A loopy plan

Warning: Long post!

For most of winter, I stayed away from the high summits. I did activate some Parks on the some nicer days. By early September, I was thinking about increasing my SOTA Activator score, particularly on CW. I have been attempting to qualify each summit on CW for a little over a year. Whilst I did not make the four CW contacts on every summit, most summits were qualified on CW. Thus the CW Activator score was building nicely.

Victoria had quite a few cold fronts sweep across the state during September which saw the ski resorts extending their season by a couple of weeks: there was plenty of snow up high. The downside for those of us who do not have a vehicle season pass was an extra period when Resort Entry fees applied.

The trip across Mount Hotham via the Great Alpine Road is spectacular at any time of the year, but especially so on a fine day when the peaks have snow cover. As the Great Alpine Road is a public highway, the Resort cannot charge you for driving across the Resort. With the automated number plate recognition system, there are no staff at the “entrance gates”, but the system allows a fixed time for you to transit the resort. If you stop within the resort and exceed the time allowed, you will receive a bill for resort entry. So an activation of Mount Hotham during the Bonus Season must occur after the Resort season closes or you must pay the entry fee.

With the weather fronts and periods of very high wind speeds at higher altitudes, I waited until after the middle of September to start a series of activations. The plan was to attempt a series of loops which maximised SOTA points during each trip.

Loop 1: Thursday 19 September 2019

This was a relatively “local” trip. From the Latrobe Valley, I headed to Licola and then towards Jamieson. The Licola – Jamieson Road is closed for the winter season by decree of the Shire of Mansfield. The Shire boundary is just beyond the first target Summit for the trip.

Connors Plain VK3/VT-022 1305 m 8 points

The logical place to attack this summit is from close to the start of N7 Track. A short distance in along N7, a track leads off to the left and heads diagonally up the slope and onto the plateau of Connors Plain. Once on the Plain, you are in the Activation Zone (AZ). 4WD is advised. It is also a reasonable route to walk to access the AZ.

I parked the vehicle and quickly set up, using a throw bag to get a line over a tree branch at about 8 m high. I used my ZS6BKW antenna and set up the station at a convenient spot to ensure that the open-line feeder was off the ground and used a folding camp chair – luxury!

I made 11 contacts, qualifying the summit on both SSB and CW, with two contacts on 30 m and the rest on 80 and 40 m. Yes, I know that the ZS6BKW is not supposed to work on 30 m, but the KX2 found a tuner match and I had two contacts into southern Queensland….

ConnersViewNE

View across the Macalister River valley towards Mounts Tamboritha and Reynard.

After packing up, I headed back to the main road and retraced the last couple of kilometres towards Licola and then swung south on South Road. There were many fallen small trees to dodge. Next it was right onto Mount Selma Road which had some rough sections. Left onto the second entrance (west of the summit proper) to Mount Selma Track and up towards the summit. Again, this was a little rough in places. After parking, I set up the antenna and station in the same manner as earlier.

Mount Selma VK3/VT-013 1457 m 8 points

I made 17 contacts, qualifying the summit on both SSB and CW, with all contacts on 80 and 40 m. I did not try any other bands.

The usual routine followed: pack up, drive back to the “main” road, retrace my route back to the junction of Mount Selma Road and South Road, then headed south towards the next target.

Mount Useful VK3/VT-016 1434 m 8 points

I again used the same set up as earlier. I set up about 100 m south of the tower, near the edge of the cleared area, as I wanted a little distance between myself and the solar power system at the tower.

I made 13 contacts, qualifying the summit on both SSB and CW, with all contacts on 80 and 40 m, the only bands tried.

After packing up, I headed back to the main road, now called Springs Road. I again headed south until reaching Williamsons Spur Track and then headed west to the next summit.

VK3/VT-034 (unnamed) 1019 m 6 points

This summit will be retired at the next VK3 Association update, as a higher knoll exists a little further along Williamsons Spur Track. You can drive onto the summit, so I used the same set up as earlier. Either the current or new summit (once it becomes listed) is a logical inclusion in this loop if you have the time available.

This time I made 12 contacts, with only one on 80 m and all others on 40 m. Summits was qualified on both SSB and CW.

I packed up and retraced my route back to Springs Road and headed south towards Seaton and then on to home, arriving after dark.

It had been a good day out, with three 8-point summits activated to gain the seasonal bonus points, plus the 6-point summit. 39 Activator points gained for the day.

Not a loop 1: Sunday 22 September

I had a friend’s birthday celebration to attend in Melbourne, so I arranged to spend the night with other friends who would also be at the birthday celebration. I packed for the overnight stop only, but made sure that the SOTA gear was in the car. During the party, I received a call asking for assistance from a family member. Plans rapidly changed. I had thought of activating Mount Donna Buang with the possibility of a walk to activate Mount Ritchie, even though Andrew VK1AD/3 was scheduled to activate that summit on the same day. The plan changed: VK3/VC-002 only as a detour en route to Wodonga.

Mount Donna Buang VK3/VC-002 1259 m 8 points

I was late getting away from my overnight stay. It was then simply matter of navigating to Warburton and on to the summit car park. There were a few cars around but soon had a squid pole erected and the antenna in the air. I had one contact on 80 m and 10 on 40 m, with the summit qualified on both SSB and CW. The contacts included a Summit to Summit with Andrew VK1AD/3 on Mount Ritchie VK3/VC-003.

After packing up, I headed back down to the Acheron Way and then followed it north to Narbethong and then onwards to Wodonga.

Radio-wise, it was a quiet day with one summit for 11 points.

Not a loop 2: Tuesday 24 September

After dealing with family issue, which included a return trip to Gisborne on the Monday, I headed for home on the Tuesday. The weather was looking good, so I decided to take the scenic route home via the Great Alpine Road over Mount Hotham. During the drive, I called Brian VK3BCM and arranged to meet him for lunch at Dinner Plain. It was good to catch up face to face. I then headed to a summit towards Omeo for an activation.

VK3/VG-030 1321 m 8 points

I was able drive to within about 500 m of the summit, when the track became almost covered with vegetation leaning over the track. I decided to retreat and park back closer to the main track in and then walked the 700 m or so to the summit. I was quickly set up and calling on CW. I made nine contacts, two on 80 m and the remainder on 40 m. Summit qualified on both SSB and CW.

I packed up, headed back to the car and returned to the Great Alpine Road. It was now after 1600 local, so I simply headed towards Omeo and then south and back to home, arriving around 2000 local.

Only 11 points for the day, but another summit qualified on CW plus the seasonal bonus.

Loop 2: Thursday 3 October 2019

The weather forecast was looking okay, but the wind would be increasing in strength during the afternoon. The plan was a loop around the upper Thomson River catchment.

I headed to Willow Grove, Hill End and towards Tanjil Bren before taking the Toorongo Tanjil Link Road, then onto Mundic Road and then Mount Toorongo Road and parked on the side of the road below the locked gate.

Mount Toorongo Range VK3/VT-026 1257 m 8 points

Mount Toorongo Road is subject to seasonal closure. A walk up the road of about 1.3 km with around 100 m climbing brings you to the high point on the road below the summit. Then one needs to pick a route up the edge of the road embankment and pick a route up to the summit. The AZ is only about 10-15 vertical metres above the road. I found a spot to set up short of the summit, about half way up the climb. A minor issue was that I had marginal ‘phone coverage, so spotting was tricky.

I made two contacts on 80 m and another eight on 40 m, again qualifying on both SSB and CW.

I packed up and headed back to the road, meeting a forester looking into the trees for seeds. We chatted briefly before we parted ways and returned to the car.

I retraced the route back to the Toorongo Tanjil Link Road, then headed north to reach and then along Tooronga Road to reach C511 (Warburton – Woods Point Road) and headed towards Matlock, then up Corn Hill Road and up to the next target summit.

Mount Matlock VK3/VC-001 1372 m 8 points

I quickly set up with a line over a tree branch and was soon on air. Propagation conditions were rather flat. I made a total of 15 contacts, one on 80 m and the remainder on 40 m. I again qualified on both SSB and CW.

I packed up and retraced the entry route to C511, then headed to Matlock and then south on Walhalla Road to Aberfeldy. The road at Aberfeldy passes through the summit AZ….

Mount Lookout VK3/VT-030 1115 m 6 points

I find the easiest place to activate this summit is in the car park area beside the cemetery. I again threw a line over a tree branch to lift the antenna.

I made 12 contacts using 80 and 40 m, and again qualified on both SSB and CW.

I packed up again and headed south towards Walhalla and then across the Thomson Dam wall to Rawson and then back home.

Three summits qualified on CW for a total of 28 points.

The next loop was initiated following a telephone call from Rik VK3EQ. We checked weather forecasts before deciding a couple of days later to go ahead with a trip to the Omeo area.

Loop 3: Wednesday 9 October 2019

We agreed to meet at Swifts Creek at around 1100 local. I was a little late departing home, but arrived at around 1120. We soon had Rik’s gear in my car and we headed off to our first target.

Mount Baldhead VK3/VG-027 1374 m 8 points

The route is to head towards Cassilis and then veer left onto Brookville Road and to soon start climbing into the hills. Veer left towards Dorothy Cutting and continue on to Baldhead Road. Baldhead Track is very overgrown, but there is a road through the logged out area before you get to that turn off. All was fine until we reached a small plateau below the summit, were the track was blocked by a tree at least one metre in diameter. We checked out a detour route and decided to give it a try after I engaged 4WD. All was good and we were soon setting up just below the summit, tossing a line over a tree branch.

Our plan for the next two days was for me to activate only on CW and Rik to use voice, plus we made sure to work each other – one inside the AZ and the other outside, then swap.

I made six contacts: four on CW, one on SSB (Mike VK6MB/5 activating a Park) and Rik on 2 m FM.

We then descended from the summit to the north on Baldhead Track to reach Baldhead Road, north to Grassy Ridge Track and then up Mount Delusion Track to find a suitable spot to park.

Mount Delusion VK3/VG-026 1375 m 8 points

We again set up with a line over a tree branch, with the radio gear set up on a folding table. I again made six contacts, with Mike VK6MB/5 activating a Park on 40 m SSB, four CW contacts on 40 m and Rik on 2 m FM. Summit qualified.

We packed up and continued along Mount Delusion Track towards Mount Delusion Road. We discussed our options and decided to add a couple of extra summits to the afternoon. We headed around to Groves Gap Road to head west. All was initially okay but we quickly reached some recently resurfaced road which was very slippery, even when using 4WD. Slower velocity was required….. We soon drove past the road machinery and the surface a little rougher but better driving. We worked our way around to Birregun Road and then headed south to Mount Birregun.

Mount Birregun VK3/VT-020 1363 m 8 points

We set up north of the summit, again using a line over a tree branch.

I made a total of seven contacts, one on 80 m, Rik on 2 m FM and the rest on 40 m, one SSB contact (again, Mike VK6MB/5) and the rest CW.

We packed up and returned along Birregun Road and then up Mount Phipps Track.

Mount Phipps VK3/VG-015 1536 m 10 points

We used the same set up again. We were getting pretty slick by now at getting the gear set up.

I worked two stations on each of 80 m and 40 m CW, plus a 2 m FM contact with Rik.

Once Rik was qualified, we packed up and returned to Birregun Road and headed to Omeo, then south on the Great Alpine Road to Tongio Gap Road, then up Splitters Range Road and up to the next summit.

(Splitters Ridge) VK3/VG-036 1285 m 8 points

We were quickly set up and on air. I made eight contacts: 1 SSB, Rik on 2 m FM and the remainder on CW.

All the contacts for both of us were made with my KX2 running at a nominal 10 W.

Once we were both qualified, we quickly packed up as the wind was quite chilly. We headed back to Tongio Gap Road then south to Swifts Creek so that Rik could retrieve his car. We then headed back to Omeo for the night.

It was a long day, even more so for Rik who started in Melbourne, but we each had 57 Activator points in the log.

Loop 4: Thursday 10 October 2019

Rik again jumped into my car for the day. We headed out of Omeo on the Omeo Highway, then veering right onto Omeo Valley Road to Hinnomunjie Bridge and on to turn left into Knocker Track. This road in not sealed, but makes for a faster trip than the sinuous Omeo Highway between Bingo Gap and Glen Valley. We drove past a target for later in the day and returned to the Omeo Highway north of Glen Valley. We drove north to the junction with Razorback Spur Track, which we drove along to the junction with Wombat Creek Track, with its locked gate for the Seasonal Closure.

Razorback Range VK3/VG-033 1311m 8 points

The walk to the summit is about 470 m from the gate, with a vertical climb of about 40 m. We set up near the northern end of the summit area on the edge of the track. Poor decision: we had poor mobile coverage. Walk another 100 m or so to near where the track starts to drop down and set up there, you will have better phone coverage.

Rik had a problem with his KX3, so I dashed back to the car to grab my KX2 and my antenna. Once set up, my antenna did not present an impedance that the KX2 could tune, so we swapped to Rik’s antenna. At least we had made contact with each other in/out of the AZ on 2 m whilst I made the trip all the way back to the car.

I qualified the summit on CW with one contact on 80 m and three on 40 m.

Once both qualified, we packed up and returned to the car and continued along Razorback Spur Track to Pegleg Track and along that track until we came to a tree across the track. We stopped and walked up to the crest of the spur to check out the recent logging activity. On the walk up, we could see lots of blue tapes in the bush. At the crest, there were a couple of piles of stockpiled logs plus an obvious logging landing area. It looks as if the south east portion of the summit will be logged in coming months! At the high point of the spur, we spotted a bulldozer track heading up the spur. Having checked out the first 100 m of the track, we returned to the car having decided to use the new track to start the ascent of the summit.

At the car, Rik suggested that I should check out the performance of my new battery-operated chainsaw….. We added chain oil to the reservoir, loaded in a battery and discussed how to attack the task. I soon had the first cut into the tree – about 1/3 thickness from below but only half way “across” the log. I switched to the other side and lined up the next cut with the first with some assistance from Rik. Then it was the bigger task, cutting the remaining 2/3 from the top. Slow and steady was the go, but we finally made it after four cuts to achieve the full thickness of the log. See the photo taken by Rik – the chainsaw blade is about 335 mm long and the log was about twice that across. We then rolled the log into to edge of the track before we loaded the gear back in the car and drove up to the landing area on the crest of the spur.

CooperChainsaw

Almost through the log with cut #4

After deciding on which gear to take up the hill, we started up the bulldozer track. We reached the high point and then started to navigate through the scrub, climbing until we were well inside the AZ. We set up at a point still below the summit.

MtCooperTrack

GPS track courtesy Rik VK3EQ

I made only five contacts: four on 40 m CW plus Rik in/out of the AZ.

RikCooper

Rik operating on Mt Cooper

We packed up and headed back down through the scrub and then the ’dozer track to the car. It was time for lunch!

After lunch we headed back to the Omeo Highway and back along Knocker Track to Knocker Link Track and up to the summit trig.

The Knocker VK3/VG-016 1506 m 10 points

We again used a line over a tree branch to support the antenna. We were soon on air.

I made seven contacts: Rik on 2 m FM, two on 40 m SSB and four on CW, on one 80 m.

After we packed up, we headed back down Knocker Track to Hinnomunjie Bridge and south along Omeo Valley Road. Near the end, we tried a new route just for the fun of it: up Bingo Connection Track (unsealed) to the Omeo Highway and then south on Bingo Tice Road. The latter is unsealed and had several gates that Rik jumped out to open and close. We were soon around at the start of Mount Sam Road having seen a valley which neither of us had visited previously. We could also look to the west across the valley towards an as yet unactivated 6 point summit – not today!

Mount Sam / Sam Hill VK3/VG-049 1206 m 8 points

As we approached the summit, we saw two vehicles parked. No one was around, but three people emerged from the bush as we were setting up the antenna. The team was conducting a flora and fauna survey as part of an investigation for Shire of East Gippsland regarding the feasibility of a mountain bike track network. We chatted about their activities and explained our activity.

We were soon set up and on air.

I made eight contacts, three on each of 80 and 40 m, one on 20 m and Rik on 2 m FM in/out of the AZ. I qualified the summit on CW.

We packed up and headed back down to Omeo for the evening. After a break at the hotel, we headed to the other hotel in town to grab dinner. We both agreed that the meals were fine at both establishments.

A good day, with each of us earning 46 Activator points.

Not a loop 3: Friday 11 October 2019

Rik and I had discussed plans during the return to Omeo. Rik planned to activate some summits before heading home to Melbourne and I was planning to activate some summits before heading to Wodonga. We decided to head towards Mount Hotham, with Rik first going to VK3/VG-030, whilst I would climb Mount Livingstone. We headed off from the hotel close together. I headed left off the Omeo Highway onto Mount Livingstone Road, whilst Rik continued a short distance further to the access track to his summit.

Mount Livingstone VK3/VG-045 1227 m 8 points

I parked near the locked gate and started the climb to the summit: around 800 m plus 80 m vertical. Once on the summit plateau, I found a spot to set up and tossed a line over a branch. The antenna was soon up and the station set up. First contact was with Rik on 40 m SSB from VK3/VG-030, followed by Mitch VK7XDM in Hobart. I made a total of nine contacts; four on each of 80 and 40 m, with four on each of SSB and CW. It took a little while to achieve the four CW contacts, but once that was achieved, I packed up and returned to the car. Part way down, I met Rik coming up the road. After a brief discussion, we each continued on our way. Rik was on the summit and set up to start operating just after UTC rollover.

At the car, I retrieved Rik’s walking poles from the rear of my car and left them on his bonnet before I departed. I returned to the Great Alpine Road and headed up to Mount Hotham, parking near the start of the summit access track.

Mount Hotham VK3/VE-006 1861 m 10 points

I loaded up and walked up to the summit access track and along the track for a short distance to ensure I was in the AZ. I strapped a squid pole to one of the snow poles and soon had the antenna erected. I then set up the station and was soon on air. First contact was with Rik on Mount Livingstone – he had waited for me so that we could make a Summit to Summit contact. Next was Mitch VK7XDM in Hobart. I made three contacts on 80 m and five on 40 m, with the summit qualified for both SSB and CW. The wind was cold and just as I had packed up, snowflakes began falling.

LochViewSnow

Looking across towards Mt Loch, with snow falling

I descended to the car and began the descent down to Harrietville. The Bakery was closed for October, but a café a short distance further on was open, so I purchased some lunch. Just as I was finishing lunch, Rik arrived. We chatted briefly about plans before Rik arranged his lunch and I headed off to Cemetery Lane.

I climbed up Cemetery Lane and out along Mongrel Creek Track before a hard left to climb to Albion Track – the track was wet, so I took the less steep route rather than the short cut.

I made my way south past Albion Point to Link Track and then out to Paddy Hill Track.

(Paddy Hill Track) VK3/VE-070 1286 m 8 points

I quickly set up in the usual manner for this trip: a line over a tree branch and the ZS6BKW antenna, radio gear on the folding table. I made six contacts: one each on 80 and 20 m, three on 40 m and one on 2 m FM – Rik on The Horn VK3/VE-014. Four CW contacts. It started raining during the activation, but it was for only about 10 minutes.

Once qualified, I packed up and headed back towards Albion Point. The rain started again after I was packed up. I decided against attempting VK3/VE-030 as the day was well advanced and the area to the south was looking very grey and wet.

Albion Point VK3/VE-080 1255 m 8 points

I found a spot to park close to the high point in the road. I loaded up the gear and climbed up the ridgeline until I was above the 1230 m contour and set up the station.

I made five contacts, all on CW: three on 80 m and one each on 40 m and 20 m. I packed up and climbed back down to the car and continued north on Albion Track, then north along Wet Gully Track and out to the next summit.

Ebenezer Range VK3/VE-081 1255 m 8 points

I parked on the edge of the track at a wider point and soon had the antenna up. I made six CW contacts, all on 80 m. The day was getting late, so I quickly shut down after I had no more callers. I still had a long drive to Wodonga! I continued along Wet Gully Track and dropped back down to the Great Alpine Road via Reliance Track. I then headed to Wodonga via Bright and Yackandandah, arriving at around 2030 local.

Another long day: five summits for 57 Activator points.

Loop 5: Saturday 12 October 2019

After a good night’s rest, I headed off on Saturday morning for Mount Beauty. A quick visit to the Bakery to grab some lunch interrupted the trip, and I then headed up Mountain creek Road, Camp Creek Track and The Hollow Way Road to reach the first destination for the day. Once parked, I loaded up and started the approach walk.

Bull Hill VK3/VE-048 1425 m 8 points

I walked in along an old logging track on the north side of the summit before climbing up into the AZ. I soon had the station set up.

I made 11 contacts on 80 and 40 m, with the summit qualified for both SSB and CW. Contacts included S2S with VK7XDM, VK7FAMP and VK7LTD, all on Macgregor Peak VK7/SC-018, giving me a Complete for that summit.

I returned to the car and retraced my route to the five-way junction and then headed up Eskdale Spur Track. This took me to the next summit.

Mount Emu VK3/VE-061 1360 m 8 points

This is another drive-up summit, with an Emergency Location station at the summit. The summit has a hang glider launching area on the south face and a great view over Mount Beauty.

IMG-20191012-WA0002

View towards Mount Beauty (to the left) from Mt Emu

I again set up with a line over a branch and was soon on air. I made two contacts on 80 m CW and five on 40 m CW. I quickly packed up and resumed the journey along Eskdale Spur Track. There were a few rough areas and plenty of fallen trees and branches to negotiate, but nothing requiring more than careful pointing of the car. I parked on the northeast shoulder of the next summit before loading up the gear and climbing up to the summit through the scrub.

Mount Yorke VK3/VE-082 1248 m 8 points

I set up the station and tried to work the required stations as quickly as possible. I made two contacts on 80 m and five on 40 m, including Mike VK6MB/5 on SSB. I then packed up and returned to the car.

The next summit is not that far along Eskdale Spur, so has a short drive time. After parking the car NW of the summit, a short walk up the old track is required to be in the AZ.

Unnamed VK3/VE-071 “1283 m” 8 points

The height of this summit was incorrectly recorded and it will lose points at the next Association update.

There are plenty of trees within the AZ, so I again tossed a line over a branch.

I made five contacts on 80 m and three on 40 m, with four on each of SSB and CW. Once I had no more callers after qualifying, I packed up and headed back to the car.

It is only 4.6 km to the next summit, with the track a little rough in places. I met a group of motorcyclists on the final climb: they were tackling some of the older, steeper and very rough tracks in the area, now blocked for most vehicles.

Mount Tawonga VK3/VE-076 1268 m 8 points

I again set up with a line over a branch. I made sure that the feedline and antenna were well out of the way, in case the motorcyclists visited – as it turns out, a good idea. Before I started operating, the loud ones arrived. We chatted briefly before they headed off again. I started calling…. I ended up with seven CW contacts: two on 80 m and the remainder on 40 m. A minor issue was that the motorbikes revisited in the middle of a contact – lots of QRM, but in the local audio environment, not via RF.

Once I had no further callers, I closed down and packed up. Given the rain in the area earlier in the day, I choose to retrace my route back to Bowmans No 1 Track and descended to Eskdale before heading back to Wodonga.

Another good day: five summits for 55 points. I could not remember my score target: had I reached 1000 points on CW? My mental arithmetic for points scored was correct, but when I looked at the total once back at base, I realised that I was sitting at 999.

Loop 6: Sunday 13 October 2019

Part of the original notional plan, I decided to head out on another four summit day. I departed Wodonga and headed to Tallangatta for a stop at the Bakery. There were cyclists everywhere in town, getting organised to load their bicycles onto trailers. I did not speak to any, but I suspect a group ride along the local Rail Trail.

Back on the road, I travelled down the Tallangatta Creek Road and climbed up Cravensville Road to reach Gibb Range Road. Then along Gibb Range Road to the southwest to my usual parking spot for the summit.

Gibb Range VK3/VE-069 1289 m 8 points

I parked at my usual spot and climbed up to the summit: about 850 m with about 60 m vertical climb. I set up and was soon on air. Things were a little hectic: several operators were out activating, so some time was spent listening around the bands to see if I could work other summits.

I worked 14 stations on 80 m and 40 m. The summit was qualified on SSB and CW. Three CW contacts on 80 m and six CW contacts on 40 m were made before I started chasing some of the other summits. SSB brought three S2S contacts: Mitch VK7XDM on VK7/SC-001 before and after UTC rollover and Sam VK2GPL on VK2/CT-003. I listened around for the ZL stations who were out activating without success.

I returned to the car and drove southeast along Gibb Range Road to Glamour Hill Track and drove into the next target.

(Glamour Hill Track) VK3/VE-079 1262 m 8 points

As I drove in to the summit, I saw signs suggesting that logging will soon be occurring at a site part way into the summit – access may soon again be restricted. I drove through the old logging coupe to the high point of the track on the ridge, well within the AZ. I again set up with a line over a tree branch.

I found that I had very limited phone coverage. First in the log was Bill VK1MCW/2 on VK2/SM-036. I managed to work three stations on 80 m CW and one on 40 m CW. Given the conditions and poor coverage, I gave up, packed up and headed back to Gibb Range Road.

The route was east to Corryong – Benambra Road (C545) then north. I have previously approach the next target via Scrubby Creek Track, but the route is rough. I decided to head a little further north and to approach via Dunstans Road to approach the summit from the higher end of Scrubby Creek Track. Although the distance was greater, my feeling is that transit time was lower. I parked at the high point in the track and loaded up for the climb.

VK3/VE-051 (unnamed) 1407 m 8 points

The climb is about 380 m with about 55 m vertical climb through low scrub. Once in the AZ, I set up the station and started calling on 40 m SSB, as I was aware that Tony VK7LTD and Angela VK7FAMP were setting up on Mt Wellington VK7/SC-001.

I had three contacts on SSB before Tony called me for a S2S, and I worked Angela a couple of minutes later. I made a total of 12 contacts: two on 80 m, one on 20 m and the remainder on 40 m. The summit was qualified on both SSB and CW.

I returned to the car. Then retraced the access route to Dunstans Road, and then headed south to Six Mile Ridge Track. I then travelled out along the track to the summit.

Six Mile Ridge VK3/VE-056 1393 m 8 points

I quickly set up with a line over a tree branch to support the antenna. I made 11 contacts on 80 and 40 m, qualifying on both SSB and CW.

I packed up and headed back to Dunstans Road and then headed back to Wodonga.

SixMileViewE

Looking eastwards: Mt Pinnibar to the right and Kosciuszko in the centre

Another busy day, with four summits activated for 44 Activator points. Once I had VK3/VE-069 qualified on CW, I had passed the 1000 point mark, qualifying for Mountain Goat all CW.

Overall, I earned 259 points in the five days, and 348 points since the campaign started on 19 September, with 32 summits activated in that period, with 9 days of activations.

Thanks to all the Chasers who worked me, especially those I worked on CW.

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2 Responses to A loopy plan

  1. Gaz GazMag says:

    Peter VK3PF, congratulations on a fantastic job well done!! Garry VK2GAZ

  2. vk5bje says:

    Hi Peter, absolutely incredible. Your post makes me feel dizzy!. However, well done on packing so much into the trip and likewise the CW activations. Four contacts are achievable but getting ten for Australlan VKFF is quite a challenge,
    73
    John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

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