Friday 5th June 2015.
Much of my attention to date has been with planning the FWDV 40th Anniversary Celebrations at Mansfield. This was the purpose of an earlier journey in March
With fellow TLCCV member Michael Martin, we arrived in Mansfield by late morning. Mike had to arrange a fuel filter for his 200 series whilst I organised the coffee.
Now, being the start of the Ski season, The Circuit Rd to beyond Mt. Stirling would be closed but an alternative would be either over or around Mt. Number Three. WIth the heavy snow falls earlier in the week and the success of numerous trips being dependent on this route, we felt it was worth a look.
Significant snow prior to the Tomahawk Hut turn off and more at the junction of Mt Number Three track and Carters Rd Extension. We decided to go along the Extension Track and have a look at either Western or Mine Tracks as alternatives, thus going around the summit.
Neither proved to be suitable. The snow had melted then re-frozen overnight creating hazardous ice in the closed forested areas. Looks like access to Craigs Hut and Pineapple Flat was off the agenda. We then thought to climb up the back of Mt. Number Three; creating at least some sort of trip into this area. The snow was relatively compact and we did noit get too far before hitting ice again. Everything was locked up but no forward traction once over a second wash out. It proved interesting backing down! I tried backing down in 1st gear low range, thinking the forward spinning wheels could counter the reverse slide. Not so, in the end I was only a passenger – brown pants stuff but fortunately no damage and really nothing to hit on the way down.
Back to the Mansfield Show Grounds to set up and re-jig a large number of trips
Saturday 6th June 2015.
Got all the trips out from the Mansfield Show Grounds by 10:00 am. 8 trips in all rated easy to moderate. Did not want anyone getting stuck and missing out on the evenings entertainment!
Headed out with Steve deMamiel and Family for a revisit to Mt. Number Three. Steve wanted to see some snow and we thought we would have a second crack at the summit, via the same route as last time.
There had been a significant amount of snow melt in the past 24 hours and got much further than last time. The track gets a bit steeper as it gains altitude and there are some tight switchbacks. It was when I was into these I again hit ice and all forward progress stopped. Securing the vehicle, I then got my MaxTrax mats out and Steve and I also broke up the ice with our shovels. This enabled us to drive up a little further in order to find a safer place to turn around.
Back down to level ground, I left steve in the snow and walked up to the summit. On my ascent I came across a number of vehicles attempting to come down. There was a lot of winching happening due to the ice and snow. I got to the summit in good time and set up. A couple were camped up there in the snow and sunshine although the weather was soon to close in.
Date:06/Jun/2015 Summit:VK3/VE-033 (Mt Number 3) Call Used:VK3CAT/P Points: 10 Bonus: 0
Summit Height 1548 metres. Good Phone coverage
|04:42z||VK3PF||7MHz||CW||Peter 599, 599|
|04:44z||VK3AFW||7MHz||CW||Ron 599, 599|
|04:46z||VK5EEE||7MHz||CW||Lou 599, 559|
|04:46z||VK3HRA||7MHz||CW||Allen 599, 599|
|04:47z||VK2AOH||7MHz||CW||Nick 599, 559|
|04:48z||VK5IS||7MHz||CW||Ian 599, 549|
|04:50z||VK3BYD||7MHz||CW||Warren 599, 599|
|04:52z||VK3IL||7MHz||CW||David 599, 599|
|05:07z||VK1DI/P||7MHz||SSB||Ian 5×7, 58 vkff 88|
|05:08z||VK3YY/P||7MHz||SSB||Glenn 5×9, 59|
I had trouble with getting a self spot out due to the cold, the phone touch screen and my fingers being incompatible. Gave Ron and Peter a call to see if either could spot me. Not too surprised that they were the first in my log. I packed up just as the clouds started to come in, the track down was now all clear of vehicles. Back to Mansfield and en route a chat on HF with VK2TWR and VK2YW. Finished work related to trips for Sunday and then joined the others around the camp fires. Sky clear, very cold!
Sunday 7th June 2015
Awoke to a damp and overcast morning. Not feeling great & not much appetite. Feel like I have a couple of bricks in my stomach!
Troops are gathered and set off on their various trips. Matt Lilley and I are running two convoys of 10 vehicles up to Mt. Skene departing at 10:00 am. Should be some snow but not sure about any views. In fine weather the road to Mt. Skene is quite stunning once into the snow line!
Well, after airing down on the outskirts of Jamieson, we headed up the mountain and by the Mt. Sunday Rd. turnoff we were in heavy cloud. Visibility at the top was poor and there was evidently a number of vehicles up on the summit, we just could not see each other.
Quickly, and in horrible blizzard like conditions, I set up the KX3 and doublet and qualified the summit.
Summit Height 1565 metres. Phone coverage variable (due to WX conditions?)
Access is easy with the main road entering the activation zone.
|02:25z||VK2TWR/P||7MHz||SSB||Rod 5×8, 58|
|02:27z||VK1NAM/P||7MHz||SSB||Andrew 5×8, 58|
|02:30z||VK3AFW||7MHz||CW||Ron 599, 599|
|02:33z||VK3HRA/P||7MHz||CW||Allen 599, 599|
|02:38z||VK5IS||7MHz||CW||Ian 599, 579|
Thanks to Andrew VK1NAM for his descriptive comments heard by those brave enough to be interested in what I was up to. Quickly back into the car and back to Jamieson – Coffee at the brewery.
Monday 8th of June 2015
A brisk start. Quick clean up of the scout hall which was our trips base for the weekend. Then out. I left Michael Martin at the Mansfield Car Wash and headed towards the paps to complete unfinished business. Got pulled over in Mansfield for a breathalyzer test but as I put the indicator on to turn in, the police officer apologised to me and waved me through.
This time I got to the Paps Summit without issue. Last time the road was closed at the reserve entry.
Date:08/Jun/2015 Summit:VK3/VE-204 (The Paps) Call Used:VK3CAT/P Points: 4 Bonus: 0
Summit height 706 metres. Excellent phone coverage.
I was able to drive right up to the comms site. I took some time to admire the stunning views over lake Eildon and north towards Benalla
I qualified the summit on 40 metres CW and SSB. Also had 3 x 30m CW contacts including John VK6NU
Date:08/Jun/2015 Summit:VK3/VN-019 (Proctor) Call Used:VK3CAT/P Points: 2 Bonus: 0
Summit Height 681 Metres, good phone coverage.
I thought to squeeze this one in on the way home. On the way my Windows CE navigator running OziExplorer died. No GPS fix (Note it is well and truly dead)
I had been along this way before but that was in the summer of 1994 so I was a little rusty. Anyway, with the aid of the Garmin GPS, found my way easily enough to the activation zone of which the road goes through.
Access from Bonnie Doon is south onto The Pepin Point Rd which is on the Boonie Doon township side of the bridge. Follow the Lake Eildon shore line south. Technically this is Maintongoon Rd.
A cross road at the Tehan Block, turn right and up the hill. There is a sign here warning aganist the use of caravans etc on this road.
Keep on Maintongoon road until Sonnberg Rd. A very short drive up Sonnberg Rd will take you into the activation zone. I set up along the side iof the road and tried to avoid the overhead power line in case of noise.
Take note that Roof Tops Marysville and Lake Eildon Map shows The Proctor south of its actual location.
|03:10z||VK3HRA||7MHz||CW||Allen 599, 579|
|03:14z||VK5EEE||7MHz||CW||Lou 599, 579|
|03:18z||VK3PF||7MHz||CW||Peter 599, 579|
|03:20z||VK2IO/P||7MHz||CW||Gerard 559, 549|
|03:21z||VK3DBP||7MHz||CW||Paul 599, 579|
|03:26z||VK2UH||7MHz||CW||Andrew 599, 589|
|03:34z||VK2AOH||10MHz||CW||Nick 599, 599|
A short activation due top pending rain. Continued south on Maintongoon Rd then continued south on Skyline Rd where the Maintongoon road heads off to the east and into Alexandra. I did this because I knew the condition of Skyline Road and wanted to take a look out over Fraser national Park and Lake Eildon.
Continue home via Yea and all the long weekend traffic – Yuck!
Prepare for our impending trip to Alaska and Canada