Mt Towsend Activation

DSC00247The Summit VK2/SM-002 is the best of the highest summits in Australia in my opinion.  It has been my favorite Summit since I can remember and its a thrill to come back to it and be the first to activate it for SOTA.

I left Charlotte  Pass at 6.30am parked the car and headed up the road towards Seaman’s hut the distance was 8.5 km.   I was wise to start as early as I did as it was going to be a hot day.

As you climb up the road towards Mt. Kosciusko you see the panorama of the Main Range opening up.  It is cool and quiet,
most people are still in bed.   I comfortably made Seaman’s Hut in just on 1 .30 hrs.  I walked on another 35 mins to were I parked my mountain bike.  There is a bike stand quite handy so you can secure your bike to the rack.

My intention at the time was to use the Main Range trail – this trail will take you right across the top of the main part of the range and back into Foreman’s Creek below Charlotte Pass.  This is a very popular walk for regular bush walkers, you see quite a few walking the main trail.  The turn off to the Main Range trail is about 200m from the bottom of the track up to the Summit of Kosciusko,  you turn right and drop down a long descent of some 400 meters.  At this stage I was thinking about the return later in the day,  I have since worked out a more direct and better track to use to go to Townsend which I will elaborate on further in this blog.

I reached the bottom of the saddle at Mueller’s Peak which is next to Townsend.  I had skied into this area with my father to do snow surveys many years before to the Club Lake snow courses, so it was quite  different  in summer but I still had my bearings.  I could not find a clearly defined track leading off towards Townsend so I went around the right side of Mueller’s for some distance and finding no track I retraced my steps and started to move around the side of Mueller’s.   It became very slow going,  I could see the Club Lake snow course poles and worked towards them, it took me lower into the valley and I got to a point were was looking straight up into the saddle between Mueller’s and Townsend, still a pretty healthy climb.  The 400 m I had dropped into the valley plus the extra 170 m to the top of the Summit of Townsend.

I stopped near a small stream and had my lunch it was 0012 knowing I would take at least another 1hr comfortably I headed up the spur towards the saddle it wasn’t too bad. the going was reasonable

After 15 minutes I came upon the trail that I hadn’t been able to find earlier (I later found the cairn to mark the start of the trail was some 50m off the track)  20 minutes later I was climbing into the base of the Summit it was very rocky with huge slabs of granite thrown together thousands of years ago in a huge pile, it was something to be careful climbing to the top of the summit you had to scramble up to the top over these big slabs of granite.   Once on top of SM-002 you are treated to one of the best summit panoramas on the main range.  I hope in the photos you can see some idea how breath taking it is.  I set up just below the summit some 15 or so meters as it was blowing hard.  The spot I picked is a tussock knoll in between some huge pieces of rock there was a Weather station cum trig there initially in the late 50s removed some time in the 70-80s.  There are 4 hardwood posts left behind I used one of these to secure the squid pole.  My first chaser contact was at 0312 all up I worked 12 chasers  and it quietened down after 35 minutes  so I packed up and headed off.Picture 017The bridge over the Snowy river just below Seaman’s HutDSC00249 Looking out towards Khancoban from the summit on the return trip followed the trail I had branched onto coming up.  Progress was good for the first 40 minutes then it started to zig zag around rocks and made the walk slower.  I had been having trouble with my knee on these descents on some of these higher peaks lately  so I slowed down.  The marking of the track was poor with small piles of rocks every so often, these cairns were often hard to see, you had to look for them amongst the grass and rocks until you picked up the trail again.  The Geehi Walking group usually mark all these important trails.   After doing some tricky navigation I made my way around the side of Mueller’s Peak.  The take off point of this trail is not worn or visible from the Main Range Trail, there is a large flat rock sitting 50 m out to the west of the trail at the bottom of the trail.  The Park should put a sign to mark the trail to the second highest peak in Australia.

I was very pleased to find my bike waiting for me and 15 minutes later I was back at Charlotte Pass after and exhausting but enjoyable activation that took all day.  I recommend this one though, hope the above helps other activators.

DSC00243The view towards the North and Mt Twynam

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About VK2TWR

Hi I was born in 1951 in Cooma i have lived most of my life in the Snowy Mountains area know living at Nimmitabel a small village on the great dividing range South of Cooma . I am the eldest of three brothers my main interests are the outdoors bush walking amateur radio and winter skiing which I plan to combine with Sota activities during the winter. which will make the trips more enjoyable. I have been married to my Wife Judy for just over 30 years and have recently became interested in Summits on the Air or SOTA as its known I have found it most enjoyable getting out and getting regular exercise as well as enjoying the hobby
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2 Responses to Mt Towsend Activation

  1. vk5bje John says:

    Hi Rod
    Nice to see your blog. You are only a youngster! Try 1941! I do envy the range of summits in your part of the world: we have quite a few here in VK5 but it is quite a drive and the weather is too hot at the moment. Come Autumn and Winter the activity level might go up a notch or two.
    Cheers

    John D, VK5BJE

    • vk2twr says:

      Hi John pleased you in word press as well i will let you know when i head out again
      my wife Judy goes in for a knee replacement in a weeks time so i will be looking after Her
      constantly until she is feeling like getting into the kitchen again
      ok well thanks again will get up to date with the blogs again pretty shortly
      cheers Rod l VK2TWR

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