28122016 – VK3/VE-040 (The Knobs)
28122016 – VK3/VE-240 (High Cone)
29122016 – VK3/VE-018 (Mt Clear)
All in (VKFF-619) Alpine National Park.
I’ve had my eye on this area due to the number of desirable summits and ability to use the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT) to safely access said summits for a while.
Tony VK3CAT mentioned he was heading to the area after XMAS and I jumped at the opportunity to accompany him and Nan. Given the remote nature, these summits are not activated a lot. Previous activations have been by Wayne VK3WAM (https://waynemerry.wordpress.com/tag/vk3ve-040/) and Tony VK3CAT (https://vk3cat.wordpress.com/march-2015/) so also not many opportunities to go with someone who had been before. Sole hiking is not a good plan in this area. Intend to return to access easier summits but this time will go accompinied.
Weather was interesting. The week leading up predicted 36+ heat. Planning involved working outwore water points were.As it got closer the wetter the forecasts were becoming. Headed off Tuesday to drive via Mansfield as intended to camp that night. Noted the weather forecasts and decided to review the position in the morning. The closer to mansfield I got the wetter it became. Fears go excessive heat disappeared and was becoming obvious rain gear was to be deployed.
Easy access to the area. Head through Mansfield to turn down Howqen Road then pass through Shipyard Flat camping area to follow Brocks Rd down to the the Jameson River. This is marked as a 4wd track, but it is maintained to a high standard being recently graded, so no problems with a 2wd. Meat up with Tony and Nan at a camp site next to the Jameson River in time to setup tent in rain and have tea.
30Km all up over two days. GPX available on request.
The Knobs VK3/VE-040
Left Tonys camp on the Jamison in Subie to head down Mt Clear Track. Parked off the road and and headed up Mt Clear track then turned right to The Knobs track to gain access to the ridge line. One up on the ridge we meet the AAWT. This was used to to gain access to the summits. The weather was windy and grey but holding. It was a steep walk up but the AAWT track will head through the activation zone for The Knobs for our first summit. Track is clear and easy navigation. Just keep following the yellow triangles until GPS tells you you are in the zone.
This was the point for the first activation. Stayed dry but the wind forced us to select a spot just under the peak. Qualified and kept walking as more summits to do.
High Cone VK3/VE-240
Followed the walking track around to High Cone. The track did not go through the activation zone so we dropped packs and climbed the final 120M up to activate.
The rain was starting to come in now. Not a problem actually better than the expected 36+ conditions. Setup below the peak to avoid the wind and activated with intent to stay dry. Used the endfed with Tony’s KX3 to qualify.
Followed the AAWT around to camp in the saddle at the base of Mt Clear. The yellow line is the track AAWT GPX whilst the blue line is the actual route we took. There is a marked difference around ‘Square Top’. We decided not to go over the summit (can’t qualify so why walk up). According to AAWT GPX there should have been a track. No real track. Whilst the AAWT went around the base, the track in fact headed over the summit. We maintain 1490m and cut up once clear of the climb. By now the wind was quite gusty. Camped in the saddle at the base of Mt Clear. Given the wind and pending rain we selected a protected site as protected as possible and away from dead timber.
Mt Clear VK3/VE-018
Anything but clear.
The rain was varying from heavy drizzle to showers. Everything was wet. There was no view to enjoy so we qualified and moved on.
Walk back was via Mt Clear Track. This is the same track we had left the car on on the previous day. By now it is a overgrown 4WD parks management track that joined the AAWT. Despite the vegetation it is a easy but long walk as a case of head down keep going. The 4WD track is no longer used but still clear so no navigation going on. Frustrating in the final stages as it zigged and zagged down to meet Mt Clear Track. The GPS was showing 1.4km to the car for nearly an hour. There is a track on the maps that appeared a more direct route but did not see and usable options. Got back to Subie and headed back to main camp.
Tony stayed for another night whilst I headed home. Harsh weather on the way home so decided not to pickup summits on the way. Wet tried and looking forward to sleeping in my bed tonight.
Thanks to Tony and Nan for patience in harsh conditions. Appreciated the opportunity to access desirable summits.