Inaugural Summits and Parks event Wagga Wagga October 2015: Travelling home

Monday 26 October 2015

I slept a little later after the weekend’s activities. I headed out east from Wodonga along the Murray Valley Highway to Bullioh, then north to the top of the ridge and then west along Granya Road to a spot I had identified on my first visit to the Mount Granya State Park to activate Mt Granya. I parked here and loaded up for the hike in to the target summit, posting an Alert to SOTAwatch just before starting the walk.

Mount Bolga VK3/VE-175 809 m 4 points
Mount Granya State Park VKFF-0767

On my first trip to Mount Granya, I had spotted the start of an old 4WD track that was not marked on the maps. The start of the track was at a logical spot to start the approach to Mt Bolga, so I was checking out the immediate environment for a possible future activation. There is a steep 30 cm gutter at the edge of Granya Road. Warren VK3BYD had advised that the track was good and sent me his GPS track – the route was a little longer and climbed up somewhat, but walking on a track is always easier than scrub bashing, even if the route would be predominantly through grasslands – around knee-high grass and light scrub in this case. As well as making for easier walking, a track reduces the need to worry about the details of navigation – simply follow the track and watch for “bendy sticks” as you walk (snakes – great term, Matt VK1MA). I followed the track up the hill and then around to the saddle below Mount Bolga. The track had evidence of 4WD, motorbike and horse traffic. The track continues on to descend on the east side of the summit – I did not investigate the track further.

From the saddle, it is a climb up through thick-ish regrowth to the summit. The approach took me just under an hour. Navigation from the saddle was relatively simple – climb upwards, trying to pick a reasonable route up!

I simply strung up the dipole centre to a sapling and ran out the dipole legs.

Mt Bolga Station

Mt Bolga station

First in the log was Fred VK3DAC. I made 13 contacts in 19 minutes before I moved to 20 m. Rick VK4RF and VK4HA was the only caller on 20 m, and I worked him again on 30 m, together with Rob VK4AAC/5 and Tom VK5EE. Back on 40 m for a short while for 3 further contacts before I decided to pack up.

Being a weekday, contacts soon became harder to make – fewer amateurs on the air! I made 22 contacts, enough to qualify the Park for VKFF. I will need at least one more visit to the Park to make it to 44 for WWFF, but it is just over an hour’s drive from family in Wodonga – perhaps a Christmas time activation.

The activation made the summit another Complete.

I packed up and headed back down to the saddle, then followed the track back to the car. I then travelled to Tallangatta to buy some lunch, and then headed to Jarvis Creek Plateau via Old Tallangatta and Jarvis Creek Road, then Plateau Road.

Jarvis Creek Plateau VK3/VE-208 694 m 2 points
Jarvis Creek Plateau Regional Park VKFF-0969

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the current SOTA summit is not in the correct location – there is a higher point at 708 m to the south east, but still inside the same activation zone. I have forwarded the details to Wayne VK3WAM. I am not sure if the new location will have the same or a different reference number, but it should be a 4 point summit.

The summit has a very large activation zone (AZ). I did not walk in to the current summit, rather simply walking away from the car at a high point on the road which was inside the AZ. I set up with the 7 m squid pole and started working.

Rob VK4AAC/5 was first in the log. I worked 20 stations before trying 20 m. A 45 minutes stint on 20 m yield John VK6NU, Rick VK4RF and VK4HA, Richard VK6HRC and Gerard F1BLL. I went back to 40 m for 15 minutes, with only Ian VK3AXH worked, then returned to 20 m, this time working only Xaver DK4RM. 27 contacts all up, so will need to revisit this Park again to qualify it for WWFF.

I then headed back to Wodonga for the night.

Tuesday 27 October 2015

I had another leisurely start before hitting the road to Melbourne. I travelled down the Hume to Euroa, then south on Creightons Creek Road and down to Yarck and then up Nicholsons Road to park the car.

Mount Concord VK3/VN-018 “697 m” 2 points

Mount Concord will disappear in the next VK3 SOTA update – it is incorrectly recorded at 697 m, when the summit height is 649 m. The nominal saddle plus the real summit height means that this peak does not have the required prominence. There is a higher summit almost 10 km to the north which will replace Mt Concord. Given these facts, I was keen to activate the summit before it becomes invalid.

I followed the access route described by Wayne VK3WAM and Tony VK3CAT. There is another possible access route from the north: Park at the end of Burgess Road and carefully pick up the old road reserve behind two large logs. The summit is about 4 km along the old road reserve. I opted for the shorter but steeper approach.

I set up on at the trig and worked 5 stations – enough to qualify the summit and make it Complete. With no further callers, I packed up and headed back to the car to drive to Melbourne for an evening appointment with some friends.

Overall, it was a tiring but satisfying long weekend away.

2 VKFF references qualified for WWFF plus
2 VKFF references qualified for VKFF.
6 SOTA summits activated, with 3 made Complete and one first activation.

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