I set off with high hopes of a 3 Abel day. It had unfortunately been a while since I had gotten up any Abels, due to being busy finishing the guiding season at the Bay of Fires and then a spate of rainy (but wonderful) weather. The outlook was supposed to be pretty calm for the next 48 hours, so I jumped on it.
I drove out passed Ringarooma to get to the high plains above the village that hosts 3 Abels, Mt Victoria, Mt Albert and Mt Saddleback. I arrived at the Mt Victoria car park first and jumped out ready for adventure. The wind started to pick up as I strode off into the scrubby start of the track, but my spirits were high. The path soon opens up onto a grand Myrtle forest with many manferns and fungi to enjoy along the way. After 10 minutes or so the rainforest is left behind and a heathy alpine section is reached (last time I was up Mt Victoria I didn't have gaiters, I didn't make that mistake this time). Minimal scratches were obtained. After a short time in the heath the track reaches a boulder field where a lot of vertical distance is gained. The wind was really starting to pick up by this point and dark clouds were gathering... Not too long after reaching the rocks I was fast approaching the summit; a fun little scramble to a trig point with good views across the north-east corner of the state. A lot of the peaks to my west were shrouded in heavy cloud, and the wind increased in pace as I sat sheltered in a rocky outcrop. I hung about on top for 25 minutes before stumbling down. I was being buffeted by the wind a lot by this point, and took a few falls. It took me longer to descend the mountain than it did to climb up, and by the time I was back at my car the weather had really come in. Rain started to fall as I turned the radio on just in time to catch a weather update - severe wind warnings for the North-East. Great... I cancelled my plans to climb the other 2 mountains. I'll be back.
Mt Victoria is a great little climb and a wonderful day out especially is you involve a visit to nearby Ralph Falls.
|The beast that is Mt Victoria.|
|Wading through some scrubby patches.|
|The summit is in sight (on the left!)|
|A very windy experience on top of Victoria.|
|Rainforest on the way down.|
|Happy little fungi.|