VK7/SC-008 – Grey Mountain 20 January 2015

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).

Snug Recreational Area Sign

Snug Recreational Area Sign

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.

Lots of water about!

Lots of water about!

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!!!

Pelverata Falls in full flight!

Pelverata Falls in full flight!

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.

Hydro & Telstra Comms Compound

Tas Govt Comms Compound

Trig Point Operating Position

Trig Point Operating Position

TFS Comms Compound

Huon Valley Council Comms 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

This entry was posted in First Activation, SOTA Activation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to VK7/SC-008 – Grey Mountain 20 January 2015

  1. Pingback: VK7/SC-008 – Grey Mountain & VKFF 1149 – 28 March 2016 | VK7TW

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