Devils Peak and Coomoroo Hill SOTA activations

Had an early start from Clare Saturday morning on 23/05/2015.

Took my Subaru this time as I had to scoot to get there just a bit above the limit as the roads are very quiet that time of day. Going north these days is easier and quicker via Jamestown then take the road to Melrose its a good black top road and a very fast way to get some distance. This time I was activating Coomoroo Hill first so I had some dirt roads to travers as well north from Booleroo Centre . I was able to drive the Outbacker up the farm track a kilometre or so not as far as the LC Ute because of the ground clearance issues but it saved me a bit of extra hike. The activation went well I only stayed on 40m to deal with the pile up on ssb and at the end an elderly gent aged 91 gave me a call and we had a chat for a while before I headed back to my car.

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On the way to Quorn I got a bit lost on the back roads and discovered a short cut to Stokes Hill another summit near by so next time I will activate Stokes hill in the same trip as Commoroo that will save me going to Quorn.

Devils peak was a great activation by the time I was set up the wind had dropped out and it was very nice WX up there.

I made lots of QSO’s and even qualified on CW before working my band of faithful chasers on SSB. This time I had my first challenge QSO on 6m SSB with Roger vk5nwe who was a very strong 5/9 signal. I used a 6/10 m link dipole as a vertical with one end at the top of my squid pole coax a way down and bottom half of dipole on a string to tension it all.

This time I recorded the activation on my camera as a short moving picture so this will be a test to see if it can be uploaded and viewed on this blog page. Well I give up more home work needed.

.MOV files are not allowed on this page so it tells so a picture from my last activation will have to do.

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What a special place it is that’s Richmond Hill another summit across the Valley and unfortunately Mount Brown pinches prominence off the range behind it other wise more summit potential could be possible.

Thanks to all the chasers on cw and ssb and Roger for checking the path on 6m ssb.

73 all till next time Ian vk5cz ..

 

 

 

SOTA trip to Yunta 2015

Hugh VK5NHG and I VK5CZ did our annual trip to Yunta along the Barrier Highway for a 4 Summit activation over the weekend of 16/17 May. We had 4 Summits in mind and some 4WD driving experiences as well in order to get close to the Summits which are all accessed via Pastoral Lease Properties mostly used for sheep grazing for wool production. These days the feral Goats are also harvested as an easy cash crop for lease holders ,we are fortunate to also have a healthy population of Kangaroos in this area and I think we saw an equal amount of sheep goats and kangaroos.

The first Summit was Waroonee Hill vk5/ne-102 and we arrived at the summit by about 23.00 utc on the Saturday morning to start the climb. Having been there before we have worked out the best way to the top is along the massive rock ledge which is the eastern side of the summit and go up the last part once the ledge is more broken  and becomes possible to climb up.

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This is me working stations on ne-102. These rock cairns circa 1800’s are on all of the summits in this region.

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Once set up we both made some contacts taking it in turns to activate and this activation we used my KX3 and SOTA beams 20/40 link dipole . I tried some 6m and 10m calls for the challenge but made no qso’s I have a  link dipole for 6/10 m as well it mounts like a sloper from the top of my squid pole.

We headed back to the station homestead and travelled north to Karkala Ridge vk5/ne-104 which is about 10km of station tracks then a very steep and rough 4WD trip up to the top of the ridge line. For me it was a bit scarey as it was the steepest climb that I have ever done in a 4WD vehicle but much to my amazement the old LC Ute never ever lost traction once.

This is Hugh working stations on ne-104 we set up a bit lower down out of the wind but it was very nice weather.

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Hugh made lots of contacts on 40m ssb and being later in the day I was able to add to the stations tally with some dx to Europe on 20m cw including a Summit 2 Summit with HB9BIN who was on HB/ZH-004.

I was happy to make another S2S to Europe on this trip and after another 4WD trip down off the Summit we made our way back to the Yunta pub for a few beers a feed and good nights sleep before the next days activations.

Up early and a nice breakfast we headed for Oulnina Park homestead via another station track for about 40 km winding through the hills and along creek beds . Recent rain made some of the track a bit rough and washed out but a really nice drive. We met Michael the land owner and had a chat for a while before taking on another steep and very rocky track for about 5 km to the top of the ridge, then we walked the last 500m once the track run out.

One of the rock jump ups we had to tackle once again no problems for the LC Ute.

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Ian at the rock cairn that needs rebuilding on Oulnina Hill vk5/ne-071

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Hugh went first again this time using his ic 703 and 66 foot doublet which worked very well on 40m.

We only had a few contacts to qualify as we had to 4WD off the hill and travel several more kilometres to the next summit.

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After a short Lunch break at about 2pm local time in yet another creek we made it to Summit vk5/ne-095 which has no name on the summit list but is known as the Bluff by the locals. We had to climb up from the flat country via a water way and then another climb after that to make the top. We raised the SOTA flag in a style much like the Marines did in the Pacific after our battle with gravity.

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Its amazing to realize this rock was once the beach

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We both had our share of contacts on 40m ssb and I managed only one dx qso on 20m cw with OK2PDT who has chased me several times on my activations.

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Time to get off the hill and make the 250km trip home .

We did 650 km of travelling to work 4 summits and hand out some chaser points and add to our tally towards the Mountain Goat award. Thanks to all the chasers from Hugh and I and special thanks to the land owners for help and access to the Summits.

73 Ian vk5cz ..