A late push for Bonus summits despite COVID – Day 3

Sunday 11 October 2020

The plan for the day was simple – head towards Mount Beauty and then run the Eskdale Spur summit run. After visiting the Mount Beauty Bakery to buy something for lunch, I headed for Mountain Creek and onwards to The Hollow Way and around to the base of the climb to the next summit.

Bull Hill VK3/VE-048 1425 m 8 points plus seasonal bonus

I walked up the old logging track, which required negotiating a large number of fallen trees across the track. I finally made the summit and set up.

I started on 80 m CW, working two chasers. I moved to 80 m SSB, working three chasers before working VK1DA and VK1MIC, both on VK2/ST-008. Next in the log was VK2IO in VKFF-0522. I moved to 40 m CW and worked three chasers. I returned to 80 m CW but only worked one chaser. I then moved to 20 m CW and worked only one chaser. I called for several minutes with no responses. I worked VK1DA    again on 40 m CW. I then returned to 40 m SSB to work VK7TW on VK7/NE-006, followed by Paul VK5PAS and Marija VK5FMAZ. I closed down, as the day had several more summits planned.

I packed up and returned to the car, retracing my route to reach Eskdale Spur Track and onwards to the next summit.

Mount Emu VK3/VE-061 1360 m 8 points plus seasonal bonus

I parked near the picnic table at the summit and used a line over a tree branch to haul up the antenna. I sat at the picnic table to operate.

My first contact was Mitch VK7XDM on VK7/SW-008 on 40 m SSB. Next was VK2FPAR in VKFF-2782. I then moved to 80 m SSB for five contacts, followed by three on CW. Next was Bryan VK3LF in VKFF-0965, followed by VK7FDAZ on VK7/SC-002. Next was VK2FPAR in VKFF-2782 on 40 m SSB. I moved back to 80 m SSB for Geoff VK3SQ, followed by two chasers on 40 m CW and one on 40 m SSB. I closed down to move on.

I packed up and continued north along Eskdale Spur Track to park at the high point to the NE of the spur to the next summit. The road surface was excellent north of the junction with Redbank Track, but caution was still required with some spoon drains and some rocks and fallen branches to dodge.

Mount Yorke VK3/VE-082 1248 m 8 points plus seasonal bonus

I parked and walked up the spur to reach the summit.

I set up with a line over a branch. First in the log was Peter VK7ZPE on VK7/NE-028 for a S2S on 40 m SSB. I then moved to 80 m SSB to work Rik VK3EQ and Geoff VK3SQ, but had no other callers. 80 m CW yielded Warren VK3BYD and VK3KS. I moved to 40 m CW to chase Gerard VK2IO/p on VK2/HU-047 in VKFF-3107. I moved down in frequency and worked Ian VK5CZ and VK2BV. 20 m CW yielded only Jackie ZL1WA. I moved to 40 m SSB and worked Matt VK1MA and Gerard VK2IO/p. With no further callers, I closed down and packed the gear.

I returned to the car, a much easier walk down the hill, and drove on to the start of the old track to the next summit.

VK3/VE-071 1183 m 6 points

The track to the summit has been “rehabilitated”, with a large earth mound at the start and several trees across the track. I set up just below the summit.

I spotted and started calling on 80 SSB, working VK3EQ, VK1MA, VK3SQ, and VK3HN. I then swapped to 80 m CW, working Nick VK3ANL and Gerard VK2IO/p on VK2/HU-047 in VKFF-3107. I finally moved to 20 m CW, working ZL1BYZ and ZL1WA. The afternoon was running out, so I closed down.

I packed up and walked down to the car. I then drove north. The track condition deteriorated after Bowmans Number 1 Road, but was in better condition than on my last visit. I drove to the summit and parked.

Mount Tawonga VK3/VE-076 1268 m 8 points plus seasonal bonus

I again set up with a line over a tree branch to haul up the antenna.

I kept this activation short. The summit was qualified on 80 m SSB. I started calling on 80 m CW, working VK3HRA and VK3HN. I switched to 40 m CW to work ZL1BYZ and VK5HAA. With no further callers, I closed down.

I packed up and jumped back in the car. I decided to exit via Bowmans Number 1 Road to Eskdale, then to head back to Wodonga.

The day was rather hectic. There was lots of driving on unsealed and rough mountain tracks and then attempting to activate the summit with the goal of qualifying on both SSB and CW.

The goals were reached: all summits qualified on both voice and CW, with a total of 50 points for the day. Thanks to all the Chasers.

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