09022014 – VK3/VS-010
VK3/VS-010 – South Victoria range
Leaving early Sunday morning the radio and phone were full of fire alerts. None of the warnings were for the Grampians so I kept going.
It was 30 degrees at 5 am when I got up. This was the expect weather with a cool change coming.
Off to the Victoria Ranges in the Gramians National park. I have been here before so expecting a big day. Will be able to get down the dirt tracks instead of walking in from Glenelg Rd as per previous activation of VK3/VS-023. Drove down Geerak Track. The sand was starting to get difficult so I decided to park on a solid part and walk in. This took 5.5Km off the walk in so appreciated.
There is a track. It is marginal and marked on maps. This is the recommended path to the top of the ridge. Headworks Trk is a dirt road off Geerak Rd which has a gate that is locked. There is a water plant at the end so access is restricted. No issues walking down and quite straight forward. 1.6Km from gate to end of road when the real work starts.
Start of the track at the end of Headworks Trk. It is straight ahead. Overgrown and gets worse.
Follow the track. It is overgrown and yes challenging but the best way through the bush.I deviated fro the track and regretted it.
The track was following the creek. I’m not keen of walking along creek beds as this is a good spot for snakes. My idea was to go up the hill and walk parallel to the track. The going was hard with thick scrub. After speeding 1:30 hrs and covering only a bit over 1km, I went back to the track. Whilst is was still hard going it was quicker. Soon enough the track runs out leaving 1.5K to the summit however clearer at the top of the range. The lesson here is to follow the track as long as you can.
The ridge line has rocky outcrops so stay sharp. I slipped a couple of times with minor bruises. As always, the views from the top are worth the trip alone.
It was extremely quite. No VK3 contacts at all. Only managed 4 contacts on 40m including S2S with VK5NIG then went to 20m.
Kept calling with no response. Went to 15M and it was even quieter. Went back to 20M and 40M before packing up to move on.
I’ve got my eye on two more summits in the Victoria ranges (VS-006 & VS-017) then back to the Alpine NP. The state of the fires will dictate what and when.
The reports of fires whilst at the other end of the state was not comforting so decided to go home early whilst safe leaving Red Hill for another day.