A trip to Tasmania 2

Mount Arthur VK7/NE-008 1188 m 8 points

Tuesday 27 January 2015

After breakfast, I headed to Launceston and the home of Joe VK7JG. I caught up with Joe on the Mt Barrow repeater whilst driving. I also started the APRSdroid app on the phone. Joe later complained that I had the position reports going out too infrequently, making it hard for Joe to follow my progress.

On arrival, we had a quick coffee and then headed off towards Lilydale with Peter VK7PD driving in his 4WD. We waited for the rest of the team at the start of Mountain Road, and then headed up the hill. With 6.5 km to go to the summit, you meet a very solid locked gate. Joe has the key, so we able to progress to the end of the road, saving at least 45 minutes walking up the road. Why the team? The local radio club is working to find a new home for the Mount Barrow repeater, which needs to move before November 2015 at the latest. They are negotiating with a CB club to share a site on the NW end of the summit area. Peter, Joe, Ross and Alan were to carry four sheets of roofing iron up the hill to replace the leaking roof while I activated the summit.

The climb was steep and rocky in places. It is reasonably well marked – one must keep an eye open for the small cairns, coloured tapes and paint and scratch marks on the rocks to avoid false leads. In places, you are using rock climbing techniques up the steeper sections. You initially pass through subalpine forest, including lots of myrtle beech. Higher up, the vegetation becomes more like alpine vegetation, with scoparia quite prominent. Once onto the plateau, it is definitely alpine in nature, with button grass plains in places.

At the top of the steep sections, the new repeater site is passed and then the now-abandoned old fire spotter hut, with all windows smashed long ago by vandals. You then traverse across the summit ridge, passing initially to the northeast side. You then descend a little and onto board walk to protect the vegetation in the boggy plain. When you reach a bend in the board walk with two arrows, follow the route off the bard walk – you then head toward the clearly visible summit cairn. Initially you are walking over the soft ground, which is likely to be very wet following rain. The final approach is mainly over rocky ground.

I set up near the base of the large summit cairn, simply leaning he squid pole against the rocks.

Mount Arthur Summit

Mount Arthur Summit

First in the log were Justen VK7TW/p and Reuben VK7FREU/p on Mount Direction VK7/SC-037. I made 15 contacts, mainly on 40 m but with three contacts on 20 m – VK4 and VK5. I returned to 40 m after the calls on 20 m, for only one final contact. I packed up and headed back to the repeater site to watch the team working on the roof. They finished soon after I arrived, mainly because the drill battery had run flat. They will be making another visit soon to finish securing the new roofing sheets. Given the location of the site, they are keen to ensure that the roof is not blown away by heavy winds.

We walked back to the vehicles and headed back to Joe’s home.

Joe and wife Phil hosted me for the night – a terrific meal, good company and a comfortable bed. Thanks Joe & Phil.

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