With nice weather forecast and a day off on Monday, it was an ideal opportunity to do a couple of new summits in the Falls Creek area. I left home in Melbourne’s South East at 7am on Sunday and took the more scenic route via the Princes Freeway to Bairnsdale and then North through Omeo.
Once past Omeo I took the Bogong High Plains Rd., which was new for me. This road is sealed and in very good condition although there are many twisting turns so progress is quite slow.
I arrived at the Mt Cope car park at about 1pm., from here, the walk is short (about 1.5km each way) and starts at the Bogong High Plains Rd. Apart from a ranger posting a sign about upcoming deer shooting at the car park, I didn’t see anyone else. Mt Cope, VK3/VG-001 at 1837 metres is a 10 point summit.
At the summits, contacts were made on 20m and 40m including a summit to summit with Brian, VK3MCD on Mt. Granya. ZL, VK1, 2 and 5 call areas were worked. Cell coverage was good and there were plenty of trees to bungy the squidpole to.
After about 11 contacts, I headed back to the car.
There wasn’t a lot of time left in the day, so I went to Mt. McKay as it is a drive up summit and should not take too long. Mt McKay, VK3/VE-007 at 1849 metres is a 10 point summit. Just before the car park on the summit, there was a short pipe sticking out of a rock. This was ideal to fix the squid pole to, the antenna was unrolled and I set up on the top of another rock.
Two ladies came over and asked what I was doing with the fishing rod and were suprised to hear me talking to ZL1TM. A summit to summit was made with Peter, VK3ZPF on Mt. Donna Buang. Most contacts were made on 40m. ZL, VK2,3 and 5 call areas were worked with some very strong signals.
As it was 4pm, I went south back down the Bogong High Plains Rd. looking for a campsite. The Raspberry Hill campsite looked ok and it was empty, so I set up there for the night. As the campsite was at 1600 metres altitude, the temperature dropped sharply at sunset and before long it was hovering at 2 degrees.
In the morning I left the campsite at 8am and drove back up the High Plains Rd. towards Falls Creek for the walk to Mt. Nelse. The car park for the Big River Firetrail is just short of Falls Creek. Mt Nelse, VK3/VE-004 at 1882 metres is a 10 point summit.
The walk to Mt. Nelse is about 12 km return. Most of the walk is along a 4wd track in open plains. The track goes past the closest point to the summit and then a walking track doubles back to the top.
At the summit, there are the remains of a trig point consisting of a vertical pipe a metre or so long. This makes a good fixture to attach the squid pole.
All contacts were made on 40m within VK2,4, 5, 6 call areas. By now the wind was getting up and the chill factor biting, so the kit was packed up and I returned to the car.
Throughout the area, 2m APRS worked very well via Mt. Hotham digipeater.
The trip home was by the same route via Omeo and Bairnsdale, taking about 6 hours including a fuel stop.