Activated 02 November 2013
Access to Pyramid Hill is straightforward and the easiest of the summits in the area. From Snobs Creek Road I took No 5 Track and then turned right onto Royston Range Track. The first gate was open and allowed me access up to the start of the logging area which is gated and closed to the public. I parked here and walked the smaller track on the right about 400 metres to the summit. The last part of the climb involved traversing over rocks and burnt timber without getting blackened from charcoal in the process.
Back down on Snobs Creek Road I went north and headed up to Conns Gap Road where I turned right and decided to see if Barnewall Plains Track was open from the southern end. This was as far as we could get a vehicle last time when I was here with Peter VK3ZPF on our joint activation of Mt Torbreck at the start of the winter season. This time the track was open and the fallen timber from recent times had been cleared. I was able to get up the steep heavily rutted start and continue to the Barnewall Plains campsite and the start of the Mt Torbreck walking track and considered setting camp here and enjoying the area to myself but with still plenty of time left in the day, I pressed on and went through some of the minor 4WD tracks until I arrived at O'Tooles Flat camping area. This is where I set up camp with the doublet strung overhead for radio company and time to sit back and relax and cook a rather nice meal over the campfire.
As dinner was cooking, Nick VK3ANL appeared on Andrew Peak VK3/VN-020. Signals picked up enough to work him and it was a tough copy both ways but successful. Later in the evening I had some good company on 40 metres with Paul VK4FPPR/5, Joe VK3YSP, Paul VK5PAS, Steve VK7PSJ & Len VK3FB whilst quaffing some nice Cabertet Sauvingon.
It was a mild night and the morning was clear and bright. I turned on the radio whilst having breakfast and had a brief chat with Mark VK7FMPR and Len VK3FB in Mulgrave who reported early morning showers in Melbourne. After packing up I could see some grey clouds coming in and with the weather forcasting a change with strong winds, I headed to Rocky Peak.
Activated 02/03 November 2013
From O'Tooles Flat I joined the Eildon Jamieson Road heading south for a short distance before peeling left into Taylors Creek Track. I came to the intersection of Pinacle Track and turned right, remaining on Taylors Creek track which continued to climb to where the road started to level off near the saddle of the hill and the peak itself was starting to get further away. I parked at the widest area on the slope and had a little more than a kilometre of bush-bashing. It was fairly easy going following faint animal tracks through the knee-high growth and getting around a few rocks and large fallen trees. Along the way I picked up some red marker tapes on a few trees that confirmed my direction.
On reaching the top I found a trig tower hidden amongst the tree growth and just past this, a nice spot to sit on above a steep rock face. From here I had a magnificent view to the northeast and Lake Eildon and it was the perfect perch with some shelter from the increasing winds and rain heading my way.
Activated 03 November 2013
Wombat Spur was easy to get to by simply continuing along Taylors Creek Track. This would be easily passable with any 2WD vehicle. I parked at the intersection of Wombat Track And Taylors Creek Track and proceeded past the locked gate to the summit. According to the signs and my research on the internet prior, this track should have been open to vehicles but not so. Regardless it is definitely a 4WD track only. It was a fairly easy trek by foot of about 400 metres rising steadily with a flatter area midway up.
Reaching the summit presented a grassed area with a a few well spaced trees to string a wire but I elected to spike the vertical into the ground as I didn't want to spend longer than I needed here. Looking over my shoulder I could clearly see Rocky Peak through the trees to my south. I positioned the radio on a tree stump and tuned 40 metres and immediately worked Ray VK3YAR once again this time on Mt Moliagul VK3/VN-024. Right after this I worked Peter VK3PF/2 and Rod VK2TWR also on a new summit VK2/ST-001. I worked a handful more including Phillip VK3JNI/ maritime mobile on Lake Eildon before packing up. The last part of this activation was worked on 2.5 watts of power with the internal batteries of the FT-817 as I'd used the best part of my 2 x 7AH batteries on the other activations and waffling most of the previous night next to the campfire.
Before heading back down to the car I also had a play around with the new Wouxun KG-UV6D and found that I could get intoVK3RGV, the IRLP repeater in Shepparton. I keyed up the VK7RAD at Queens Domain in Hobart and had a chat with Rex VK7MO on the way down.
Thanks to all the stations worked right through the weekend with unusually trying conditions on HF. Catch you on another summit soon.