30122015 – VK3/VT-059, VK3/VT-050, VK3/VT-078 & VK3/VC-016

VK3/VT-059  South Hells Gate

VK3/VT050 North Hells Gate

VK3/VT-078 Gentle Annie VKFF-0753 Bunyip State Park

VK3/VC-016 Mt Beenak

I have not activated any of these before. This trip was to add to my complete score. Researching previous activations and it becomes clear that access for North Hells Gate will be fun.

There is a lot of information available as to access. These summits are usually done as a group so if looking at the area start with Peter VK3ZPF’s blog to gain oversight.

North Hells Gate delivered the challenge all were describing. Went prepared long sleeve shirt, gloves, glasses but still managed to cut myself,

VK3HRA Cuts ActiveLog 30212015

Access from the M1 is straight forward. I came into the forest from the east. Turned off the M1 at C421 then following Jacksons Road. Turn left into Stoll’s Rd and keep going. The inconsistencies between the Garmin maps in my GPS and the signs for road names creates confusion. The changing roads is not unusual given this is a logging area so as long as you keep heading in the right direction then you will be ok.  Headed down South Hells Gate Road and to parked on the ridge just short of the intersection of  South Hells Gate Road and Robertson Creek FireBreak.

VK3/VT-059  South Hells Gate

SouthHellsGate

Walked down the road and followed the firebreak track up to the summit. Setup the antenna running down the road. Using the 7m squid pole which ensured the wire would not be in the way. Didn’t expect traffic but had a motorbike and 4WD pass through during the activation. No issues as enough bush to share.

20 contacts including 4 S2S. VK2IO on VK2/CT-056, VK1MA on VK3/VC-007, VK1AD on VK1/AC-037, VK3PF on VK3/VE-105, VK1VIC on VK2/SM-059 pre UTC then VK1VIC,VK3PF,VK1AD and finally VK1DI on VK1/AC-021. Running on schedule so time to pack-up and move on.

Walking back you can see where the track use to go right towards the end. It had been torn up but easy to walk through as shorter and saved loosing then gaining height by following the firebreak. Once back at the car I followed  South Hells Gate Road down and out to Quartz Creek Rd. No issues with Subie but would not want to be coming the other way in the wet. then down Forest Rd until come to the intersection of Forest Rd, Proposch and Bunyip Rd. I intend to follow Bunyip Rd out but first have to address the two summits here.

VK3/VT050 North Hells Gate

You can drive down 2WD Proposch Rd to 55 H 399201 5798311 and park.There are shady spots available to park car and little to gain by pushing on down the track. Followed the track towards the summit. Easy walk so enjoy as gets interesting

NthHellsGate

I followed the track to the left at 55H 399593 5798044. Quick travelling (15min for 1km) but ultimately you will have to head up towards the summit and the gradation was only increasing.

The vines and grass between the saplings is the problem. As you move through the area vines will wrap around you. Eventually enough wrapping around and forcing you to stop. The grass is easy to dismiss and the vines had not taken over. So every couple of meters you had to address the vegetation doing its best to stop you.  Took a machete and used it to keep the vines at bay. Still heavy travelling. The new sapling growth are spaced wide enough to get thorough and the ground cover still had not built up. Its not a pace to be taking a full length squid pole .

Took 1:48 to walk 2.7Km including the deviation down track. Heading along the ridge line is the best option. Once on top you see the issues that adding rocks to the access will bring. Turned around and headed back toi get cheap height. Basically headed up to the summit through the undergrowth. I had proposed tracks based on Peter VK3ZPF & Wayne VK3WAM notes. Looking for the track others mentioned but just negotiating the scrub. Happy to share logs but make no claim as to them being the best or even usable. Once the vines get in this will be in a extremely challenging piece of bush. Don’t just curse the vines as your walking through the bush, keep eye out for the stumps left from the original logging, the original trees were beasts.

Setup on the summit in the rocks. Used small squid pole and 21m end fed. Strapped the pole into a tree and weaved the wire in a ‘L” around the trees on the summit.

10 contacts with 3 S2S. VK2IO on VK2/CT-056, VK3MCD on VK2/SM-023 and VK3PF on VK3/VE-126.

I had tried to follow the track from the summit out to see if useful for access but ended up travelling down hill.  I had taken waypoints on the way in so set and headed across. Had lost sense of direction in the undergrowth. Lost GPS during one leg. It had unclipped from the strap on pack. Unusual as good clip. Carefully backtracked and found it next to a log I had traveled down.

Actually a pleasant place to be in the middle of the day. Shade and coolish just heavy growth.

Wont be coming back for this one. If you are prepared to travel off track consider VK3/VC-035 (Smiths Hill). Similar effort for double the points.

VK3/VT-078 Gentle Annie

Back down Proposch Rd then up Bynyip Rd to take the track on the left to Gentle Annie. Drove up the track then decided to park and walk. Access is steep and has the deap drain cuts typical of forest tracks. Parked off the track in one of the drains and walked up to activate. 1km to the top. Easy walk after previous summit. Six contacts including S2S with VK2IO on VK2/CT-056. Headed off as trying to make to final summit before 18:00 before Gerard leaves VK2/CT-056.

This summit is in VKFF-0753 In – Bunyip State Park. Did not gain enough contacts for VKFF or WWFF but there are other summits in the park (VK3/VC-028 & VK3/VC-037) so opportunities to return.

Finished up, Walked back to car then headed down Bunyip Road. Again reality and the Garmin maps did not agree. Bunyip road is a good road. Followed it through the park to Mt Beenak Rd

VK3/VC-016 Mt Beenak

Access to summit restricted to CFA and management vehicles only. Easy walk up the road.

ViewFromVC 016

Did not make it in-time to pick up VK2IO for another S2S. Actually the chasers were getting thin by now. Seven contacts including S2S with VK1MBE on VK3/VE-014. Packed up and set off home.

Big day. Home late and tired. Had a day to charge batteries and clean gear for new year roll over.

4 responses to “30122015 – VK3/VT-059, VK3/VT-050, VK3/VT-078 & VK3/VC-016”

  1. VK2TWR says :

    Hi Allan Firstly Happy New Year I think We both would have looked like you when we went away for the big weekend we got rained out on
    pleased you came through relatively unscathed
    73
    Rod

  2. Allen VK3HRA says :

    Hi Rod. Yes happy new year. it was a good day. Take a machete if you considering it.

  3. vk3zpf says :

    Great to see your report on North Hells Gate. Glad you were able to find your GPS, I too dropped mine but it wasn’t difficult to find, just lucky it had survived the drop. Sorry to see that you suffered injury in the pursuit of two points.
    I’ll agree with you that is not worthy of further visits.

    • Allen VK3ARH says :

      Ii is a sinking feeling when you realise your GPS is gone. Especially when you are having trouble staying on course due to vegetation.The clip is strong, just did not put it back right. I carry a printed map and compass for backup so would have got out ok.
      anyway again not going back.

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