22112015 – VK3/VC035
VKFF-0556 Yarra Ranges
The summit of VK3/VC-035 Smiths Hill is bordered by the “Cement Creek Cachment Area” (Road 14) and “O’Shannassy River Natural Catchment Area.” (Road 10). The summit is broad and the activation zone is in a part of the Yarra Ranges National Park.The roads / tracks that you could use for access are all restricted.Getting to the activation zone is the issue. As you can not use the roads so have to go bush. I have looked around this summit a couple of times in a attempt to identify clear access but only found thick vegetation and inclines. Waited for the weather to improve to support off track access.
Purple lines are proposed routes. Avoid crossing into the “Cement Creek Catchment Area” in the south and “O’Shannassy River Natural Catchment Area” to the east. Blue is actual route taken.
2hrs to cover 2.3 Km.
Some parts were like walking through compost. You have to walk through the ferns. Keeping eye pout for fallen trees as a quick way to move up. Frustrating as a couple of time could see the road but had to stay clear. Head down, bum up and keep moving. Once at the top it is a large broad summit. Could not see any clearings so setup in the ferns. Setup in the clearest area I could find once cleared 1060m in height. No intent to push further through the bush. Didn’t want to risk cross into the catchment areas.
May look calm but these ferns as nearly as tall as me,
Head of Acheron River
Worked VK2AOH S2S from VK2/CT-044 on CW. Worked VK7CW, VK3FQSO, VK3LED and VK3ZPF on SSBto qualify the summit. Was receiving poor signal reports. Could hear but unable to gain response from VK1DI (S2S), VK2IO on CW and VK3PF, VK5FRY? & VK2BFC on SSB.
Put it down to a poor signal from my station. One compromise too many. The EndFed is a good antenna but a compromise between length and time to setup. Was not carrying the large Squid pole to avoid issues with access through the scrub so using the 5m smaller device which just got the wire out of the ferns. Used this setup on clear Alpine summits with success but not working in this case.
Thick heavy going through the bush. Big day for a close 6 pointer.
Now off to Hells Gates……