Sunday, 22 June 2014

SOTA Activation Mt Foxlow

Mt Foxlow is an 8 point summit close to the town of Captains Flat. It is also in Yanununbeyan National Park, VKFF-555, so counts towards the VKFF/WWFF awards.

There are a few ways to reach it, I chose from the West via Woolcara Lane as looked about the shortest route at around 6 Km.

Drove from Canberra to Queanbeyan, taking the Kings Highway and turning off onto the Captains Flat Road, until coming to the turnoff on the right.

The road is unsealed but okay for 2WDs. The road heads for Woolcara station, pass this and continue heading South.

From the topo map I had it looked like there was a turnoff off Woolcara Lane onto McFarlanes Fire trail, but when I got to this spot on the map could see no sign of it...

Instead of walking up the fire trail I had a "Plan B", I had downloaded the track log created by local Canberra bushwalker John Evans. Check out his blog. Continued past Silverton property and parked just past the entrance to Yanununbeyan State Conservation Area

On the left was a rough overgrown vehicle track. This went East then South, at this point left the track crossing Primrose Valley Creek

The creek is quite small and easy to step over in an erosion gully. Once over the creek crossed a fence into Yannununbeyan National Park.

Then followed John Evans route, basically he just followed ridges up through the forest. Found the forest nice and open, actually quite enjoyable to walk through as the scrub was light and the gradient not too steep.

Continued heading up through the forest for over an hour, up to and over minor peaks, until eventually reaching McFarlanes Fire Trail, about 1.7 K from the summit.

The road was steep in places. Mc Farlanes Fire Trail joins Foxlow Fire Trail coming in from the North.

Continued along Foxlow Fire Trail to the East, until reaching a cleared area where the road headed South and down, and the summit was nearby in the scrub.

Reached the trig. It is similar to some of the others in the area, like Mt Palerang, a giant rock pile with a wooden trig pole. They built them well on the old days...

At this point at was past my posted alert time of 10:30am as it had taken me 1.5 hours to get here. Got an SMS from Andrew, VK1MBE on nearby Mt Cowangerong, VK2/ST-001. Advised his was setting up. Picked a stump near the trig and set up the squid pole and linked 20/40 m dipole.

Due to the overhead trees only able to put the squid pole up to about 5 m. Set up the shack on a log at the base.

Worked S2S with Andrew VK1MBE on VK2/ST-001 on 40 m, then chased several other activators for more S2Ss.

- VK3EK Robbie on VK3/VG-127
- VK3DAC Fred on VK3/VC-006
- VK1RX Al on VK1/AC-027
- VK3MRG Marshall on VK3/VN-001
- VK2JOS Josh on VK2/HU-080
- VK2IB/3 Bernard on VK3/VE-242

Plus the usual bunch of chasers from VK2, VK3 and VK5, many with strong signals, band in good condition. Tried changing links to 20 m, only worked my regular chaser VK6MB Mike with a low signal. 24 contacts all up.

Packed up around noon. Near the trig was an interesting guyed climbable pole, an old fire tower? The nearby trees made it not worth climbing...Looks like the summit used to be a lot more open in the past.

Headed back down the same way as up, Foxlow trail, then McFarlanes trail

Then the same ridge walk back. Track log of walk

Track profile of the return walk. 6 Km with a 400 m climb.

1 comment:

  1. FYI, found out from Al VK1RX that he drove to the summit via Woolcara Lane, Spring Creek Fire Trail, Camelot Fire Trail and then Foxlow Fire trail. This route involves getting permission from the Spring station property owner to drive through. So another access route.