13122014 – Mountain Goat
VK3/VE-049 Mt Selwyn
VK3/VE-025 Mt Murray
VK3/VE-017 The Twins
KRMNPA Alpine National park (WWFF ID – VKFF-619)
The plan is for 6 summits camping in the bush overnight. This will give me ‘Mountain Goat’ status.
Saturday 13th December 2014
Early start to activate SOTA peaks around Mt Selwyn.
I drove up Friday night arriving at VK3BYD Warren’s house after 10:00. Access to the summits will be via Buckland Valley. The summits were still a couple of hours drive from here.
Able to make a early start with a good sleep.
We came up Selwyn Creek Road.This is a good dirt road. 2WD just watch the rocks and take your time as I may be coming the other way.
Parked car where the Australian Alps Walking Track (AAWT), Selwyn Creek Rd and Twins Jeep track meet. Great views from the word go.
Open space to park car on the ridge line. Very exposed. We were running on time on with great weather. Whilst the weather was on our side, which made a welcome change, I still managed to get sunburnt.
Meet a hiker who was walking the AAWT from the north. He still had 12 days to go to finish. As he had come from was where we wanted to drive , was able to comment on the state of the roads. This and information Warren had gained earlier in the week suggested the roads further in were not to the same standard as w come up on. The roads are open and there is a track to Mt Selwyn. Our plan was to use the tracks to gain access to the summits. Happy to park and do a bit of bush walking.
This is a steep walk,
There was a bit fo huffing and puffing as we followed the AAWT walking through VK3/VE-066 on the way to Mt Selwyn. That was the hardest part. Waking through a 8 point summit with radios and not activating. No worries, this one was for the return trip.
The ’track’ is marked. Lost the map on the way up. We both had GPS but it is really a case of heading up looking for the track until you find the summit.
Great day. Cool on the summits with light breeze. I worked SSB then Warren took to the key.
3 S2S, VK1DR/p on VK2/SM-036, VK3PF on VK3/VE-031 and VK2IO on VK2/IL-004. Worked all comers so packed up and moved on.
VK3/VE-066 – Mountain Goat.
Once activated Mt Selwyn we headed back down the track to VK3/VE-006. The track is not very clear and you have to bash your way around trees and rocks. Overall a good track in clear bush just make sure you follow the correct ridge down. Easy to be misdirected in the vegetation. Found the map on the way back so alls well.
VK3BYD activated the summit with CW. Warren was using the FT817 so was listening to the CW contacts. Three CW contacts before switching to SSB to qualify the summit.
That was it, 1007 points after 1007 days (2 years, 9 months, 2 days).
Experiencing issues with the antenna connections for my FT817. This device has been with me from the start and taken falls, water, snow, blown finals and now ants. After the last lot of water the mode and band switches are a bit dodgy. Time to pull her down and give a good clean. Next couple of activations may be CW whilst the radio is serviced. Not a good outlook for all invoved.
VK3BYD operating standing to avoid ants. They would even climb up the coax to bite us.
Just for giggles we decide to walk back up VK3/VE-066 to retrieve a phone left behind in the rush to leave being eaten by ants. Decided to drop VK3/VE-064 from the list. This was to ensure we would make Mt Murray camp site before night. It had nothing to do with the steep climbs we had previously completed.
Used Mt Murray Logging Track to travel around to Mt Murray. This track is again in good condition. 2WD with a couple of steep climbs. Subie took in in her stride with low engaged. No real issues just watch the rocks. Actually Mt Murray Logging track is in better condition then Twins Jeep track.
Arrived at the campsite at the base of Mt Murray with enough time to setup came before dark. We could have walked up to Mt Murray but as it had already been a big day. Ended up sharing a bottle of Stones (Mac not the bogan option) and got to bed in preparation for the next day.
Sunday 14th December
VK3/VE-025 Mt Murray
Up at 5:30 when the sun rose to activated VK3/VE-025 Mt Murray before the early birds. The picture above is of sunset. Beautiful spot worth the trip alone.
It was not a cold night and there was a mild wind. This is a great spot to park and camp but would very exposed. Dare say not the best place to be in a real storm. However perfect for this weekend.
Qualified Mt Murray so time to move on as it appears most chasers were still in bed.
The Twins Jeep track condition actually degradeds the closer you get to the Apline Road. Still 2WD but a lot of rocks. You do have to be careful not to puncture a tyre.
There are two routes to access VK3/VE023.
From the front following the AAWT from The Twins or from the back starting where the Twins Track is closest to the saddle. There is a spot to park the car between The Twins and VE-023. We parked the car between the summits and took the shorter but steeper option to VK3/VE-023.
Warren worked CW then I come up on SSB to work 3 S2S VK3KAB/p on VK3/VN-029, VK1MBE/p on VK1/AC-040 and VK2YK/p on VK2/HU-091 and of course all players.
VK3/VE-017 The Twins
Decided on the gentle route for the Twins. Continued to drive another 1.3Km around Twins Track towards Alpine Road. Parked the car and walked up the longer ridge line. It was only 200m over 1K.
VK3BYD operating from The Twins. There was hardly anyone left by the time Warren was finished. Still qualified the summit.
Finished up Sunday on the Great Alpine Road. Twins Track gets worse the closer it got to the road.
Overall the timings for the weekend were good so home Sunday evening as expected.
This created SOTA CW pile ups. It was fun to listen to, great to see.
APRS – Only had one packet repeat from HT via VK2CPR-1.
The car VK3HRA-1 functioned as expected and the spots from SPOT device failed to turn up on the APRS map.
Thanks to Warren for the planning and company. We planned for 6 and gained 5. A first activation each and all unique. A great result, and don’t forget finally gaining “Mountain Goat’ status.
The weather was dam near perfect. I’ve had some shit wet experiences on summits over the last 1007 days so took this as a gift and enjoyed. I’ve enjoyed each activation was all unique. SOTA was allowed me to meet some great people whilst experiencing first hand the beauty and harshness of the Australian country. I can see the value it has added to Amateur Radio and am proud to be involved .
Sitting upon top of Mt Rosea with your head in the clouds is as much fun as being chased off Mt Howitt by snow, taking a radio only enhances the trip.
See you on the next summit or next park. Lets see what the weather brings.