Suffering a little SOTA withdrawal we reviewed possible summit options and decided to activate Mt Field East. Reuben VK7FREU and I invited Paul VK7PAH to join us and he eagerly accepted. Peter Freeman VK3PF on his recent trip to VK7 was first activator and thanks to Peter for the info via his blog (https://vk3pf.wordpress.com/).
To get there you drive to New Norfolk and head in to the Mt Field National Park past the Salmon Ponds and turn off at Westerway down the Gordon River road that goes to the National Park, Maydena and eventually terminates at Strathgordon.
Turn off at the Mt Field National Park turn-off and head through the main area and up the Lake Dobson Rd. Please note you need a Parks Pass which can be purchased at the on-site Parks and Wildlife office.
About 13km up the Lake Dobson Rd you come to Lake Fenton and a small carpark for the Mt Field East walk. The track does a loop from the carpark and then over the Lake Dobson Rd and past the Lake Fenton dam wall and up the hill past the Seagers Lookout turnoff.
You continue up the hill and over the broad saddle. It is a well marked track. Once over the saddle you can see the view of Mt Field East across “Windy moor”. This was a reasonably wet track with many deep muddy patches requiring careful negotiation and good water proof footwear.
Windy Moor is lowland wet vegetation and fortunately wasn’t too windy the day we traversed it! At the base of Mt Field East there is a signed ‘T’ junction pointing up the Mountain and to the circle track. This day we decided to take the northerly track in both direction which took about 1.5 hours walk in. The circle add another 2.5 hours to the round trip and takes you past Lake Nicholls and Beatties Tarn and you come back up the Lake Dobson road or take the “pack track” back to carpark.
The summit is a dolerite outcrop surrounded by rocky scree slopes that you clamber up. Fortunately there is a rock circle that makes a great hut and gets you out of the wind and provides a good operating position. We setup the squid pole hoisting the linked dipole and started operating. I made 23 contacts including seven summit to summit contacts which was a great activation.
The wind came up and we were watching the rain and weather flow past us down the valley. We had lunch and finished operating and made our way back down the same track and struck a little rain on the way down. This return trip took about one hour back to the car. A successful SOTA activation.
Thanks to all who contacted us.
73, Justin, VK7TW