Received WWFF Hunter certificate for working 396+ unique references for 126 total but 78 unique local activators.
Parked at the gate of Road Fifteen off Acheron Road. Got out, grated up and got on with the walk,
Mt Ritchie is a great walk. Your are walking down a maintained road that is seasonally shut. No issues with navigation or rough areas just a case of keep going up until you reach the summit.
Using a Garmin VirbX and still getting use to it. The mountain is square just my mount is not aligned.
Not as much snow this year as previous. The summit is a clear open space with signs to use as squidpole mount and enough room for a long antenna. I took 41m end fed as expecting the use of 80M given recent conditions.
Looking down the antenna here to the operating position. 41m end fed. The KX3 tunes it to everything. 9 contacts. All CW. Two S2s. First for the day with VK5CZ on VK5/NE-082 and after a lot of work with VK4JAZ on VK4/SE-117. This contact demonstrated the value of CW. It was marginal at best but we managed to get through. Two 80m contacts to work the local CW enthusiasts. Despite being 10℃ and being a ‘sunny’ day the wind was chilling and kept rugged up. Spent an hour on the summit and decided it was time to head home picking up another summit on the way.
VK3/VN-030 Mt Strickland
After reading Paul VK3HN blog I added Mt Strickland to the list for the day. Had been up and yes it was was a clean run.
Headed back down Acheron Road to turn right into Feiglins road to Mt Strickland.
Operating position on Mt Strickland. This is a open summit with enough room for the biggest antenna. I ran up the 20/40 dipole as was intending to qualify and keep heading home.
Park contact with VK4SMA in Mount Perry Conservation park and two ZL contacts. Headed back down to Acheron Road then into Healesville and home. Back in time for tea.
2 Summits, 2 S2S and 22K steps for the day.
VKFF-1879 Woowookarung Regional Park
Woowookarung Regional Park is a brand new 641 hectare park in Ballarat.Previously called Canadian renamed to Woowookarung this week. So between the time Paul listed to it to when I updated the ParksnPeaks database it allready needed an update.
Spent the week adding new parks and updating site data with CAPAD data so keen to get out and play radio.
I was not quicked enough for first activations beaten by Peter VK3FPHG who got out Friday to claim the new park.
This site is 10 minutes up the road. Between SOTA peaks Mt Bunnyiong and Mt Warrienheap.
Recently added a HF radio to Subie. Had a bracket welded to the bullbar so now suporting a Terlin Outbacker vertical.
These parks activation are looking good. The day was gray so operated from the car with HF, VHF and computer at hand.
22 contacts including 5 P2P contacts with VK2JNG at VKFF-0588, VK3PF at VKFF-1877, VK5NIG & VK5STU at VKFF-0017 and VK2HAX in VKFF-0017.
Went ot 20M to see if any VK6’s around. Poor conditiond so back to 40M to finish up and head home as still tasks to complete.
Qualified for VKFF but short of the 44 required for WWFF. No issues as will be back soon enough.
08072017 – VK3/VT-010 (Talbot Peak)
In KRMNPA – 3NP-004, WWFFID – VKFF-0020, Baw Baw National Park.
This is one of the closest 10 Pointer SOTA summit to me. Taking advantage of the winter bounus period to gain another 3 points. 13 in total.
I was planning to go into the Alpine for a new site but the cold weather (well it is winter) put an end to those plans. Decided to take this site instead.
Glenn VK3YY was keen to also get out and we had both been chased off this hill three years ago due to bad weather so both keen to revisit.
VK3ARH July 2014 in different conditions.
Drove down and picked up Glenn on the way through Melbourne. We took Glenn’s car as I had already done 2hrs driving so happy to rest. The drive up was cold but no snow. Previous attempt to activation of this site was aborted due to harsh weather whoever this was to be text book.
Glenn VK3YY and myself on the way up July 2017, much better conditions.
Good access. You park at the Mt Erica car park then follow the AAWT. We hit snow half way up and whilst it was cold it was a pleasant walk as all geared up.
We are looking for Talbot Peak with is just off track and behind Mt Erica.
The summit was not as open as I remembered and had to weaved the dipole through the trees. I worked CW whilst Glenn worked SSB.
3 S2S contacts, VK1RX on VK2/SM-052, VK2HRA on VK2/CT-019 and VK3OAK on VK2/ST-039. The rest of my contacts (9) were with the usual culprits on CW being VK3CAT,VK2IO, VK7CW,VK3BYD,VK2JDR,VK5CZ,VK2UH,ZL1BYZ and VK4FW. True to the weather predictions, the morning was great but then on 13:00 the grey clouds started to drop snow. Given previous experience and as we had both qualified comfortable we packed up and headed down the the car.
Nice acivation. Worth getting up early for. Will be back next year.
Second summit that I had been waiting on access restrictions to be lifted. Had addressed Mt Difficult in January having decided not to include South Mt Difficult range at the time.
This was challenging but not Difficult. The weather provided more challenges. It was inclement on the drive up to a point where I nearly decided to abort but as I could see blue sky coming so pressed on. In the end there was rain and hail but no real wind son case of get on with it.
Drove around Mt Victory road to turn towards Wartook Reservoir to gain access to Mt Difficult road. This is a slow trip due to winding road and tourists. This was the point where previous plan to qualify this summit failed as the road had been closed due to fire damage. Not just the road but even walking down the road was off limits. However not the issue this time.
Drove down Mt Difficult road and left Subie at the base of Carters track. This track has a reputation for being a challenge for 4WDers requiring rescue however it was closed this time of the year and will provide clear quick access to the ridge line. Chinamans Road was also closed due to the fire damage but would have been a longer walk so not considered.
Walked 1.2Km up the track with two active creeks to arrive on the ridge line. Only 1.4Km from the summit but no tracks so here the work started.
It hailed on the way up. I was proceeding along the ridge line and decide to take cover under a rocky outcrop.
From there I could see a valley forming and hear water running. Decided to follow this creek up to the summit to avoid climbing over rocks. This proved to be a good decision as the ridge line are two parallel rocky out crops. The creek gave me clear access to the summit and also showed a cleared route back to the track.
Given the conditions I had no desire to reach e summit so once the GPS indicated I was in the zone I proceeded to setup and qualify the summit. Found a great spot with cover and enough trees to support the squid pole. Only used SSB as worked all chasers and was not prepared to stay for a long time.
Used the KX3 and short end fed. There were not a lot of options as to antenna length in this position and the propagation gods smilled on me with excellent signal reports.
A good summit that requires attention. Not to be done in extreme weather due to potential exposure but worth the walk.
22042017 – VK3/VE-003 -(Mt Fainter South)
2304217 – VK3/VE-059 – (Big Hill)
Both in (VKFF-619) Alpine National Park
Shires ID – AS3
The plan was to drive up Friday meeting Tony at the Tawonga Camping ground where we will stay overnight then to activate Mount Fainter South and Big Hill over the weekend. Mt Fainter South is a summit that again has been on my list to activate for a while whilst Big Hill is at the end of the trek and worthy of attention.
Had been in discussion with several activators as to a joint activation. The desire to go accompanied is purely for safety, not because I’m scared of the alleged big cats in the area. This is the Alpine NP and the weather can be harsh at any time with no notice let alone in in Autumn. The week previous saw a months rain in a day and 20cm of snow in the area. Not the time for solo treks. In the end Tony VK3CAT and myself decided to head up into the Bogong Alpine Area as the weekend opens for both of us. Its always a bit of a juggle to organise overnight activations with multiple activators as we all have lives and commitments.
Read many hiking blogs prior to the trip so expecting a big walk with great views but not for us. It rained Friday night and the fog stayed overnight. It did clear mid Saturday but came back for tha activation. Sunday morning was clear.
The plan was to walk the length so involved leaving Tonys car near the end of Roper Track on the Bogong Plains Rd whilst we left Subie at Pretty Valley Causeway.
We will be camping out overnight somewhere between the two summits at Bogong Jack Hut.
Activation of Mt Fainters was in the fog. The summit had the remains of what we assumed to be a trig point that was stable for supporting the squid pole. Used Tonys doublet and KX3 to activate. Once qualified it was time to keep moving as still had ground to cover before reaching the campsite for the night. We camped air Bogong Jack Hut. It was a simple operation of eat then early night.
Woke to a clear day, Went on to walk around the Big Hill and qualify.
This was on the Fire Trail. It was not a attractive as the walk across the plaines nor were there aw many opportunities for water. It was however predominately down hill which was well received.
42.7K steps for the weekend covering 30.5Km to come out at Roper Track.
It was not a hard climb or involve rocky by the end I was slowing. Coming down Roper Track proved as challenging as the initial climd due to the steepness and loose forest covering on the track. At one point we followed what we though was the route and ended in a dead end. This was also the hottest part of the trip and I was running low on water. We finally made it to Tonys car had a drink and headed up to retrieve my car.
Turned up at the base of the road to Pretty Vally Ponds only to be faced with the road closure. There was a mountain bike event on which involved parts of the road hence the closure.
This was frustrating, not the fact the road was closed, but the fact that there was no indication the day before that access will be restricted (the sign was not there) and the sign was inaccurate has it had yesterdays date on it. Fornatually a Falls Creek management unit arrived and after slight coaxing escorted us up to retrieve my car. Tony decided to go on to Mt McKay but given the view,
I decided to head home. It was a good weekend in the Alpine. Two summits in the rain, fog and sun.
Thanks to Tony VK3CAT for company and planning. Also thanks to Warren VK3BYD for input into the initial planning. This is a great area and a trip worthy of the effort, just be prepared for all conditions.
Looking at VK3/VE-034 from VK3/VE-178 taken on May 2016
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.
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,
Open summit. Used 7m squid pole and guys to setup 20/40M trapped dipole.
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.
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.
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.