The plan was to be away from home by 0900 local – that target was missed.
Up the Princes Highway to Nilma, then north through Neerim South to Noojee. Across the Latrobe River and turn left into McCarthy Spur Road. Up the dirt road to Boundary Road and stopped at the open Melbourne Water gate just past the junction with Montane Rd.
McCarthy Spur VK3/VT-039
From the gate, I walked a few tens of metres further along Boundary Road until I could easily climb over the embankment. From there, it was a fight up the hill, trying to follow any obvious animal tracks &/or any lines created by fallen timber though the undergrowth. When I reached the ridge line, probably a little to the south of the actual summit, I found a clearing. I am sure that I was within a few metres vertically of the summit & decided that this spot would do – I was definitely within the activation zone for VK3/VT-039 McCarthy Spur. It had taken almost 50 minutes to route find and climb up from the road.
I set up using a tree to hold up the squid pole, with the ends of the dipoles simply thrown into the undergrowth at each end. 8 stations were worked over the next 30 minutes or so. I packed up after several CQ calls went unanswered. Then it was a matter of packing up and fighting one’s way back down to the road. I have a few scratches as a result. Here is a view of the station in the clearing:
At the car, I thought that I might try the most direct approach to Mt Horsfall – along Boundary Road to Whitelaws Track. However, just before the junction with Whitelaws Track, I encountered a sign that the road was closed due to logging operations. So it was a U turn and back to McCarthy Spur Road, then down to Noojee to turn left into Loch Valley Road, then into Tooronga Road. Just beyond Carters Creek Road I again encountered a sign that the road was closed due to logging operations! Damn. The summit was visible to the north. So another U turn and back to Noojee, then along the road toward Baw Baw Ski Resort, turning into Toorongo Link Road. Up to the northern end, then left into Toorongo Road, then right into 40 Mile Break Road. This road was a little bouncy in places, but eventually I arrived at Mt Horsfall VK3/VT-028. I drove on down to the next major saddle (below 1100 m) to park and then walk back up to the summit.
Mt Horsfall VK3/VT-028 in the Yarra Ranges National Park
I set up to the north of the track, so that I was inside the Yarra Ranges National Park. There was a convenient pole in the ground to strap the pole to as a support.
By this time, the wind had picked up from the north, as can be seen from the squid pole! When I switched on, there was a rag chew contact occurring, so I tried to take some more photos. Unfortunately, the camera decided to be uncooperative, so I took a couple with the mobile phone:
The left hand photo shows the view to the NE, including the NP sign. Whilst low res, the right hand photo looks past the trig point toward Mt Tooronga Range.
As the rag chew was continuing, I broke into the conversation in an attempt to announce that I would be operating on 7085. The occupants decided to move down & leave the frequency (7090) to me. The contacts started to roll in. I worked 14 stations over the next 35-40 minutes, despite be annoyed by the march flies and small black flies. Again after several calls with no replies, I packed up & returned to the car.
I had thoughts of possibly activating VK3/VT-026 Mt Tooronga Range on the way home, as it was only a short detour off the obvious route out. However, I did not have a detailed map with me and the radio was warning of rapidly approaching bad weather, so I decided against that option. I drove back out basically along the same route to the Baw Baw road, then headed out through Tanjil Bren & the South Face Road to Rawson and then to Moe, Morwell and home.