11082013 – VK3/VS-005
11082013 – VK3/VS-005 – (Chimney Pots)
Above is a picture of the ‘Welcome To Grampians NP’ sign at the start of the park whilst below is a road sign at the other end.
I could not locate the initial parking spot but did find the second open. This track is closed past the car park. Whilst the road was closed the track has been maintained and the sign replaced.
The sign is inaccurate. It is 5Km to Chimney Pots. The rack takes you to the lookout. Great views but not where we want to be.
The first 2.5Km’s was ok as on defined tracks. There are several formations in the area defined as ‘Chimney Pots’ according to the NP information. The point we want for SOTA is at the other end. From what I could see the fire did burn up the valleys then slow down across the top. Some spots were harder hit than others. If caught in this area in a fire I would be getting close to the outcrops away from the valleys. Where the scrub was not burnt, it was a thick as any in this area. Very hard to get through. Down to 400m /hr in some parts.
Left an hour earlier than planned and still was 2hrs behind schedule so missed a lot of the VK1 activations. This was true to form as was also late for the launch of VK1 6 months earlier. This was a full on trek. Had to stay on the edge of the ridge to avoid up and down the valleys. Not to lose height but the cliffs are vertical so you can’t go across.
As soon as I was in the zone, setup and started calling. VK3MRG straight away then VK3PF just as he left the summit. It was a good day. 4 Summit to Summit contacts all up including VK3UP & VK3FEAT and VK3ATB. Reports were down from previous activations. Using a end fed half wave. This designed to minimal weight. The wire is thin (26 AWG) and the SOTA tuner works very well. There were stations (VK3AMB) that I could hear (58) but they were unable to receive me. The wire was ‘L’ fed from the tuner up the squid pole then across so there would a node thing going on.
This is a good one to have under the belt. Will be coming back for the other summits in this area as the fire whilst backing the trip very dirty, currently presents an opportunity to travel fast through normally harsh scrub. It will be back soon enough.