28032015 – VK3/VS-020, VK3/VS-034 and VK3/VS-038
Point 704 (VK3/VS-020)
Sisters South (VK3/VS-034)
Sisters North (VK3/VS-038)
All summits qualify for KRMNPA in Grampians NP WWFF ID – VKFF-213
Point 704 (VK3/VS-020)
Second attempt. Accessed from the ‘back’ this time. Parked on the Yarram Park road and walked in. This involves a steeper climb but the vegetation is not as thick as that from the front due to the recent fires (2009) that went through the back. The final 100m is thick but not impossible. My GPS want flat on the way up. Not a problem as it was easy to see the target any were adjusting course to conditions anyway. Keep going up to the rocky outcrop. Stopped at the base of the outcrop and changed batteries in GPS so able to verify height. The batteries also went flat in the SPOT device. Not until later in the day as didn’t notice until went to turn off. Not a issue and good to know will get four days out of a fresh set.
I had no intention of climbing the rocks to be on the top. You could skirt the outcrop and get a better position but Just needed to be in the zone for activation. This was not the hardest summit I have activated but definitely one of the most challenging. Looking to verify height to ensure in the AZ. 710, still had 10+ meters to go so continued along the base looking for height until in a valid position. A lot of rocks to negotiate. Would not want to be doing this in rain as slipping would be a real concern. Found a suitable position and setup the end fed antenna along the rock face.
Operated for nearly a hour qualifying the summit with CW whilst waiting for S2S opportunities. Went to SSB and called two parks but was not getting through with the volume of chasers out there. Don’t think my operating position was helping. Finally got contacts with VK2IB on VK3/VE-064 then VK3CAT on VK3/VE-065. Knew there were going to be other opportunities for so packed up and moved on to the Sisters.
View from the Sisters South showing Major Mitchell Plateau.
Walked back down to the car and traveled around to Serre Road. Parked the car off track between the two summits and took off through the scrub.
No evidence of recent fires so the going was thick in places but only a short distance and gentle rise to address. Clear open operating positions available. Bit like setting up in a park after Point 740. Qualified the Sisters South picking uo S2S with VK2IB on VK3/VE-049 so packed up and moved on. 1.2Km between summits. Down and across. Closer than the car actually.
Scooted down the hill and back up the other side. I have purchased a set of hiking poles and finding the going easier using them. Going down not the same demand on knees. More rocks on the Sisters North but still a good clear summit. Setup and found VK3CAT on VK3/VE-026. Working to the limits of my CW but have to admit really enjoyed sending S2S in CW. I was getting tired by now as had been a big day and starting to have issues. Tired. It was also time to get moving off the hill. Finished up and walked back to the car to cruise home.
Think I have to apologise to at least two chasers. Could not get the callsigns. Nothing wrong with the signals. It was a great day on 40m one of the best for a long time. The sending of suffixes was doing my head in. The differences in signals is amazing. Starting to recognise chasers by style. Sorry to those I missed.
SPOT to APRS
Recommend any one with a spot device exploits Geoff’s (VK8GG) SPOT to APRS gateway. This is working very well.
CW can be tiring.
I can expect 4 days of solid use for my GPS and SPOT device from a new set of batteries.
Take advantage of the clearing the fires create before the scrub grows back.