Mount Pilot : August 5

Saturday August 5 was reminiscent of the good old days in Northeast Victoria. Remember those regular winter days which began with a morning chill, but then the sun would warm you through the day, and there was no breeze. Well, it was one of those days.

Sixteen walkers were to experience a fine day of walking to Mount Pilot beginning at the Yeddonba Aboriginal Cultural Site near Beechworth. A car shuffle was organised at the start, introductions were made and after receiving maps and a walk description we were off.

From the car park at the aboriginal site, we walked along the dirt road to the 4WD Green Break Track. We followed this in a southerly direction, with the main Beechworth-Chiltern Road never far from this track. Morning tea was taken at a suitable sunny spot.

After some morning refreshments, we continued on, and our gradual ascent of 150m over a couple of kilometres of this track soon had us at Old Coach Road. This road is the direct route for vehicles to the Mount Pilot summit. Green Break Track crosses this road, and we ventured on. Further along, a small stream was easily navigated by all, and it wasn’t long before we reached McGuiness Road. A short distance on we reached Pilot track.

I should point out that today wasn’t my best walk leading day. It began with me thinking I had left my maps at home. So, I rushed home to find them, and once there, realised that they were back at the meeting place all the time. Had I looked about the house a little more diligently I would have noticed my walking poles which weren’t with me for the day either. That’s because I wore a different hat. The two go together when I am organised. I then didn’t allow sufficient time for the car shuffle, so we only got walking by 10am. My fellow walkers then needed to be convinced that lunch would be at about 1pm, or a little later at the summit of Mount Pilot. Tummies were rumbling, and a few may have been grumbling by this stage, but everyone marched on like the troupers they are.

Once we reached the end of the Pilot track, we were only about 500m from the Mount Pilot car park, and we continued along Old Coach Road to the car park. A short climb to the summit was easily navigated, where welcoming sunshine and 360-degree views were encountered. It was certainly worth it. Hearty lunches were now being consumed by a ravenous tribe. It was here at the summit you would imagine I would take the mandatory group photo shot I always take on my walks. Nope. Not today. It was fortunate for all involved that I was not an aeroplane pilot in charge of a passenger flight today!

It is possible to make this a loop walk if you are adventurous enough to create your own trail and bush bash some very steep sections back down towards the Yeddonba car park. We however used the car shuffle principal to keep everyone safe and sound.

What can one say about Pat’s afternoon tea? Except that more of my misjudgements on this day meant it wasn’t here at the summit, but in another vehicle back at the start of the walk. So, this meant some walkers departed once they returned to their cars, missing afternoon tea, while the others waited and did partake in the tradition. Thanks to everyone who participated in the 11km, three hours walk. I blame all my errors on this day from the cold I had been battling for weeks. It created foggy brain syndrome.

Michael Braendler

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