It was Australia Day and there was a lot of summit activity planned, so I chose Mt. St. Phillack (VT-006) to operate from. I have been to this summit twice before, it is a nice walk and not too steep, especially if coming from the Mt. Baw Baw side.
Access is fairly straight forward. See this map. Park at the No. 1 (day) car park on Mt. Baw Baw (the top car park) and head down Candle Heath Drive which is to the North East of the car park. About 150 metres down Candle Heath Drive, there is a sign to Muellers Track which heads down over a creek and up around to Five Ways where it meets the Village Trail. Follow the Village Trail through Mc Millans Flat and then where the Village Trail starts to loop back clockwise to the Village, take the North East track towards Mt. St. Gwinear / Mt. St. Phillack. After a few km, you come to the junction of the Alpine Walking Track where you turn right to Mt. St. Phillack. The tracks are well signed. It is roughly 4.5km from the Mt. Baw Baw car park to St. Phillack.
After arriving at the summit cairn, I went into a clearing about 30 metres NE and to my surprise, the tripod for the squid pole I set up over a year ago was still there! This time the small 4 metre squid pole was used to keep things light. It was strapped to the tripod and the half wave antenna erected.
The March flies were really bad. They were swarming all over my clothes and drilling away at anything they could. The Aerogard didn’t seem to make much difference, so I put a jacket on with a hood. Luckily it was only about 15 degrees at that altitude, although the sun was very strong.
The next hurdle was using the special AX callsign prefix for Australia Day. I kept stuffing it up and reverting to the VK prefix (the March flies weren’t helping concentration). Peter, VK3PF you were right!
The summit activity from other activators was fantastic.
Summit to Summit contacts made were:
Andrew, AX3BQ on VK3/VW-022
Compton, VK2HRX on VK3/VG-014
Allen, AX3HRA on VK3/VS-051
Andrew, VK1MBE on VK1/AC041
Ian, VK1DI on VK2/ST006
Nick, VK2KXN on VK3/VG-014
Tony, AX3CAT on VK3/VN-002
Peter, VK3PF on VK2/SM-033
Hiro, VK3EHG on VK3/VE-014
Greg, VK2FGJW on VK1/AC-008
Ron, AX3AFW on VK3/VN-002
One contact was made on 12m to Bernard, AX3AMB, no VK6 though. It would have been nice to stay and work some more, but the flies were driving me nuts!