A weekend of SOTA

For a long time I had been considering a trip out to Mt Murray (VE-025) which would include activating The Twins (VE-017) and an un-named summit (VE-023).
After much consideration a plan was formed which included the nearby summits of Mt Selwyn (VE-049) and two un-named summit (VE-064 & 066).

selwyn_east

Mt Selwyn looking East, Mt Cobbler to right of centre

In conversation I discovered that Allen VK3HRA had also been looking at a trip into this area, this would see a combined trip with 6 summits to be tackled over two days which included the camping out near (if not on ) Mt Murray.

cw_standing

Too many ants to sit down, so standing CW

Too make this work Allen would travel to Wangaratta the day before so we could have an early start on the Saturday. I had previously sought local knowledge regarding track conditions, the plan had us driving down Selwyn Creek road to where it meets the Alpine Walking track (AAWT), there is ample room here to park a car and this saddle is within easy striking distance of VE-064 & 066.

sota_ants

Allen working Rod vk2twr for his 1000 points

Whilst it may be possible to drive closer to Mt Selwyn the walk along the AAWT to Mt Selwyn from where we parked the car, (whilst is steep in places) was quite enjoyable. Although I would not suggest losing your phone so you have to climb the steep bit from the car for a second time….
On our last summit for the day (VE-066) I was lucky enough to witness the transition from Ham to Goat as Allen made the SSB contact with Rod vk2twr, to qualify 1000 pints worth of summits.

ve_steep_2

Approach to vk3/ve-023

Whilst being conservative with walking times we still found ourselves short so dropped VE-064 to allow us to make Mt Murray before dark.
With the benefit of the local knowledge and the opportune arrival of a hiker earlier in the day we felt it worth a try to drive back down Selwyn Creek Road until it met the Mt Murray Logging road and use this to bypass the rough and steep bit of the Twins Jeep track.
This trip had as arrive at Mt Murray in time to set up camp but just a little late to do the activation.
The next morning bright and early we were up and on Mt Murray, despite the 7am (local) start there was still enough dedicated (silly) chasers for us to qualify the summit on CW for me and SSB for Allen.

sota_twins

The Twins with Squid pole

Once Mt Murray was done it was a short walk back to camp and the car and then head off to our remaining two summits. I hoped we could find a parking spot in the saddle south of (VE-023) however there was no room so we park at the saddle to the north of the summit, this meant a steep climb up the AAWT to the summit,

Once back at the car we drove round to where an old jeep track head up to the summit of the Twins, this track is long closed but tacks the least steep route to the summit (one which our legs appreciated).

So two days, five summits and a trip through some lovely country.

(see Allen’s post here )

Foot Note; this trip was the first time I achieved spots via the RBN system (5 in total). Thanks to Andrew vk3jbl for his 40m gateway and advise to improve my chances to get through.

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