22042017 – VK3/VE-003 -(Mt Fainter South)
2304217 – VK3/VE-059 – (Big Hill)
Both in (VKFF-619) Alpine National Park
Shires ID – AS3
The plan was to drive up Friday meeting Tony at the Tawonga Camping ground where we will stay overnight then to activate Mount Fainter South and Big Hill over the weekend. Mt Fainter South is a summit that again has been on my list to activate for a while whilst Big Hill is at the end of the trek and worthy of attention.
Had been in discussion with several activators as to a joint activation. The desire to go accompanied is purely for safety, not because I’m scared of the alleged big cats in the area. This is the Alpine NP and the weather can be harsh at any time with no notice let alone in in Autumn. The week previous saw a months rain in a day and 20cm of snow in the area. Not the time for solo treks. In the end Tony VK3CAT and myself decided to head up into the Bogong Alpine Area as the weekend opens for both of us. Its always a bit of a juggle to organise overnight activations with multiple activators as we all have lives and commitments.
Read many hiking blogs prior to the trip so expecting a big walk with great views but not for us. It rained Friday night and the fog stayed overnight. It did clear mid Saturday but came back for tha activation. Sunday morning was clear.
The plan was to walk the length so involved leaving Tonys car near the end of Roper Track on the Bogong Plains Rd whilst we left Subie at Pretty Valley Causeway.
We will be camping out overnight somewhere between the two summits at Bogong Jack Hut.
Activation of Mt Fainters was in the fog. The summit had the remains of what we assumed to be a trig point that was stable for supporting the squid pole. Used Tonys doublet and KX3 to activate. Once qualified it was time to keep moving as still had ground to cover before reaching the campsite for the night. We camped air Bogong Jack Hut. It was a simple operation of eat then early night.
Woke to a clear day, Went on to walk around the Big Hill and qualify.
This was on the Fire Trail. It was not a attractive as the walk across the plaines nor were there aw many opportunities for water. It was however predominately down hill which was well received.
42.7K steps for the weekend covering 30.5Km to come out at Roper Track.
It was not a hard climb or involve rocky by the end I was slowing. Coming down Roper Track proved as challenging as the initial climd due to the steepness and loose forest covering on the track. At one point we followed what we though was the route and ended in a dead end. This was also the hottest part of the trip and I was running low on water. We finally made it to Tonys car had a drink and headed up to retrieve my car.
Turned up at the base of the road to Pretty Vally Ponds only to be faced with the road closure. There was a mountain bike event on which involved parts of the road hence the closure.
This was frustrating, not the fact the road was closed, but the fact that there was no indication the day before that access will be restricted (the sign was not there) and the sign was inaccurate has it had yesterdays date on it. Fornatually a Falls Creek management unit arrived and after slight coaxing escorted us up to retrieve my car. Tony decided to go on to Mt McKay but given the view,
I decided to head home. It was a good weekend in the Alpine. Two summits in the rain, fog and sun.
Thanks to Tony VK3CAT for company and planning. Also thanks to Warren VK3BYD for input into the initial planning. This is a great area and a trip worthy of the effort, just be prepared for all conditions.