Mt Ritchie VK3/VC-003 and Mt Toolebewong VK3/VC-033

Paul VK3HN and David VK3KR.

David VK3KR and I made plans for a visit to Mt Ritchie VK3/VC-003, 1255m (8 pts) and Mt Toolebewong VK3/VC-033, 735m (4 pts). This would be our first use of the approach from the north, rather than using the usual 8km round trip via Road 15 (from Acheron Way) then Road 10. While the southern route is a great hike in the Yarra Ranges, it takes up most of a day. But more so, some more skilled cartographers than I have determined that an alternate route in, from the north, has greater clearance from the water catchment area boundary. Two good reasons to choose the new route, from the north.

Yarra Ranges bush, a Eucalyptus sub-alpine forest, near the trail head for the north approach to Mt Ritchie.

North route

Credit for working out the north approach to Mt Ritchie goes to Mitch VK3XDM, Peter VK3PF, Ken VK3KIM and Ron VK3AFW. You can follow the discussion on the OZSOTA Group. Glenn VK3YY’s description is here. Ron VK3AFW’s description is here. I will add my description in my own words and pictures so that anyone trying it for the first time should have no doubt.

We drove south on Acheron Way from the Marysville Road. Feiglins Road comes up on the left (east side). We turned into Feiglin’s Rd and followed it right up to the intersection with MMBW Road, formerly Road 8. Turning left here takes you straight to Mt Strickland, VK3/VN-030. Instead, turn right on MMBW Road, a very good dirt road, and follow it all the way (about 3 km) to the closed gate. We parked in the obvious turnout about 200m down the slope from the gate (GPS trace marked ‘A’ below). Load your pack and fill your water bottle.

From your parked car, walk about 100m towards the gate (move to the mid point between your car and the gate) and look right, up the hill, for a large fallen tree trunk with some orange ribbon tied to a dead branch. Other descriptions describe a marker tape on a sapling, we couldn’t find this, but the large tree trunk cannot be missed.

Dive in here and pick your way through the knee high grass and higher bush to the far end of the fallen tree (about 20m). Then turn left and basically find your best path up the slope, heading more or less south east. The thicker bush quickly thins out, the bush bashing becomes easier, and after about 300m you stumble onto an old 4WD track. This is the old Road 8. Now simply follow it up the mountain. If you wish, consider tying your own coloured ribbon or cloth at the point where you step onto Road 8 as a reminder of the exact point to dive back into the bush on your return.

We added a second orange tape at the entry point, and 3 or 4 bright orange plastic tapes to mark our path through the 300m bush bash section. Other walkers have also left a few markers, although one or two of these were very faded.

It’s pretty simple.

Komoot GPS track of the north approach to Mt Ritchie. “A’ is where the car was parked.


On the summit, we activated on 40m SSB, 20 and 40m CW. The band was so quiet, all we could hear initially were internal receiver birdies and noise, so much so that David questioned whether his newly made linked dipole was open circuit. We used two of my homebrew SSB/CW QRP transceivers, SP7 and SP9 (new, description under preparation!). On air, conditions were variable but good, a set list follows for VK3HN.

Summit:VK3/VC-003 (Mt Ritchie) | Call Used:VK3HN/P | Points: 8

02:55VK2IO14MHzCWGerard s579 r549
02:58ZL1BYZ14MHzCWJohn s559 r559
03:03ZL3GA14MHzCWGeoff s559 r549
03:05VK5IS14MHzCWIan s599 r559
03:10VK3ARH7MHzCWAllen s559 r599
03:15VK3PF7MHzCWPeter s579 r599
03:17VK3UAO7MHzSSBStuart s57 r55 in Mt Ridley Conservation Reserve
03:20VK3PF7MHzSSBPeter s59 r59
03:22VK3ANL7MHzSSBNick s59 r59 QSB
03:24VK2VH7MHzSSBRob s59 r55
03:27VK4AAC/27MHzSSBRob s59 r55
Returning on the beautiful Black Spur between Narbethong and Healesville.

Mt Toolbewong VK3/VC-033

After a near perfect early summer’s hike at Ritchie, a side trip to Mt Toolbewong VK3/VC-033 not far south of Healesville capped off a great day. Mt Toolebewong is off Moora Moora Rd, named with the Moora Moora Cooperative, a self sufficiency community that dates from the 1980s. I noticed for the first time some of the artisan mud brick houses nearby, reminiscent of Montsalvat at Eltham. An idyllic mountain place with an interesting history.

2m SSB with portable 4 element yagi on pole at 5m.

Mt Toolebewong has a good path back to Melbourne, so I started on 2m SSB, working Andrew VK3TOT in Gordon near Ballarat, then SOTA MG Tony VK3CAT at his home, both stations excellent signals. Lots of calling failed to raise another chaser on 2m SSB so a quick spot on 40m CW and a string of five keen chasers in quick succession.

Summit:VK3/VC-033 (Mt Toolebewong) | Call Used:VK3HN/P | Points: 4

06:49VK3TOT144MHzSSBAndrew s59 r58 Gordon near Ballarat
07:15VK3CAT144MHzSSBTony s59 r59
07:20VK3APC144MHzSSBTony s59 r59
07:27VK2IO7MHzCWGerard s599 r579
07:30VK3PF7MHzCWPeter s559 r439
07:33ZL1TM7MHzCWAndrei s579 r579
07:35VK1CT7MHzCWChris s579 r559
07:37VK4TJ7MHzCWJohn s579 r559

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One thought on “Mt Ritchie VK3/VC-003 and Mt Toolebewong VK3/VC-033

  1. Anonymous says:

    sports man :))))))


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