The Alpine Park has some great SOTA summits, although it is a long drive from home. We activated six summits in three days last November in this park during some nice weather. Kevin, VK3KAB, Trevor, VK3ATB and myself decided we all had a few days of clear time off starting from Boxing Day, so off we went again.
I set off about lunchtime on Boxing Day, and arrived at Lost Plain in the Alpine Park around 4:30pm. Lost Plain is 2.3km South of Arbuckle Junction. Arbuckle Junction is 47km north of Licola. Lost Plain looked like a good central base for camping with a bush toilet and some tables, so I pitched a tent and then set off for Bryces Plain, VK3/VT-004. Kevin and Trevor would be arriving much later.
Bryces Plain VK3/VT-004 10 Points
Bryces Plain is an easy activation, it is just off the Howitt Road about 24km north of Lost Plain. The road is good gravel 2wd, although plenty of potholes and the odd crater to watch out for. It is only a few hundred metres from the Howitt Road to the summit, so parking on the Howitt Road keeps you out of the activation zone. From 6pm, 9 contacts were made on 40m, 5 on 20m and 1 on 12m. The antenna was the switched multi band dipole. At 7pm, I headed back to Lost Plain for dinner. Around 2:30am the next day, Kevin and Trevor arrived.
Mt. Tamboritha VK3/VT-011 10 Points
After a bit of a late start, we headed off to Mt. Tamboritha in Trevor’s 4WD. The turn off, Dingo Hill Track was only 8km south of our camp. This time as there was recovery gear on board, we drove all the way to the automatic weather station on the track that leaves Dingo Hill Track. From here it was only a 2km walk to the summit. After quickly qualifying the summit, I went to 12m and 40m to experiment. We made a summit to summit with Peter, VK3PF on VK2/RI-006. Trevor and Kevin made many contacts on 40m. Kevin had a lightweight camping chair and table that made activating very comfortable. Antenna used on my station was the multiband switched dipole, Kevin was using a SOTABeams dipole.
Mt. Reynard VK3/VT-002 10 Points
Last time we climbed Reynard, we didn’t really find a track and bush bashed most of the way to the summit. The Garmin Etrex30 maps showed a track to Mt. Reynard that could be accessed from a track off Kelly Hut Track, about 5.5km from our camp. We expected the track to be mostly gone and overgrown but it would probably be a path of least resistance. After parking at S37 24.391 E146 44.857 on the track, we climbed over an old fence and then over a rock ridge. We located the remains of the track and as expected it was pretty well overgrown, but we managed to follow it with a minimum of bush bashing. See the map. It was about 4km of hiking from where we parked the car to the summit. To keep the weight down, I just took the End Fed Half Wave for 40m and 20m and the 4 metre mini squid-pole. I made about 8 contacts on 40m including S2S with Marshall, VK3MRG on Mt. Terrible, VK6MB on 20m and Tony, VK3CAT over on King Billy 1 via 2m. Thanks Tony for scrambling to the summit for the contact. Trevor and Kevin made many contacts on 40m. After returning to to camp for dinner, we headed off to Bryces Plain for a night time activation.
Trapyard Hill VK3/VT-005 10 Points
On our previous trip to Trapyard Hill, we set off from Mc Farlane Saddle and returned to the Moroka Road. I had an early start as I planned to leave later in the day while Trevor and Kevin decided to go to Picture Point Range later. This time I decided to set off from the Moroka Road about 13km from our camp as it looked like a much shorter walk. I parked the car at S37 28.589 E146 51.660S37 on the Moroka Road and set off, see the map. The track shown on the map was almost completely overgrown but you could pick it up here and there. The section from the car park to the track was straight up keeping to the east side of the gully. To keep weight down, I used the EFHW and a mini squid-pole. Once at the summit, contact was made with Kevin and Trevor on 2m as chasers from the camp. 21 contacts were made including a summit to summit with Tony, VK3CAT on King Billy 1. The views from Trapyard Hill are fantastic despite the burnt out forests surrounding. Allen, VK3HRA advised that the Weather Bureau had issued a storm warning, so despite the sunny skies, I decided to leave. At this time, Kevin and Trevor were crossing Wellington Plain en route to Picture Point Range. After heading back to the car via the same ascent route, I dropped over to Mc Farlanes Saddle and then went to Lost Plain to pack the tent and depart.
Trevor and Kevin stayed on to activate Trapyard Hill and Wellington Plateau the following day.