We weren’t so sure about this summit, we had left the camp site and headed into Jindabyne for some supplies before heading up the Charlotte Pass road for our yearly photo at the sign and a look over the Snowy River Valley. I’d suggested this was another easy sota summit on the way, looking at my maps though the rest of the family were not so convinced based on the last easy climb we had undertaken 😀
We arrived in Perisher and had a look around, driving some of the roads to see how near the top we could get in the car, and realising that this one was very steep. We all decided to skip this one and kept heading up the hill to Charlotte Pass for the photo and some lunch. While on the summit, I ran into another who introduced himself, Richard VK2BO was on day two of his year long around Australia adventure with his wife, they were headed to Melbourne as they had a space on the boat to Tassie booked for early January.
After lunch, and on the way back, i pulled over near the hill and asked the family if they would be happy for me to try and do it alone. It looked very steep, more than 300m vertical climb in around 800m in a straight line with my maps. The family agreed to let me have a go, but insisted they would follow and see how they went, so, we all got out of the car, sun screened up and started the walk.
You park near the chairlift main base building, but up on the road level, the initial 100m walk is down hill to cross a small river at the chairlift base building before heading up the other side of the mountain, the path generally follows one of the Chairlift but snakes up the side of the hill. Its steep, very steep in places, walking was a struggle, and a couple of times i had to almost scramble using my hands to help. around half of the way up the hill, a *crazy? (and very fit) person on a mountain bike came past me, they were riding up this hill i was struggling to walk up, but as I watched him, even he was having trouble, having to often get off his bike to walk up the really steep sections. I was walking ahead of the family, but Nathan, my 5 year old was keeping up with me very well.
Around ¾ of the way up, their was a rocky outcrop the boys and Christine (and I) were struggling, the boys sat down in the shade for some food and to play on the rocks while I continued on up the hill. This last section is the steepest, with the GPS telling me I still had 100m vertical to climb, in only 300m. I took my time, with the heavy pack, thankful of the squid pole as it doubled as a walking stick. The bike rider came back past me and encouraged me for the last little section by reminding me how hard the last bit was!
Finally, the summit came into view, the chairlift building and some other structures are at the top of the hill, as well as a communications hut with antennas and the summit is a rocky outcrop at the top of the hill. I found a smaller rock with a steel sign to the right of the summit and began to setup, but was very slow at this as I really was exhausted.
Not long after this, master 5 appeared, he had been keen to get to the top, and climbed the last section, a little while later, Christine and toby also appeared, having climbed to the top also. But they didn’t stay for long, starting the steep and slow decent.
I’d made it to the top, but a fair bit later than id predicted. Conditions and people to work were a bit harder, I made 7 contacts, and tried 14MHz but without any luck.
The climb up was slow and tiring, but the return journey was just Hard. The steepness of the track made walking hard on the feet/ankles, and the dirt/gravel track was very slippery in places. it was often easier to walk in the grass on the side of the path to stop yourself falling over. I had Nathan with me and saved him from falling a number of times as we both walked down the steep path.
Nathan was keen to show me the small cave/rock area they had climbed over earlier on the decent so we stopped for a quick explore, but were eager to get back to the car. Near the bottom of the track, Christine and Toby had scratched us a message on the dirt/road. and we finally got to the bottom just after they had arrived. I am impressed that Toby walked the full distance for this one, not being carried at all.
The GPS tracker showed 1.7km down, and 300m decent, to the bottom river, add a little for the short climb back to the road for the car, this is a ~4km return trip. I rate this climb HARD, especially given I’m not fit.
|03:58z||VK3FPSR||7MHz||SSB||Peter 57out 53in|
|04:00z||VK2YW||7MHz||SSB||John 55 out 51in|
|04:04z||VK3DET||7MHz||SSB||Earnie. 57 both ways|
|04:05z||VK3AFW||7MHz||SSB||57 out 33 in|
|04:06z||VK3HRA||7MHz||SSB||53 out 22 in|
|04:06z||VK3HRA||7MHz||SSB||53 out 22 in|
|04:07z||VK3MCD/P||7MHz||SSB||33 in 43 out|
|04:09z||VK3ARR||7MHz||SSB||21 out 22 in|