A new summit near Licola

Mount Eliza VK3/VT-088 599 m 2 points NYA
Alpine National Park VKFF-0619

Sunday 2 August 2020

National Tree Day 2020

This summit was added to the VK3 Association list of summits on 1 November 2019. It had not yet been activated.

The summit is close to Licola and the actual summit proper is located on privately owned land – part of the Glenfalloch Station. The actual SOTA summit is not the point identified on the official Victorian mapping as Mt Eliza (589 m), being one of two knolls to the NE at 599 m. Exploration of the official mapping shows that the Alpine National Park boundary crosses the summit activation zone to the NE of the SOTA summit.

Approximate access route to the summit & operating site. Map courtesy Mapshare Vic.

Access was gained via an old vehicle track off Tamboritha Road, about 3.4 km north of the start of Tamboritha Road, immediately before Licola Road crosses the Macalister River. The track enters an area which was previously the local Council Garbage Tip but was handed to the State Government in 2009. The former Tip was added to the Alpine National Park. I parked at a convenient spot off the track and started the walk. The GPS batteries were dead, so I have no track and I had no mobile coverage. The basic plan was to cross the shallow gully to the east of the parking site and then work my way south up the spur running north from the summit. This involved a climb of about 360 m vertical over about 1340 m horizontally. The first 400 m was relatively flat before starting to climb onto and then up the spur. It was steep in places, with some rocky areas. I picked my way up the spur through the scrub and rocks.

The day was warm after the past few weeks of cool to cold weather. The climb took me about 2 hours. I found a spot close to where the Park boundary should be, but I found no fence. After another drink of water, I quickly set up the antenna and station. I had very marginal mobile phone coverage (Telstra).

My first contact was Brian VK3BCM on Mount Sam VK3/VG-049 for a Summit to Summit (S2S) contact on 80 m SSB. Next up was Gerard VK2IO/p on Mt Marulan VK2/ST-039 on 80 m CW. I switched to 40 m SSB and worked Paul VK5PAS/p in VKFF-0873. Back on 80 m SSB, I worked a couple of local stations and then had no further callers. I returned to 40 m and tried CW, working four stations. I then went to SSB and worked several stations, including some Park activators. A session on 20 m CW yielded two ZL contacts before I returned to 40 m SSB for two more Park activators.

I had been on the summit for over an hour and had 21 contacts in the log – more than enough to qualify the summit and the Park for VKFF.

View from near the summit to the junction of the Macalister River (to the left) and the Wellington River (centre). Mt Ligar (The Chrinoline) visible on the ridge between the rivers.

I packed up and started the climb back down to the vehicle. The descent took around 50 minutes.

I loaded the gear into the car and headed to the shop in Licola for a cold soft drink before I started the trip home.

Thanks to all the chasers, especially to those Park activators that I managed to catch on air. I know that I missed several, but such is life when you have poor data connectivity to the web and you are out climbing a steep hill.

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