It was off to the hills again on October 5 with an attempt to pick up some late bonus SOTA points before the end of the bonus point season. I chose Mt Saint Phillack VK3/VT-006 and Talbot Peak VK3/VT-010 as two 10 pointers that could be done together.
Mt Saint Phillack VK3/VT-006
It had been quite windy in the lead up to this trip and I was concerned that access to Saint Gwinear might be prevented by fallen trees. Clearly a number had come down but had already been pushed out of the way. I think I need to bring at least a handsaw in future just to give me a few more options, especially if a tree falls down during the day to prevent you from getting out again.
Conditions were warmer this year than last, even after recent snowfalls. There was no snow at all at the car park, with patchy snow seen up top. It was still only patchy at the summit. I headed up the main trail from the car park, using the Gwinear bypass. There was basically no snow on the track until up on the plateau.
It was also far more pleasant operating this year than last. There was the possibility of a few showers, but conditions stayed sunny for most of the time.
Talbot Peak VK3/VT-010
With conditions quite open, I decided to head to Talbot Peak directly from Phillack using the Alpine walking track (AAWT). The track falls down below 1300m between the two peaks, and there was no snow at all at the lower altitudes. The track was still quite wet from recent snow melt. I was wearing only light runner style boots, so these got quite wet. These days, I avoid boots unless I am going to be carrying a decent pack, or I expect conditions to be sporting enough to consider using gaiters.
It was good progress to Talbot Peak. It had patchy snow, like Saint Philliack. Again I went for a quick 40m activation on SSB. I met a few groups coming through from the Mt Erica car park, so clearly the road through to there was still open.
With that, it was time to head back to the Gwinear car park and an easy run out. A nice day for 26 SOTA points. I got a nice open view of the Thompson Valley on the way out, which was a nice contrast to the clouded in experience last year.
Regards, Wayne VK3WAM