The Big One: Mount Hotham to Mount Buffalo (200 km)
It’s still dark in Dinner Plain village as you kit up for the 200 km Audax Hotham Challenge. What will the weather gods bring: glorious late summer sunshine or some diabolical combination of cold, wind and rain?
Put on your reflective vest (supplied as part of your entry fee), get your lights checked then make your way to the starting line.
The ride starts at 1580 metres elevation and cruelly the first 13 kilometres take you along the highest sealed road in Australia to Hotham Heights (1720 metres). From here most (but definitely not all) of the next 55 km are downhill to the first control at the Bright. Time to fuel up and then it’s off to Mount Buffalo.
Ride along the Ovens Valley to Porepunkah, turn left and take a good look at Mount Buffalo. The entry to the National Park marks the start of the climb. Past waterfalls and over creeks, you climb steadily towards the Gap. As you get closer to the top, check your elevation on the roadside signs. Suddenly you’ve crested at the Gap and are on the plateau. After four more undulating kilometres turn right through the snow gums and follow the path to the control at Dingo Dell. Food, shelter and coffee, what more could you want?
Now it’s time for the second big descent of the day: twenty-five glorious kilometres down through the National Park. Press on through Bright to the final control at Harrietville. More fuel for the body, then at the end of the town there’s a left turn and the road heads heavenwards. Mount Hotham here we come!
On and on, it seems like this climb will never end. And as for the climb up CRB Hill! Hotham Heights is the highpoint, then it’s a quick descent to Dinner Plain and the finishing line.
Congratulations! You’ve just finished the inaugural Audax Hotham Challenge.
Time allowed 13hrs:30mins
Start time 06:45
View the Cycling Profiles overview
For a cyclist’s account of the Mount Hotham climb click here
For a cyclist's account of the Mount Buffalo climb click here