For the 2015 KRMNPA weekend I headed off to the Burrowa Pine Mountain NP, this park has 4 valid SOTA summits, of which three are on walking tracks.
So after studying the maps my plan was to access the Hinces Saddle camping area via the Burrowa 4wd track. This would place me as close as I could get to Mt Burrowa and an easy walk back to Black Mountain. Black Mountain can be access by 2wd quite close to the summit via Black Mountain Track. For those without a suitable four wheel drive parking near Black Mountain and hiking into Hinces saddle would be an option.
The Parks Vic park web page and signage at the camping area showed the walk to Mt Burrowa as 4.5km one way. I had spent plenty of time studying the maps and I felt the distance was closer to 6km from the camping area (see update below).
There was also a warning notice on the PV web site (and at the start of the track) indicating the track was not well marked and over grown and only suitable equipped hikers should attempt it.
I arrived at the camping area around midday, popped lunch in the pack and headed of to Black Mountain, I was glad I had taken the time to research this one also, as the track was often hard to find in the scrub and the orange triangles were very internment.
The 2.5km took around 90 minutes, the summit is treed and offers little views, but plenty of room for radio antennas and with propagation on my side I happily worked, 8 stations and ate my lunch. The return trip took a similar amount of time albeit it a little easier with the gps track to refer to when the direction to walk was not obvious.
Track marker old style
Once back at camp and with the tent set up I worked a few station on 40m SSB before it was time to have dinner and head to bed ready for a big next day.
Armed with the experiences of the Black Mountain trip I head off early, (0730). The section of track between Hinces Saddle and the turn off to Mt Burrowa whilst also poorly marked and hard to see an obvious foot pad on with the relatively narrow ridge line did make navigation reasonably simple.
About 2.5km from Hinces Saddle the track to Mt Burrowa heads off to the North West, from here it is a steep decent to the saddle and long slow climb up to the ridge that Mt Burrowa sits on. There are also big gaps between the orange triangle track markers through this section and often no clear sign of a well-used foot pad.
After around 2km from the sign post you arrive at a large rock clearing this spot offers good views to the North, but is not the highest point on the ridge, it is still another good 1Km past this point (see update below). From here I found the bush harder to push through and it took another hour to get the summit.
There is little room to set up at the summit, I struggled to get the antenna up in clear air, that coupled with the very poor propagation made for hard work, 2 on 40m, 2 on 30m and 2 on 20m was all I could achieve. So with time ticking away I packed up and headed back, like the day before the GPS track helped when I could see no markers, or any sort of foot pad to follow.
Conclusion, the round trip (walking time) was almost 9 hours; the GPS showed I walked just over 12km. So I believe that Parks Vic consider the spot with the good views to be the “summit” from a walkers perspective. Also somewhere after leaving this spot I lost my watch, not a good watch, but not one I had planned to replace in a hurry, maybe the next Activator will find it.
Summit Update Dec 2015;
Looking at the GPS data collected on the day, and chatting with another local ham we come to the conclusion that the first high point (about 1200m east of the location in the VK3 ARM) is higher than the posted position in the ARM (by about 5m). This was referred to the VK3 AM he had a look and confirmed that the high point around 4.5km from Hinces Saddle is the highest point. This will appear in an updated version of the VK3 ARM soon.
Looking at the 1:25K topo map it is impossible to tell the difference and possibly one confusing factor is the Rock Cairn is shown on the map, which suggests it, is the highest point.
This also means the PV Park Note has the distances correct for the highest point but not for the one in the current VK3 ARM.
The saddle that sits between these two high points appears to be just in the AZ by around 1m (as advised, I do not have the mapping resolution to confirm this). This would make the eastern high point valid for the current reference, but will remove the western high point when the new ARM comes into effect.