Thursday 19 April 2018
After filling the fuel tank, I headed towards Tawonga and then onto Mountain Creek Road. It was then onto Camp Creek Track, then The Hollow Way Road and on to the high point below the first target summit.
Bull Hill VK3/VE-048 1425 m 8 points
There is an old track junction at the high point in the road as the road swings to the NW, with the track blocked by a large log. The track heads into an old logging coupe. The regrowth in the coupe looked very thick. Unfortunately, the undergrowth towards the summit was also thick eucalypt about 1.5 to 2 m high. It was a bit of a slog up the 250 m to where I stopped: not quite at the top but well inside the AZ.
My first contact was Gerard VK2IO at 0139Z. The summit was qualified in only 4 minutes. I swapped to 20 m for a while but only had two callers. I then went to 80 m to work John VK3YW. I then returned to 40 m for a couple of more contacts before I had no more callers and shut down. A new Activator Unique and Complete for me.
The views to the eastern faces of Mount Bogong VK3/VE-001 were excellent during the return trip.
I retraced my route back to Tawonga South and headed into Mount Beauty to buy some lunch. I then headed south on Simmonds Creek Road, heading towards Hollonds Hill VK3/VE-172. The track to the summit looked to be in excellent condition, BUT it had large ROAD CLOSED signs. It was obvious that a fuel reduction burn was planned for the area, with several signs around the area. I decided to check the map, with the next planned target on Tawonga Gap Track. I decided to head up Pyramid Hill Firetrail and to then head across to Tawonga Gap Track. The track was in good condition, but had many spoon drains to negotiate. When I arrived at the junction with Dungey Track, the continuation of Pyramid Hill Firetrail looked to be in good condition with recent traffic. I decided to explore the route further along.
Pyramid Hill Spur VK3/VE-052 1405 m 8 points
The track to the high point near the summit was in good condition. There were many spoon drains and several logs that had been cleared from the track. I parked at the high point to the west of the summit and loaded up to climb towards the summit. The regrowth/undergrowth was similar to that at Bull Hill – thick and around 2 m high. I climbed up until the GPS showed only one more contour between me and the summit and set up the gear, so I was confident that I was in the AZ.
I posted a Spot and also announced that I was QRV on the Discord discussion group. Gerard VK2IO/m was first in the log. Within 5 minutes I had 8 contacts in the log. I then spent around 7 or 8 minutes calling on 20 m, working John ZL1BYZ. I returned to 40 m to work another 3 stations before I pulled the plug. Another Activator Unique and Complete in the log.
I retraced my route to Dungey Track and turned left, then right into Big Flat Track. This was rougher, with several rocky sections as well as some sections which would be very slippery when wet. I climbed up to the junction with Tawonga Gap Track and then headed north towards Tawonga Gap.
VK3/VE-109 (unnamed) 1149 m 6 points
The first high point on the track passes about 10 m below the summit high point, so I simply parked the car and set up nearby. There was a rough track heading towards the actual summit, but it had a Do Not Enter tape across the start of it, so that was another reason not to climb to the actual summit.
Within 14 minutes of calling CQ, I had 18 contacts in the log, all on 40 m. I then spent 10 minutes calling on 20 m for two ZL stations. I returned to 40 m briefly to work another three stations and then ran out of callers. I packed up and headed north to Tawonga Gap and then headed back to Wodonga. Another Activator Unique and Complete in the log.