Second summit that I had been waiting on access restrictions to be lifted. Had addressed Mt Difficult in January having decided not to include South Mt Difficult range at the time.
This was challenging but not Difficult. The weather provided more challenges. It was inclement on the drive up to a point where I nearly decided to abort but as I could see blue sky coming so pressed on. In the end there was rain and hail but no real wind son case of get on with it.
Drove around Mt Victory road to turn towards Wartook Reservoir to gain access to Mt Difficult road. This is a slow trip due to winding road and tourists. This was the point where previous plan to qualify this summit failed as the road had been closed due to fire damage. Not just the road but even walking down the road was off limits. However not the issue this time.
Drove down Mt Difficult road and left Subie at the base of Carters track. This track has a reputation for being a challenge for 4WDers requiring rescue however it was closed this time of the year and will provide clear quick access to the ridge line. Chinamans Road was also closed due to the fire damage but would have been a longer walk so not considered.
Walked 1.2Km up the track with two active creeks to arrive on the ridge line. Only 1.4Km from the summit but no tracks so here the work started.
It hailed on the way up. I was proceeding along the ridge line and decide to take cover under a rocky outcrop.
From there I could see a valley forming and hear water running. Decided to follow this creek up to the summit to avoid climbing over rocks. This proved to be a good decision as the ridge line are two parallel rocky out crops. The creek gave me clear access to the summit and also showed a cleared route back to the track.
Given the conditions I had no desire to reach e summit so once the GPS indicated I was in the zone I proceeded to setup and qualify the summit. Found a great spot with cover and enough trees to support the squid pole. Only used SSB as worked all chasers and was not prepared to stay for a long time.
Used the KX3 and short end fed. There were not a lot of options as to antenna length in this position and the propagation gods smilled on me with excellent signal reports.
A good summit that requires attention. Not to be done in extreme weather due to potential exposure but worth the walk.
Update – 012017.
Access restrictions to Mt Difficult (Mt Gar) have been lifted,
The walking track has reopened with modifications. Start from Beehive Falls car park instead of Troopers creek campground (which has closed).
All walkers must lodge a trip intention form at Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre, Halls Gap.
VK3/VW-008 Mt Difficult
|Start: Troopers Creek Campground||Time: Approx. 4-5 hrs return|
|Distance: 8.8 km return||Grade: Hard (elevation: 470m)|
Troopers Creek Campground is located along Roses Gap Road. A hard climb. Continue beyond Tilwinda Falls to the base of cliff overhangs and then weaves through weathered rock formations and boulders to the summit – the highest point in the Northern Grampians. Return via the same route.
Access – WildSight
(March 22nd 2016) Walking track status
Troopers Creek Campground still closed