07062015 – VK3/VW-015 & VK3/VW-017
Both qualify for qualify for WWFF VKFF-751 Black Range State Park.
There has been damage to the park due to fires in January 2015. Black Range Road and Muirfoot Track are currently open but will be seasonally closed 11/06/2015 so going in now.
Wore a FitBit device during this activation – 16038 Steps over 12.3Km for 172 floors.
View from Muirfoot track looking towards Mt Byron through where the fire had been.
VK3/VW-015 (Mt Byron)
The sign making the start of the track to Mt Byron still exists but the track does not. The area was been damaged by the fire fighting equipment that must have gone through. I had the track in my GPS so walked to where is should be. Once found (just after the dry creek) is was a simple task to follow to the summit. It appears Parks are working on reinstating the track as marked with tape. The summit has several decent places to setup. I selected a rock outcrop with views to Difficult Range.
Great day with SOTA and park activation a plenty. The weather was threatening but did not rain. The wind was the only chalange. Qualified the summit with the MTR on CW. It got a little insane for a while as VK3CAT also came up and we had activators and chasers everywhere on 7.032. Once the mayhem settled all worked.
Pulled out the FT817 and went to case SOTA and WWFF.
Total of 5 S2S – CW being VK3CAT on VK3/VE-03, VK2IB on VK3/VE-241 and VK2YW on VK2/RI-003 then SSB for VK3HN on VK3/VN-017 and VK1NAM on VK1/AC-033
2 park activations being VK3VTH in VKFF-756 and VK5PAS in SANPCPA Piccaninnie Ponds CP.
Was not going to chance Muirfoot Track being open the full length so went back and followed Black Range Road around to the next summit.
VK3/VW-017 (North Burranj Range)
Parked car at the Mudadgadjiin picnic area. There is a lot of rock art in this area. Worth planning a longer trip to make a day of it. Would recommend waiting as the burnt area makes a real mess.
There is a track to follow to the summit. Not on the maps but easy pickup as you walk out. Again fires have been through. The track would edge up to the fires then move away. Best to follow the track as easy walk but you have to come across the ridge line to get to summit. The summit is a rock outcrop. I setup to the north east in the zone and safe. Saw a fat fox, several wallabies and a couple of emus. Not sure what they are living off up here.
The wind and lateness of activation was taking its toll. Missed a couple of stations as kept mangling the callsigns. Still managed to qualify on CW.
3 S2s VK2IB on VK3/VE-135, VK5CZ on VK5/SE-002 and finally VK3HN on VK3/VN-027.
Packed up and headed off to gain Mt Zero. It was dark by the time I got to the base of Mt Zero. Not a big day just short daylight. Again this summit will wait for another day.
APRS coverage excellent as per normal in Grampians.
New park as recently added to the WFF list. Two new summits with good access. Apart from the fact right out in the middle of nowhere, this is a good site.