After more Lemon Meringue pie at Quorn while I wrote up my previous Blog for Mt Jay South I headed off up to The Argadels where I was booked to stay for the night and 4×4 to Mt Arden the next morning. After a nice greeting from Judy she showed me the cabin I was to stay in which was very nice and even had rain water for the shower which was great. Once I unpacked I decided to go have a look at the track to Mount Arden as a trial run because it was my first serious 4×4 climb in my own vehicle. I must say I was not let down it is a steep and rocky climb with many loose stones on the track which have been dug up and spat out by previous travellers on this hill. Its funny when the pressure is on I seem to grip the steering wheel really tight and get sweaty palms under pressure , it was working I had all of the above symptoms. I made the mistake of thinking maybe 1st low range would be a good gear but it turned out to be too low and the Colorado was revving like mad just to keep the momentum up for the obstacles I encountered but we made it to the top. The transfer box had that hot oily smell.
Once I turned around to come down it did not seem as steep but I was careful all the same. At a water way half way down I stopped and did some track repairs by picking up the large boulders and filling in some wash outs to help preserve the track.
It don’t look much but it gains about 150m asl in 500m distance. There is a 15 m high comms tower up there but you can’t see it from here.
On Sunday morning I tried 2cnd low range on the climb and with all the boulders shifted the Colorado made the climb without all the revving and was much easier to control the wheel slip, the torque e 3 litre D Max did the rest, a lesson learnt by me.
I said before how bad 40m band conditions were yesterday on Mt Jay South, well for something to do after evening meal I set up my 53 foot EFRW at the cabin and had a 30 minute QSO with JA1NUT on 40m cw with 8 watts. He had a big signal he was beaming to Russia when I called him but he heard me and turned his 3 el 40m yagi to me and gave me 579 , not bad for 8 w and efrw to JA on 40m.
How ever back to my activation today band conditions were pretty poor again on the short skip but I did manage several vk1 vk2 vk3 vk4 and several S2S contacts on cw and ssb modes. But today I had to leave the summit with out working Nev vk5wg, I just could not hear him nor he hear me . No short skip on 40m and too far for 2m simplex on the handy rig.
Did the old walk out, walk into activation zone today just to keep it honest.
Great take off point all around from here used my 53 foot EFRW with 9 foot counter poise very convenient sign for sticking up my Squidy.
My shack for the activation these rocks were dug out of the footings holes for the comms towers. KX3 tunes 53 foot wire easily on 15 17 20 40 m with 9 feet cp.
One of the great views from up here, 3 summits in view, Dutchmans, Mount Brown and of course Mount Remarkable way off to the south in the haze.
OK well thanks to the many who chased me today under trying conditions and I managed 26 qso’s with another 5 S2S contacts to log. three qso’s were after UTC roll over so I will make mention in my log when I enter the days scores.
This lazy sod was in middle of the road and I had to stop and shift him he was enjoying some of his first spring sunshine for this year. He was pretty docile so maybe he has not been awake for long.
Thanks to Judy and Malcolm for a great place to stay and a big hill to climb .
cheers Ian vk5cz ..