After returning from an overseas trip, the SOTA bug was biting, so at short notice I planned to head to Hyde Hill. The weather was looking reasonable and Hyde Hill at 902 metres should be clear of snow.
I followed the access notes from VK3WAM and VK3ZPF mentioned on the summit reference. After leaving the Yarra Junction – Noojee Rd (C425) at the Ada tree turn off, the good condition unsealed road ( Big Creek Rd.) takes you within 400 metres of the summit. As Peter, VK3ZPF had noted, near the intersection of Big Creek Rd and Black Sands Rd., a logging operation had cleared most of the bush between the road and the summit. I parked near this junction and walked in the direction of the summit.
The logged area is covered with burnt logs, creating a real boggy mess after all the rains lately.
The highest point at the logged clearing seems to be just in the activation zone, it is a few metres inside the 880 metre contour according to the DSE based Ozi Explorer maps in Androzic. The summit is at 902 metres.
See waypoint 21 in the screen capture.
Just to be sure, I took the squid pole off my pack and did a little scrub bashing towards the summit. The undergrowth is quite thick and going is slow. The squid pole was tied to a couple of branches and the end fed half wave was erected. It was a challenge to get the dipole ends out in the thick scrub and just as I was about to go on air, a large piece of bark fell down and landed over the antenna.
Was on air about 0053 UTC and made 26 contacts in all, most on 40m. I tried 12 metres and had a summit to summit with Tony, VK3CAT on Mt. Gordon. Bernard, VK3AMB also came up on 12, but it was tough going, we finally exchanged reports in the end. I was only running the 40m EFHW with a T1 tuner, so it would not have been working too well.
Summit to summits also included Allen, VK3HRA on VE-230, Ian, VK1DI on AC-025 and Al, VK1RX and Andrew, VK1NAM on AC029. Unfortunately, I didn’t check the alerts list or would have stayed a bit longer for VK3KAB and others that came up soon after.
See photos of the area below:
Total trip fuel economy was 6.6l/100km.