With the number of summits I have activated in the last few months, I decided to ease off a little and spend the day with the family. The weather was not looking too promising and sometimes trying to get the kids out of the house in these situations can be a challenge. Any family outing that involves Dad taking a radio or two is normally met with about as much excitement as I get when they want to drag me along to a quilting exhibition. So when we were all discussing a place to explore and do a little bushwalking, it was agreed to head to The You Yangs. Flinders Peak is the highest point in the You Yangs and was named after the explorer Matthew Flinders who surveyed the bay and surrounds from this summit.
My excuse for this outing was to try out my new Magellan Explorist GPS unit, loaded with topographic maps and SOTA waypoints, before taking it out for real. Fancy the kid's surprise when there just happened to be a small SOTA summit for Dad to activate!
The weather was strange. A little warmer than expected but with some threatening clouds and passing showers as well as blustery conditions on the summit. We even had brief breaks of sunshine. When the rain wasn't around, visibility was high. We could see clearly to Geelong, Melbourne and across the bay.
All I took to the summit was a HT and there were no problems getting a few contacts on 146.500 Mhz. For the sake of the family, I wanted to keep this activation as short as possible and was able to achieve this whist they amused themselves on the viewing platform with a pair of binoculars.
I easily logged 5 contacts with the first being Steve VK3ZYS. The second contact was Steve VK3MEG who gave me a 59 report and spotted me on SOTA Watch. Bill VK3YHT was next and the closest station I worked in Corio. Rik VK3KAN and Andrew VK3BQ were the last contacts, both hearing me from hand held radios in the eastern suburbs quite easily. Andrew had to jump on the home rig in order for me to hear him but then there were no problems at all.
If you're trying to build up activator points, this 1 point summit might not be on the top of your list but that is no reason not to visit. The tracks throughout the park are well defined and pleasant to walk. There are nice spots to stop and take in the scenery or stop for lunch. In the past few years, it has also become somewhat of a mountain biking destination. All in all, a worthwhile spot for a family day out if you want to do more than just play radio.