20042013 – VK3/VS-019 and VK3/VS-022

Two Summits. One activation

Activated VK3/VS-019 20 April 2013.

Didn’t make it to VK3/VS-022. Ran out of time.

Dipole No. APRS Don’t know as left device in single band mode. Pity would have been a good picture this time.

Planned to use bike to travel the tracks to get two summits in.  


View of the sandy track off Grampians road. The bike is not working in this environment. You get bogged in the sand and end up walking with the bike. Decided to leave bike and go bush. Was at 450m on the road so looked at map and decided to cut across and go up the ridge line. So off I went through the bush. Slow progress as back in the thick harsh scrub of the Serra. As I was going up was looking at the summit to my left and wondering about prominence as it looked higher then the one I was on. When it was obvious close to the top pulled out GPS to check height and realised was on the wrong summit as VS-019 was still 1.2Km away. Was also at 600m and there was not another 100m left. Needed to be 720+ to be in the zone.  Dam wrong ridge line ! So  fine, I’m at the top, can I cross at the peaks? Well in this case no. There are cliffs. Will have to go down and cross the valley.  Hate walking through valleys and creek beds. The vegetation is always thicker. Had no choice. Had to go down the summit, loosing height and walking into thick scrub. 

I was not lost at any time just 4hrs late.  It was not my additional trek that caused delays. It didn’t help but only added additional 1.4k to the trip but it was the 500m/h scrub that I had to work through. I would have been 30min later that planned for activation anyway. You can see in the picture below where the GPS lost sync. It was a clear day (as good as you can expect in the Grampians) but the cover in the valley is too heavy to keep . The GPS unit in the VX-8G appears to have better luck as it is mounted at the top of my pack. However no good to me on the day.

Have been spoilt with last couple of activations. Forgotten how harsh the scrub gets. Took lots of pictures this time,

VS 019

Here is a view of VS-019 from wrong summit. You can see the rocks and the steepness of the side


and now a view back from VS-019. The drop is just past the scrub visible. Also VS-022 is visible in the background.

Prickles 002Prickles 003

Prickles 001











These are all standing up. This is how high the scrub gets and how steep the hills are. If it wasn’t a national park I would take a machete to cut through.

It was a perfect day to be out in the bush. Not too hot or cold. Not wet and still heaps of light. Wanted to get two summits in but also wanted two activations. It was not to be. Once at the right hill wanted a quick activation as needed to be down before dark. Worked the usual culprits in around 5 min,

Log 20042013

Thanks for being there for me.

So just for giggles, lets look at some maps. These are all of VS-019.

Actual 20042013

This is the view from Shonky maps loaded into Garmin Basecamp. They are free 1:250K topographic maps. I have overlaid the GPS log showing the journey up. The purple lines is the route planned whilst the broken actual.  Playing with Basecamp as have brought a Garmin eTrek  30. This device supports topographic maps and apparently has better GPS sync time. Looking for a map set to have on the GPS and computer. Will be looking at the OZtopo maps as it has 1:25K topographical base.

VS 019 Google

This is a Google maps view of the same area. Nice shading and roads are marked but you can’t get a MGRS grid overlay. Not for bush walking. Good for a overview as this one shows the issues with accessing the summit from the south.

VS 019 ForestExplorer

This is a Forest Explorer map. In this case it is 1:25K. I’m not sure what the line is. There is a road there but this is not marked as such. The counters are 10m,  MGRS grid, the site has shading but I’ve not worked out how to print (yet). This is saved as a PDF and imported into MacGPS pro. Checkpoints are added and print a copy. This is what is used on the day in the field.   

Anyway a great day to be out in the bush. You will regret not activating in a could of weeks once winter comes.


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