As my activator points tally was 92, I needed at least an 8 pointer to get my activator award. The most accessible 10 pointer was Mt. St. Phillack, so the activation was planned for Saturday 9th Dec. Saturday. The forecast was extremely hot day of 37 degrees C and some districts had total fire bans in place, so the bush would not be a good place to be, the heat of the walk aside. I decided that Sunday would be a better day with mild temperatures forecast.
The walk to Mt. St. Phillack is quite straight forward and about 5km from the Baw Baw Village car park. I arrived in the car park with fog blowing through and a temperature of 4 degrees from the car.
The start of the walk is from the Village Trail. This is the bit that was confusing. I headed to the Skiosk and the Village Trail was clearly signposted off to the right of the Skiosk, but it seemed to go the wrong direction. The Trail is a loop. I went a little way down the trail but it soon was evident that this was the wrong way although I couldn’t see the entrance to the other end of the loop. I thought that I might as well keep going although it would be longer, but eventually came to a “closed for summer repair” sign, which wasn’t suprising because it was rather boggy and wet. I turned around and went back to the trail head and eventually found the other end of the Village Trail loop mid way up the summit T-bar after a bit of walking around . This is where it appears to start in the other direction. It is not signposted from the area down near the Skiosk.
Its a straight forward walk from the Village Trail. Go through the Five Ways about 400m from the Trail start and head for McMillans Flat. After McMillans Flat, take the walking track to St Gwinear and Mt St Phillack. This track brings you out on the Alpine Walking Track at Mt St Phillack saddle. From the saddle its only a few hundred metres to the summit.
The station consisted of the trusty end fed half wave for 40m and FT817. Also had a hand held 2m radio with a 5/8th whip for 146.500, but didnt work anything from it.
I wanted to put the EFHW in the middle of a clearing and there was nothing to strap the squid pole to, so made a tripod from three fallen branches and this held the squid pole nicely.
On 40m I made 9 contacts in the 40 minutes or so of operating the station.