15022015 – VK3/VS-032 and VK3/VS-020
VK3/VS-032 Point 599
VK3/VS-020 Point 740
Two unnamed summits in the South Grampians.
Access to summits in the Northern grampians is still restricted due to fire damage. I’m looking at summits to activate in the South. There are still opportunities to claim first activation. VK3/VS-032 had been activated by Wayne VK3WAM but VK3/VS-020 will be a new one.
There were several tracks to VK3/VS-032 but only bush bashing to get to VK3/VS-020. Decided to target these two knowing VK3/VS-020 will be a challange.
Left a leisurely 8:00 and drove via Skipton on the Genelg Highway. Turned at Wickliffe to come into the Grampians via the Yarram Gap road. The intent was to check out access to VK3/VS-020 whilst acessing VK3/VS-032.
The first track off Yarram Park Track was not appealing so went up to Jimmy Creek track, turned right then turned into the track just 600m on the right of where the intersection. Its’s not marked but very clear. This is a AWD track and there was a lot of debris in the way but nothing that could not be moved. Parked 900m from the summit at a clear open intersection. There was no gain in trying and drive further. Enough room to park the car in shade and a clean walk. The summit is on private land but the activation zone extends into the National Park so you walking to the edge of the park.
Arrived on the summit just on UTC. Setup in the zone whilst still in the Grampians National Park. This activation qualifies for WWFF VKFF-213.
Using the LNR 40/20/10 End fed. FT817 with 2500Ma Lipo in the internal battery bay. Removed some mods the previous owner had placed on the front BNC so can now use for the HF antenna. This is a tight setup. The longest time in setup is securing the squid pole.
Great day to be out in the bush.
16 40m contacts. The usual culprits. Received great reports. went to 20 and 10 with no results. Not surprising due to time of day.
Still had work to do so decided to move on to the next summit. Next was VK3/VS-020.
I have been watching this summit for a while now. Whilst it is not doing much but there is a lot going on here. It is off the Grampians Road parallel to Sierra Range and taunts you as you drive along. Whilst close to the road, access has always been a concern. Its only a couple of K’s walk but through the harsh Grampians vegetation. There are rock faces from the North and West. The best approach appeared to be from the south and to follow the ridge line. I had several plans and decided to go with the approach from Mt Grampians Road option.
The vegetation from the ‘front’ or east was too thick for me to get through. There are no tracks to follow.The plan was walk around to the ridge so coming up from the south. This was not to be. The vegetation quickly became thick and taller them me. A couple of time the GPS lost sync. Not really surprised. You don’t need the GPS at this stage, just keep heading for the summit. Have has similar experiences with summits on this area. Typically I walk on the ridge between creeks thus avoiding the thickest scrub and snakes. Usually you end up at the top facing a rock face so walk around to find the creek and climb up. There were several points I couldn’t get through the scrub. Even tried heading towards the creek. Kept walking into dead ends and spider webs. I was making > 500m hour.
It was becoming obvious this was not going to be a fruitful venture.I decided to run away and live to runaway another day. (Rincewind)
This summit got away. It took over a hour to get back to car. I had only travelled 1KM each way. It was mid afternoon by now so decided to checkout the summit from the road behind. There have been fires in the area. Hard to get a good view. Best height was from Jimmys Creek Road.
Next attempt will be from the west coming down from the east heading west to the valley. Fires through this part have cleaned up the undergrowth. It looked clearer but you wont know until you are on the ground. This will have to be soon as the vegetation will be growing back. Keen to get into the North Grampians before the scrub has grown back. Accessing Victoria Range after the fires whilst dirty did result in successful activations.
Map of the Jan 2006 fires. Looking for areas of reduced vegetation.