Originally, the plan was to activate three summits north of Big River on the Sunday with Kevin, VK3KAB. These summits are Mt. Duffy, Point 1025 and Point 951. Kevin was also keen to see how the new Triton would go on the forest tracks.
During the previous night we received 40mm of rain, causing us concerns about road access .
Mt Duffy – VK3/VN-007 6 points
We left about 7am on Sunday in light rain and drove through Warburton up the Warburton-Woods Point Rd. and at then took the Warburton-Eildon Rd. (good 2wd gravel road). About 13km along the Warburton-Eildon Rd. we took Gum Top Rd. to the East (reasonable 2wd gravel road) and parked just below Mt Duffy near Dray Track. After a walk out and in the activation zone, we set up a 40m and 20m station. It was foggy with light misty drizzle. Conditions on 40m were poor and signals were generally quite down.
Summit to summit contacts were made on 40m to Rob, VK2QR on Mt Pendergast. VK2YK was also worked on Mt Royal. On 20m some contacts were made to VK6MB, VK5WG and VK2KTT. Kevin worked 40m most of the time and just as we were about to leave, his linked dipole broke. So far weather was not too bad. Forgot to take some photos here!
Point 951 – VK3/VN-010 6 points
The next summit was Point 951, via Point 1025. We drove up Dray Track (some rough and steep bits 2wd in dry conditions) and then Sabrina Lookout Track leading to Point 1025 summit (steep 4wd). Kevin’s car did a great job on this track.
After driving a little past the summit, we inspected the road to Point 951 and considering the weather and track condition, thought it best to walk the rest of the way. There were a lot of branches overgrowing the steep track. The walk to Point 951 from here is 2.8km where you decend about 250m and climb up about 150m. The way back is tougher as the ascent is higher.
On Point 951, we worked quite a few stations on 40m using the end fed, and a couple of stations on 20m although no summit to summits. We were waiting for Rob, VK2QR to get to his summit when a dark rain band approached, so we thought it best to get going for the slog back to Point 1025. That lightweight stool in the photo is indispensable!
Point_1025 – VK3/VN-008 6 points
On Point 1025, we only set up the 40m station using the end fed as it was damp and we didn’t want to hang around too long. Signals were still down, but we did work a few National Park operators. Things went quiet on 40m, so we packed up and went back to the car and drove back to Dray Track heading north. We still had a bit of time, so we thought we would try Mt Terrible after something to eat.
Mt. Terrible – VK3/VE-067 8 points
We took Dray Track all the way to the Eildon – Jamieson Rd. and turned right. It looked like Newmans Track (4wd) a few km down the road would provide access to Mt. Terrible. This road slowly became worse and we both realised that this was not the road we had been on previously. We had to move large logs and there were some very steep and rutted sections on the track. We kept going and eventually crossed the Mt. Terrible Track (the one we should have taken). The car was parked at the top and we decended out of the activation zone on foot and returned to a spot where we could tie a squid pole to a steel rail sticking out of the ground. We only worked 40m again and signals were still down. Summit to summits were with Rob, VK2QR on Sam Hill and VK7FREU on Mt. Wellington where the weather was sunnier than Mt. Terrible! After a while the fog lifted and it was quite reasonable.
Mt Terrible Spur – VK3/VE-134 6 points
The next stop was Mt. Terrible Spur as it is on the way back, just off Mt. Terrible Track (2wd with ground clearance). By now the weather was clearing and the sun occasionally broke through. We walked down out of the activation zone and then up to the peak which is off the road a few hundred metres. The 40m end fed was erected and we found that signals had picked up quite a bit from earlier in the day. Signals were generally quite good now, so Kevin and I worked station in turns until it went quiet. Mt Terrible Track was then followed a short distance to the Eildon – Jamieson Rd. and we headed home.
It was a long day but worked out far better than we thought with the rainy start. Kevin’s Triton did a great job on the rough and wet roads. Hope those pinstripes didnt go through the paint! Five summits and a total of 32 points.