AAWT – Mount St Bernard – Mount Speculation

AAWT – Mount St Bernard – Mount Speculation – October 31 to November 3

Starting on the Saturday we headed up to Mount Hotham, with conditions getting worse with every kilometre nearer the top of the mount. Reaching Mount St Bernard, and our drop off poin,t our kind drivers felt so sorry for us they handed over their umbrellas.

We decided to take the alternative 4WD track around The Twins, instead of going up and over. The rain was not heavy, and we reached Selwyn Saddle semi-dry to be greeted by copious 4WD vehicles.

After using various rocks to try and pound our pegs in, we headed off to water, bring back leeches in various sizes, (I thought The Barry Mountains were supposed to be arid).

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Mount St Bernard – Mount Speculation

Sunday dawned overcast, as we started the climb up to Mount Selwyn, stopping to take pictures at all the false tops, down then up to Selwyn South, then down to a 4WD track and a tank.

At the tank we picked up enough water for the next 24 hours, as there wasn’t really anywhere to camp at the tank. Why we chose to slog up a hill with five litres each of extra water in the pouring rain, when we only had to stick a pot outside for half an hour to get what we needed is beyond me. We weren’t the only ones doing this, as out of the mist appeared two very bedraggled hikers with the same intentions as us.

Monday was a better day with glimpses of the sun, and we were off to Barry Saddle for lunch and then The Viking.

Again we were misled, thinking we had reached the top, only to find the track went ever upwards. At a lovely meadow, the rocky tor was finally spotted. Up and over, sorry Kate, no going around. Just down from the summit, we were advised to take the second gully down, but there was no track and it was getting late so we chose the chimney.

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Mount St Bernard – Mount Speculation

Packs were dropped off the cliff and various routes were tried to get down the gully. All proved difficult, with the only male being called on from all four ladies for assistance. Poor Trevor was running from one outcrop to the next.

Finally we were all safely down, and Viking Saddle was reached, where we shared the camp site with our two friends from the Selwyn mists

Tuesday, our last day, more rock scrambling, around The Razor, over Mount Despair, down to Catherine Saddle, around Mount Speculation and there’s Trevor number 2 waiting to pick us up.

We commiserated with him on the poor radio reception, which could have been improved if we had taken the radio out of the pack and turned it on. A pleasant drive back to Moyhu, and Wangaratta, with all the sights being pointed out to our Melbourne friends.

A big big thank you to our drivers who, without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to do the trip.

[Adele Ritchie]

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