Friday 14 September 2018
With yet another fine spring day forecast, I decided to again head for the hills. I considered many options for the day, but decided to head to beyond Bright,
From Bright, I headed towards Freeburgh, turning right at the water storage and climbed up Reliance Track to Wet Gully Track, which runs along the ridge line past Mount Ebenezer. You reach the SOTA summit about 1.7 km beyond where the ridge goes out to Mount Ebenezer.
Ebenezer Range VK3/VE-081 1255 m 8 points plus seasonal bonus
I found a spot to pull off to the edge of the track and set up with a line over a tree branch for the dipole and away from the vehicle. The first 20 minutes of operating brought six contacts on 80 m, including 2 CW. I switched to 40 m CW and worked seven stations before moving to SSB. This yielded another six stations, plus another contact on CW.
A total of 40 minutes of calling yielded a total of 19 contacts, with plenty on CW. I packed up and continued south along the track, stopping to take a photo of the impressive Mount Feathertop. At the track junction, I headed to the west on Mongrel Creek Track before swing hard left to climb Morses Creek Track to reach Albion Track after the steep section. A fallen tree needed to be negotiated by weaving around the end of the tree. I continued south and eventually reached the high point of the track below the summit and found a place to park.
Albion Point VK3/VE-080 1255 m 8 points plus seasonal bonus
I loaded up and climbed up the spur until well inside the activation zone and set up the station.
I went to spot myself and saw that Alan VK2MG was in a Park, so set the antenna for 40 m and tuned to Alan’s frequency. Alan was soon in the log. I swapped VFOs to drop to the CW end of the band and started calling. Over the next twenty minutes I worked seven stations, so the summit was qualified on CW. I moved up to a clear frequency in the SSB segment, spotted myself and starting calling. The next 15 minutes saw another dozen stations worked, with the close in propagation working for a change. My last contact was Rob VK4AAC/3 in Yarrawonga Regional Park VKFF-0981. With no further replies to my calls, I closed down and decided to head back out to the Great Alpine Road.
As I was driving out, the low fuel warning flashed up – I really should have topped up in the morning. I safely made it out to the bitumen and travelled into Harrietville, about 2.3 km. Alas, the store had the fuel bowser covered in black plastic! I completed a U-turn and drove into Bright to add some fuel to the tank.
I then made my way back to Wodonga.