06042013 – VK3/VW-006 and VK3/VS-001
Activated VK3/VW-006 (Warrburra/Middleton Peak) 06 April 2013.
Activated VK3/VS-001 (Mt William) 06 April 2013. Previous activation – 06/May/2012
APRS Yes. Dipole Yes and No. The last 400m of VK3/VW-006 would be challenging but not impossible without hands.
This is a great time to be in the Grampians. Not too hot, wet or slippery. Worth the effort for the views alone.
VK3/VW-006 (Warrburra/Middleton Peak)
There is a track to Middleton gap. It is marked on the Spatial Vision Northern Grampians map but not on Forest Explorer or visible on Google maps. It appears to have been a vehicular track that has not been maintained. I use the Spatial map for overview and take printouts from Forest Explorer marked with checkpoints for use in the Grampians. I’ll scan the Spatial Vision Northern Grampians map into my mapping software and overlay waypoints if any one interested.
Parked car at Borough Huts campsite off Grampians rd. Set a bearing to Middleton Gap (54H 33245 78990). This was the target. You can see the curve at the top. This is on the ridge line between summits.
Coming from the front saves 4km of track down Mt Rosea track and avoids the harsh scrub from the back. You still have to deal with the scrub and rocks on the top.You will see signs for tracks to Mt Rosea carpark on the map and signs at the campsite. Follow the track out staying on your bearing. Once get to Ingleton Rd (3590 7999) you will be at a ‘T” intersection. The track is straight ahead through the regrowth. Keep going forward. Once through the regrowth the track becomes visible. This is not a ‘stay between the white rocks’ track.
It is a 5km/h track not a 500m/h bash. Very welcome after several trips bush bashing. there is 2km of this to follow. Don’t run enjoy the views.
You can see the track in this photo. There is a definite clear path down the middle. However has not been maintained and the bush is reclaiming.
Ok we are the top of track now. The angle of trees are a giveaway.
Once you get to the end and you will know as now hanging onto bracken to say up, you will turn to the right and admire the view and be thankful not following the gully up. There are several tracks to follow running around the base of the summit that will take you to Middleton gap. Don’t have to go all the way to Middleton Gap. I went around on the way up but cut through the bush on the way back. The scrub gets harsher now. Your on your own now. Stay close to the ridge line to avoid the gully but its the harsh bush typical of the Serrea range. The summit is rocky and has the harsh sharp scrub.
I made it up at UTC 23:47. Setup in the clearest spot I could find as soon as in the 25m activation zone. Managed 2 X S2S with VK3WAM/p and VK3PF/p as well as contacts with VK3ZPF and VK3YY before UTC. This is the quick and the dead. Had not even had a drink until after UTC. The summit peak is a rocky outcrop again. Prefer to setup lower in a safer and protected area. 15 contacts post UTC including another S2S with VK3DET/p and finished up on time to continue to Mt William.
On the way down didn’t go to the gap as happy to crash down the side of summit to meet the checkpoint I took on the way up. Found another area with erosion damage. Walked down a little while but decided to find the track and use it as actually easier.
Saw some natives who where happy to watch me walk past. Dare say the mother was telling the Joey that SOTA activators make a lot of noise at the top but they are harmless.
Whilst not a walk in the park, this is an easier bush activation. If you want scrub experience this will allow for navigation errors whilst still provide the excitement of nearly falling off a mountain then recommend this activation before the undergrowth makes the track impossible. It is easier than the Mt Rosea track. Mt Rosea track is better signed at the bottom but no better once up the hill.
VK3/VS-001 (Mt William) .
10km drive from Borough Huts to Mt William car park.
Mt William is a 1.8 km walk up sealed road from Mt William car park. I is still a real walk but you can do in the dark, rain or after 8km of bush walking. Good time of the year to be there as the number of tourists will testify. It is surprising the number of people up here without coats, hats and only carrying 500ml bottles of water.
I go to the right once at top as there are nice spots between the towers and away from the tourists. Setup dipole and started listening on 40m. 7.090 was clear with activity everywhere else. This is not normal. There was a medical emergency that VK3UP Terry came across and VK1DA Andrew took care of on 7.090. Missed the excitement as over by now. Demonstrated 40m being useful where CB, VHF (Police) and mobile phones didn’t cut it. Well done to all involved.
Made a couple of 40m contacts then tried 2m with VK3AFW Ron. Could hear Ron on 2m SSB but he was unable to hear me. Only 5w so not unexpected. 16 contacts including more S2S with VK3WAM/p and VK1RX/p as well as a KRMNPA (Lower Goulburn NP) contact with VK3PF/m. Finished up at 17:30 and walked down to car as time to go home. Made SOTA contact with VK3WAM/p SOTA VK3/VS-013 (Mount Lonarch) and another KRMNPA contact with VK3PF/m (KRMNPA – Barmah NP) from car.
Over all 37 contacts. 2 X KRMNPA Contacts with VK3PF/m and 8 X S2S SOTA contacts with 5 unique stations.
Wore out another pair of shoes. It was a great day to be in the bush.