. Was not prepared to go into the snow myself. Called it a day and headed home.
Planned for eight and picked up four. Was not expecting a stroll but it appears the Alpine NP will not be giving up her points easily. The weather ranged from sun screen from the full sun to plastic pants as snowing.
Not going out into the snow alone. No different to storms in the Grampians just looks nicer.
Points from this trip,
- Have flexible plans
- The Alpine weather is unpredictable
- Batteries loose condition in the cold
- Walk in to MacAlister Springs and set off from there
Will be coming back here before summer hits.
Overview – Overview-Map.pdf
Day One – 01112013-Map.pdf
Day Two – 02112013-Map.pdf
Day Three – 03112013-Map.pdf
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”