I decided that I wanted to activate Mt Korong as it is only about 10 minutes drive from home and this was to be my first solo activation so if anything went horribly wrong, my husband wouldn’t be too far away! My walk up the hill would be put to good use by grabbing three geocaches along the way. I, rather foolishly, assumed that would be the three stops I would need to make it to the top: One cache at the start, the second halfway up and the third at the summit. More on that folly later!
In the end, it was a whole family outing instead…more hands to carry more stuff up the hill! Mt Korong is 364 metres above sea level and is a prominent sight when driving along the Calder Highway from Wedderburn to Inglewood. We pulled into the Picnic Area and parked under some shade, unloaded the backpack and squid pole and I got my Dakota 20 set to the first geocache. It was about 130m from where we were, so off we went. The granite boulders were a little tricky to navigate but we scrambled up and after a bit of searching, the cache was located, log signed, swag exchanged, cache put back in it’s hidey spot for the next cacher to find all within about 10 minutes. Beauty!! 1 down, 2 more to go. Easy peasy!
Cache number 2 set on the Dakota and off we set out on a steep climb for the next 330 metres! I consider myself sort of fit, in that I walk around our hilly (steep in some places) property for 2kms most days but I was stopping for breathers more than I liked! This hill is deceptively tough-going! My hubby was barely puffing, my girls (10 and 9 years old) seemed to be making it okay, but my little boy (7 years old) and myself were having a bit of struggle and we weren’t even halfway there! On we trudged, finding shade when we could to catch our breath. The single lane track is actually quite good all the way up, it is dirt and rock and fairly open in some parts although it is easy to veer off but if you stick to the brown dirt path, it is easy to follow. Someone has placed white markers all along the main track from the “Bat Cave” to the summit which is quite helpful.
We finally made it to the aptly named “Bat Cave” which is home to the second geocache of this trip. After checking out the rock formations, the cache was an easy find 4 metres from the cave entrance. After the obligatory log signing and replacing, we looked up and assumed the summit was just ahead. A quick input of the coordinates for the final cache which is on the summit, showed us as being another 300+ metres from our final destination…aarrgghh! By this time, I think the joy of climbing Mt Donkey Kong (my kids nick-name for the Mt, and for those that don’t know Donkey Kong, he is the main character from a game on SNES!) had lost it’s shine. At this stage, Daddy decided to make his way to the top with most of the gear to get a head start on putting up the antenna as we were running about a half hour behind schedule so the kids and I made our way slowly up to the top. About 80metres from the summit, the track disappears for the most part and you have to channel your inner mountain goat to scramble up the granite boulders. I don’t think you would want to venture up here in the wet unless you were on a suicide mission so glad that we choose a nice, sunny day to tackle it. There are numerous cairns placed along the face of the rocks to mark the path to the summit and finally the trig point comes into view and you know that the end is near!
On reaching the top, WOW! 360 degree views of beautiful landscape. Well worth the effort! We were even rewarded by seeing 3 eagles soaring above us! We had a bite to eat, coffee made, plugged in the X1M and I made my way to 7.095 as 7.090 was in use. My first contact was Peter, VK3PF who gave me a 4 and 5 which I was quite happy with as I knew the X1M really only puts out about 4.5W so I wasn’t expecting my signal reports to be as great as I usually get on the TS 120V which is what I have used on previous activations in parks. Peter kindly put up a spot for me and then for the next half an hour, the calls came in steadly and when I finally went QRT to find the last geocache, I had 23 contacts in the log. The third geocache ended up being 6 metres from where we were set-up so a successful day had been had. It’s great when I can combine two of my hobbies together and portable radio and geocaching really do seem to work nicely together, getting you outdoors in lovely places. 🙂
VK3PF, VK2IB/P (S2S), VK3EK, VK3DBP, VK7BO, VK5CZ, VK3MTB/P (VKFF-771), VK2YW, VK3YAR, VK5WG, VK2YK, VK2LX, VK3LED, VK3FPSR, VK1NAM, VK3HRA, VK3XL, VK5XR, VK5BJE/P (VKFF-788), VK3YSP, VK3FOWL, VK2UH, VK3CRG/P (VKFF-055)
GC25PMR – Mount Korong #1: Base Camp
GC25PMX – Mount Korong #2: Batman’s Cave
GC25PNO – Mount Korong #3: The Summit