10032017 – VK3/VE-034

10032017 – VK3/VE-034 Mt McLeod in  VKFF-0339 Mount Buffalo

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Looking at VK3/VE-034 from VK3/VE-178 taken on May 2016

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Looking back to VK3/VE-178 from VK3/VE-034 taken on March 2017.

This is a summit I have have had on the list to activate for a while now. Have already activated VK3/VE-019 The Hump (Once successful and a failed attempt during winer) and VK3/VE-014 The Horn & VK3/VE-038 Ulrich Peak so this was the only summit left in Mt Buffalo NP.

Talked with VK3BYD and read the notes on SotaWatch from VK3WAM and VK3FTRV and the the number of activations gave a picture of a well trodden path be it prone to Alpine weather. Intended to hike in and activate on the FYBO weekend (June 2016) but the conditions were considered too harsh. It was shelved until weather improved and time allowed.  

It appears that both Mt McLeod and Ulrich Peak are not activated on the same trip. Given the distance to Mt McLeod and the bush bash to access Ulrich Peak, I’m not surprised.

Decided to activate Ulrich Peak on the way to Mt Hotham for the 2017 Activation Weekend. This will give me a idea as to conditions. Walked down the Mt McLeod fire track to activate Urich Peak so knew the track was clear and easy navigation. 

With the long weekend coming and being a full moon decided to head up Friday evening and to walk up in the dark. Long weekend traffic sucked. 40m to get around the ring road and traffic heading out. Ended up at the car park where Crystal Brook Rd (Reservoir Rd) and Rocky Creek track meet (55 H 479891 5935177)

Headed off 20:00  friday nigh covering the 7.8Km in 2:15hrs. With a good tourch and the moon it was a case of avoiding the Orb spiders and keep moving. 

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Camped at MtLeod camping ground (55 H 480553 5939203) at the base of the summit. This is a site you neeed to book with Parks Victoria to secure a site. 

In two minds as to paying to camp in National park. In this case there are six places available. There is also a well maintained toilet. I would have been happy camping at the lake and walking up in the morning but the $48 per site was not appealing.  $13 to reserve a remote site seamed like a good idea given the long weekend. So paid my $13 to use a public asset and printed out the receipt so if the campsite was full I would ensure a spot. No one else there so had the pick of the place. Setup my tent and called it a night.  This was going according to plan so left me with 1km to the summit to cover in the cool of morning.

Up and after a quick breakfast headed up to the summit. Straight forward process in perfect conditions. Stopped to take in views on the way,

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Open summit. Used 7m squid pole and guys to setup 20/40M trapped dipole.  

OperatingPosition

It appears I was too early or chasers or the propagation gods had other plans as a quite activation. S2S with VBK3BYD Warren on VK2/RI-033 (Hamilton Hill) to qualify on CW. Saw spots for VK3ANL but could not hear him but could hear VK5 operating. Worked VK5WG to call it a day.

Called on 20m but did not use 80m due to lack of suitable antenna. Qualified, had snacks then headed back down as still had to get back to car and facing a 4hr drive home. 

BrokenCover

Broke the cover for KX3 during the trip. On the way up as noticed on site. Guess it just saved me damaging the radio. This was a Windcamp unit and demonstrates the old analogy that you ‘Get what you pay for’. Will be chasing a GEMS Products unit going forward. 

Water

This was March.I carried enough water in to cover my trip but there is water there is also a running creek 100m from where the shortcut joins up with the Mt Leod Firetrack and (55 H 480918 5939182) 100m from the camp on the way to the summit. It was running down the track. 

Totally forgot about the EU/US/VK activation on the same weekend. 

Great summit worthy of the clear easy hike in. Again the conditions can vary quickly so carry enough gear to sit out a storm. 20Kg pack with all gear to camp.

The current do  list has a revisit to Mt Bogong then Mt Fainter South.

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