VK7/SC-005 – Mt Styx – 29 January 2015

Greetings All,

Another in the VK3PF/7 Summit 2 Summit challenge.

Reuben VK7FREU and the author left around noon and headed to New Norfolk then on the Gordon River Rd and just before Westerway (turn off to Mt Field National Park) there is an unmarked forestry road called Styx Rd (-42.68501 146.83798). Styx Rd runs all the way through to just past Maydena. It is well graded and has Logging Trucks on it all the time so, caution and vigilance is paramount when using this road. The sign says UHF CB channel in use is 29 and there was a lot of chatter on this channel.

Drive about 26km along the Styx Rd until you get to the unmarked Jacques Rd (-42.80066 146.69124). This is a 2WD forestry track however we found that there was a large tree fallen over the track. We did not have a saw or tow ropes to move it so, we went back to Styx Rd and drove further along to the marked Gee Creek Rd. This track took us up to a junction that the map told us it ended up on the other end of Jacques Rd. This track followed the power lines and proved to be an extreme 4WD track – high clearance and low ratio 4WD definitely required. We ended up on Jacques Rd which crosses the Andromeda Link Rd and headed up the hill to a large active quarry.

We parked at the quarry and ate a late lunch. We started walking up the track at 2:40pm. You walk up about 600m to the start of the old over-grown forestry track and then a couple of hundred metres to the track start which is marked with tape on the tree.

Start of Mt Styx track.

Start of Mt Styx track.

The next 500m on the track is an easy walk through a very wet and moss covered Myrtle forest. The track is well marked with tape on trees and plastic lids nailed to the trees. Part way up the Author realised he no longer had the squid pole velcro’d to his pack and so grabbed a handheld on a simplex channel, dropped the pack and went back down the track about 200m and found it. That was 400m of track the author really didn’t need to see again….HIHI

Reuben VK7FREU walking through the Myrtle Forest.

Reuben VK7FREU walking through the Myrtle Forest.

The next 400m is a combination of rock-hopping (slippery moss covered) boulders and fallen trees and pushing through low-wet Myrtle forest. If it is raining or has been raining be prepared to get very wet! The next 200m is large boulder hopping up to the summit plateau.

The walk to the summit cairn is about 300m and is an easy walk through low alpine vegetation.

Stone cairn at top of Mt Styx

Stone cairn at top of Mt Styx

We setup the inverted V linked dipole and started on 40m at 04:34pm on the eastern side of the cairn for some protection and the low cloud based made for some interesting views of the surrounding mountains.

Inverted V linked dipole on Mt Styx

Inverted V linked dipole on Mt Styx (taken by Reu VK7FREU)

We were watching the clouds and rain coming across the Mt Field National Park and by 5:00pm we decided to make our way back down. Thanks to all amateurs who contacted us and Peter VK3PF/7 who stuck around at the Mt Field National Park for a Parks contact.

Low cloud base on Mt Styx

Low cloud base on Mt Styx Looking East (taken by Reu VK7FREU)

Sorry we couldn’t stick around and try other bands but the weather was closing in on us and we were not looking forward to the slippery boulder hopping on the way back down.

Reu (VK7FREU) starting walk down Mt Styx

Reu (VK7FREU) starting walk down Mt Styx

That made it four summits in four days. The challenge continues.

Speak with you on a summit soon.

73, Justin, VK7TW

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