The isolution we all love - Mt Sarah high country trip

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Kelvin (TREXGQ)
08 Aug 2020

The only isolation we love!
With the recent situation with COVID, many Australians are bound to follow restrictions and feeling quite isolated. We were fortunate to have been able to explore the high country in Victoria, just before the recent stage-4 lockdown. On that trip, we explored the area of Mount Sarah.
Mount Sarah is situated at the north east of Victoria next to Mount Buffalo. It's not as popular as other peaks in the area and in fact, many people don't know about its existence. It's a hidden gem in a sense.
Mount Sarah's peak is at 1650m which is way above the snow line. We were hoping to get to the peak and camp nearby. I expect this to be one hell of an adventure and an epic trip due to the unknown and new areas with little knowledge ahead of us.
We started the trip at Dargo on Saturday morning. We travelled along the infamous Crooked River Tracks with over 25 river crossings. It was a beautiful morning overlooking the mountain range, with clear blue skies, fresh crisp air and what felt like the best moment for a long time, especially after the previous lockdown.
Our group were all experienced 4wders, however, nobody had ever been to Mount Sarah either. So we were all looking forward to the adventure.
Before heading off, one of the items on my checklist was to bring my ZOLEO on this trip. To know that technology like this exist today and keep me connected with my loved ones, is a treat! I was able to send SMS text messaging in an area where there was no mobile coverage and all my wife really wanted was an update from me to let her know where I am and that the group I was with were all safe and well. A satellite phone call would have cost me too much in comparison and for that, it's the reason why I love ZOLEO.
As we headed out into Mount Sarah Track, we were faced with a steep decline at the start and slowly climbed our way up to Mount Sarah. The track itself is not a difficult ascend but, it would be a very different story if it was covered in snow.
We eventually arrived at Mount Sarah late afternoon and we could feel the chills seeing that the outside temperature was down to 2 degrees and it continued to drop fast the further we went uphill. We were supposed to head to a campground which was marked on the map but unfortunately, the track was blocked by many fallen trees.
We made a careful and calculated decision for the next step. To head back to our nearest camp, it would be another 3 hours' drive and possibly driving in the dark and with a deep river crossing, is definitely not the safest option.
I am very happy to have ZOLEO with me on this trip. Knowing that no matter where I go, I have always been thinking about my loved one. ZOLEO allows me to continuously communicate with my family via the mobile phone app using SMS text messaging. They are superb as I simply need to give them a quick update. Imagine if you use a Satellite phone, it would be too much of an effort and costly to use. THIS, is exactly what I love about ZOLEO.
We looked around, with plenty of firewood available. Yes, it was a freezing cold night, but we were able to make a big bonfire to keep all of us warm. We all decided to stay put and camp out at the site, at 1600m above sea level, and in the middle of winter! It's remote and we were isolated.
Similar to my previous trip, I had my ZOLEO turned on and running at all times. It just doesn't feel that we were remote and isolated especially when I was able to continuously stay in touch with my family without worrying whether I had mobile signal or not. I could let them know our location, and give them the latest status via text.
We got through the night with a big fest. We enjoyed the night with plenty of laughs and great moments with all the 4wders.
The following morning was incredible. I woke up at 5am to watch the sunrise and it was breath-taking. It was down to -5°C degrees and I was able to capture a couple of great shots of ZOLEO, and tested it to see if it worked fine even at sub-zero temperatures. Remarkably, it worked absolutely perfect. I took it off from my cradle and carried it in my pocket. It's so small and handy (about credit card size), it's definitely easier than carrying a Sat phone.
We enjoyed every second of the sunrise and with each passing minute we could feel the trip coming to the end. As we headed out from the Buckland region driving along the Buckland River, it's really hard to believe we have such a beautiful place in Victoria that we almost take for granted. Why would you want to go overseas or even other States, when we have such beauty right in our backyards (well almost)! …. This is one of the reasons I created, to take you to places you would never forget in your beloved 4wd and making memories with other 4wd enthusiasts.
We are looking forward to the next trip.
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