Well, this was a day of learning and native animals!!!
Lets start with the native animals:
- Lots of Currawongs and native birds including a Robin Redbreast
- Lots of Black Cockatoos
- A Wedge Tailed Eagle
- Two Tasmanian Devils (these were a real bonus)
- At least two kangaroos and
- An owl hooting off in the distance!
How to get there – Go to Margate and just past the School go up Van Morey Rd 9.3km. This is were the track becomes 4WD. Given I had a 4WD I then carefully drove another 2km to a large parking area (starting 10:39am). Then about another 2km walk up a steady gradient you get to a quarry and this sign (11:00am).
Now this was were the learning started. I took a printed map with me and a GPS and a phone with a GPS! I used the map to start with and walked in thinking I knew where I was on the map and not confirming with the GPS’. The map didn’t have Long/Lat printed on it. Hmmmm first problem!.
All of the tracks are fire trails/recreational driving tracks and I came across some trail bikers and 4WDs along the way. It is a relatively easy walk although there are sections that are quite rocky and difficult to walk on, some parts are steep and there was a lot of water around and on the track.
I kept walking in thinking I was on the right track as the features on the map “seemed” to check out – Ha was I wrong!!! I got to the end of the track and there was a very nice waterfall! Hang on, there are no waterfalls on the track I was supposed to be on!!!
Fortunately for most of the track there is good Telstra mobile phone coverage. At this point I got the phone out dialed up the thelist.tas.gov.au and pushed the locate me on the map function. I had taken the wrong track and it was a 7km diversion (3.5km in/out) I really didn’t need! A quick march out and back onto the right track and we were set again (1:40pm). I periodically checked that I was on the right track when the major side tracks appeared. I wasted just over 2hours on the diversion. Hence my late activation.
About 4.5km along the correct track you come to the T junction with the well graded track up to Grey Mountain summit. There is a gate to stop vehicular access and then the next 1km up the track is very steep and a slow walk! I think this track would be a challenge for a 4WD and certainly not a 2WD track and if there was snow it would down-right dangerous!
Around 3:20pm I got to the top and you are greeted by the very impressive Tasmania Govt Comms compound (inc. Hydro, Forestry, Parks, Ambulance, Fire and Police) with a rather sad looking folded dipole hanging from the tower then past this compound there is the trig point where I operated from and behind that is the Huon Valley Council, Tasmanet & Norske Skog compound.
I made 17 contacts on 40m, one on 20m (using the 40m dipole – thanks VK4JD) and put out some calls on 2m but nothing heard. Signal levels were good and a huge thank you to all who contacted me and for your patience.
I then packed up around 4:30pm and walked out getting back to the vehicle at 7:00pm. I walked 32.2km according to the GPS which left me a little sore!
Back to those learnings…..
- Using a map and GPS make sure the map has Long/Lat marked on it so you can place yourself on the map.
- Make sure your map is recent.
- Take regular note of the map and check your position if unsure – don’t assume!
- In fact check your position regularly anyway.
See you on a summit soon.
73, Justin, VK7TW