Mount McLeod VK3/VE-034 1528 m 10 points
Mount Buffalo National Park
Tuesday was another early start from Wodonga, with a contact with Greg VK2FGJW/1 on VK1/AC-038 whilst travelling. The route was to the car park on Reservoir Road. For better or worse, I tried out the mountain bike for this trip, given the 7 km each way. The ParkNote indicates that MTBs are allowed on the route. This turned out to be a bad idea, given the terrain – steeper than I had anticipated. Even worse, I had not changed the tyres to knobby tyres, which were definitely required on Mount McLeod Firetrail, which had many areas with loose fine gravel with lots of leaf and other litter on the surface. I took a tumble when approaching the snow grass plain close to the final climb. No immediate indication of serious injury – winded, plus gravel rash and a sore shoulder and upper back. I decided to continue on, locking the bike to a tree close to the toilet at the start of the final climb of about 128 m vertically over 750 m. The climb becomes a steep rock scramble towards the end.
I finally made the summit and was up and running on 40 m by 0242Z, with Peter VK3FPSR first in the log. I made 22 contacts all up over the next 25 minutes, then packed up and headed back down. There was one S2S in the bag: Ron VK3AFW/p on Mount Timbertop VK3/VE-073.
The trip back was a drag – the shoulder and back were feeling very sore by now, water was running low in the heat and I needed to push the bike as well as carrying the normal load. I got back to the car finally at around 1900 local. After a good drink from the water in the car, it was time to get underway and head back to base. It was a long exhausting day.