New SOTA summits for VK3 – 4

Thursday 7 November 2019

The forecast was for more showers as the next front moved in, expected to arrive in Wodonga late afternoon or evening. The sky was almost solid overcast with the cloud from the front which passed through overnight. I had some tasks for the afternoon, but decided to head out for another new summit in the morning.

VK3/VE-271 (unnamed) 580 m 2 points First activation

I was away from Wodonga just on 0830 EADT (2130 UTC) drove across Lockhart Gap and down towards Talladoon. There were a few light showers during the drive. The maps suggested that the easiest access route was via Hagerty’s Road to Talladoon Track, but Hagerty’s Road has a No Through Road sign. I travelled along it until I reached a closed gate with a Farm Biosecurity sign on it. I retraced by route back to the Omeo Highway and travelled a short distance north before turning onto Yabba Road. About 4 km along I turned onto Yabba Link Track and climbed up to the top of the spur. I turned into Talladoon Track and started working my way along it after engaging 4WD.

I dodged a few downed branches but near the bottom of the first saddle I found a large branch (about 25 cm diameter) across the track. I stopped and pulled out the chainsaw. Once I had cut the branch twice into smaller logs, I managed to move the two key pieces off the track and proceeded, but only about 100-130 m. Another downed branch, but with several smaller branches as well. This one required two cuts and the debris to be moved off the track. A few hundred metres on, I reached a fallen dead branch and was able to move it off the track without the chainsaw. The rest of the approach simply required careful navigation around a few more downed branches and dodging some rocks.

I arrived at the summit at 2310 UTC and messaged Rik et al. that I had arrived. Mitch indicated that he was not at home. I proceeded to set up the station and was ready to be on air at 2322 UTC. Compton VK2HRX was on 7.090 MHz SSB from The Magistrate VK2/NT-006 and was soon in the log.

Rik messaged that he was not hearing me on 40 m, so I replied and moved to 3.610 MHz to complete a contact. I had no other callers on 80 m, so I moved back to 40 m and spotted on CW. I soon had VK7CW, VK2NU, VK4TJ, VK2IO and VK5FLEA in the log.

I moved to 7.090 SSB and worked VK5FLEA and VK5WG. Further calls went unanswered, so I moved to 20 m CW and spotted. I worked ZL1TM but had no more callers. I switched off, packed up and retraced my access route back to the Omeo Highway. I headed back to Wodonga a little after 1200 EADT.

This new summit will make for a nice 10-point, 3-summit day trip from Wodonga in the future: VK3/VE-146, VK3/VE-207 and VK3/VE-271.

VE-271 map1

Three summits near Eskdale & Tallandoon



Google Earth view of the area to the north of Eskdale

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