I left home early this morning following my slightly rushed plan to activate two summits today. I headed to Mt Beenak arriving at the summit slightly ahead of schedule. It is a fairly easy walk from where I parked the car at the entrance gate of Tower Track to the summit which has been logged quite recently. With the forest cleared, the view on the summit towards the north east is good however a lot of smoke was present from controlled burns around the district reducing visibility considerably. With no trees to hang the doublet from, getting the vertical antenna up was the only option.
At 2307z Allen appeared on 7.095Mhz but his news was not good. He was calling me from his car and unfortunately had alternator problems which was effectively going to put a finish to his planned summit activations before they'd begun. He was limping the car back to Healesville hoping to find an auto electrician to get him on the move quickly. At least I could help him with some chaser points in the meantime.
I pressed on up to the UTC rollover with a total of 19 stations logged but failed to log any S2S. As soon as the hour rolled over, the pileup started all over again with Peter VK3PF being the first contact in the new UTC day. I stayed on air for 20 minutes, logging 15 stations, most being the same ones I had previously worked. Still no S2S contacts! I was hoping to work Wayne VK3WAM but by the time I had set up on this summit, he had already been and gone and was on his way to the next one. Time to head for Spion Kopje.
Activated 11th May 2013
Following the summit access notes from Peter VK3ZPF to Spion Kopje was straightforward although even finding some of the blue tapes tied around trees to mark the route can be challenging. On the way to Spion Kopje, areas of forest along Limberlost Rd have been recently logged along with controlled burns, scarring the landscape but allowing good distant views across the Yarra Valley.
Once on foot, continuing to push through and scrambling over some large granite rocks whilst maintaining your bearing will bring you to the summit, a large flat granite area marked in the centre by a small pile of rocks. Plenty of room here to spread out. A few spindly dead trees around the edges of this smooth granite outcrop are sufficient to string up the doublet roughly broadside to Melbourne. This worked well as I worked 20metres later in the afternoon with some DX into the USA.
I then was then made aware that Wayne VK3WAM/p had appeared on VK3/VE137 and was calling on 40metres. I quickly tuned him in and got through fairly quickly. Logged at 0546z Wayne was the last station I worked. With this elusive contact made, I called it quits and headed for home.
All in all, another satisfying day playing radio and a couple more summits added to my list.