Western Grampians

Hi all,

This is the third day of a three day trip in June 2014.
Day 1 can be found here
Day 2 can be found here

Chimney Pots VK3/VS-005

This summit is actually to the north of the actual area known as Chimney Pots. I decided to use the track that goes to the Chimney Pots and work my way up from there. I headed off in the very early morning, to get about 3/4 of an hour in before sunrise. Once leaving the track, it is rough scrub and slow going. From the Chimney Pots, I made my way up the southern side of a valley and then crossed the creek to get to the high land. Very slow through there. Once up on high, got some great views looking south east:

Victoria Valley from near the Chimney Pots

Victoria Valley

Only one problem, this is not the summit, it was another 750m to the north. The scrub was a little more forgiving, but it was a good hour or so to travel that 750m. The scrub approaching the summit from the south was very unforgiving, and I did not find anything clear until basically right at the summit itself. Nice, once I got there!

Operating at VK3/VS-005

Operating at VK3/VS-005

Both activations today were on the KX1, powered using a 3S LiPO. The battery yeilds 12.6V full and it had not decreased much over the three day trip. The KX1 only sips the juice. I was carrying a 4.7m squid pole today. It is much easier to get through the scrub than the 7m squid pole. It also weighs much less. The antenna was my random wire, 40 foot long with counterpoise wires for 20, 30 and 40. The picture above shows use of a walking pole to elevate the wire near the rig, and this helps tune on 40.

There were some nice views looking to the north west:

Looking north west from VK3/VS-005

Looking north west from VK3/VS-005

I headed west-nor-west from the summit. The terrain was more patchy, with one scrubby creek crossing. I was aiming for the Victoria Range Fireline, a management vehicle track. Sometimes the terrain was very slow, other times a bit faster. About half way to the road, it cleared up significantly, and I was actually walking, rather than constantly ducking and negotiating my way. The fireline itself is the best way to access this summit. I headed south west down the track to Glenelg River Rd and then used that to walk back to the track head for the Chimney Pots.

Mt Thackeray VK3/VS-006

The previous summit took most of the day, so only one more to finish up. Mt Thackeray is a large outcrop that is reached from the Victoria Range track. This track is passable with some care in a 2wd, even though it is rated for 4wd. Just take some care on the humps. The actual summit is to the north west of campground on the 4wd track, but the campground itself is actually in the activation zone (it is even a bit higher than the summit itself!). For the sake of time, I parked the car outside of the activation zone and walked in to the campground and activated there.

Note that this summit is going to be moved to a higher point, but the new location is in the activation of VK3/VS-006, so there will not be a new SOTA code.

With that, the three day set of activations was over and it was time to head for home.

Regards, Wayne VK3WAM

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