Got under way early from Clare and had a nice drive to Orooroo to stop at the coffee shop and buy some smoko and lunch. I must say the salad roll was really nice after my long walk to my first Summit. I had permission from Ben to walk to the summit but this time I took the Colorado a lot further than I could take my poor old Subaru so the walk was only about 2 km. Up that ridge behind my ute !!.
Backed the ute up off the side of the track and set out. My legs were a bit sore today I did a couple bike rides on the weekend so not sure why I was so sore today, maybe the 12% hill I started on was the reason. I did the walk in about 40 minutes and the wind was not so strong on the summit so it was a nice day after all.
Great out look down south from here that must be Coomoroo Hill off to the south. I had lots of chasers on 40m ssb then a follow up on 40m cw, I heard vk6nu call me but lost him . Knowing he was about I re spotted on 20m cw but he was not there but I did manage to get a few more contacts on 20. Thanks to VK1MA for the S2S on 40m , I did listen for him on 28mhz ssb but not having an antenna for 10m I was hopeful. I heard nothing and nobody responded to me on 28 MHz to be expected with current conditions and a non resonate antenna. As I was about to pack up I noticed a spot msg on my phone and vk2yk asked me to try 14.310 ssb and we made a contact there it was lucky I saw the msg I was shutting down my phone and saw it. Thanks everyone for the contacts and Sue and Ben for the use of Stokes Hill.
Next Day Dutchmans Stern .
This was going to be a tough climb when I did it last time in the warmer weather and was afraid more of snake bite than any thing. At the start of the walking track to the top I decided to go up the down track or clockwise around the walking loop as I had a plan to bush bash off that track. With 6 waypoints saved in the e-trex I headed out with great gusto until I saw the creek that looked so easy on Google Earth, I thought it would make a shorter trip to the top. Well the bloody Gamin would not select the mode I needed to have my location the waypoint and the floating arrow to point me where I wanted to go. It was a one foot in the grave moment “I DON’T BELIEVE IT ” the bloody thing was working ok at home when I did several trips around the place looking for my test waypoint. Oh well not to worry the terrain I selected on Google was pretty ambitious anyhow. So I headed up the walking track a lot further which was giving me altitude as I went. The Summit is that hill in the back ground of my shot or somewhere near there. This is somewhere near the start on the walking track which is very well made with a km post every so often just to bother you when you think the top is near and it says 4 km to go. At a certain point though on this track it starts to heard north and that is where I turned south, I still had two waypoints to work with from this spot all the ones up along the creek had been abandoned as being of any use. I found the first one at the top of the ridge and got back to familiar ground I had been on last time I activated this summit. The bush is really thick about chest height most on the time, the greenies have either shot or hunted out the goats so the track was over grown but I was making way as best I could.
This is a shot of the bush I am trying to negotiate through and that is Devils Peak and Mount Brown of in the distance. I did stumble across a survey marker of all things when walking along the top of the range. It was about another 2 km to the waypoint of the actual summit so it was a slow process and I was wondering if I would make the spot time. This is the view out to the north west once on the other side of the range I don’t think it’s a summit but a mighty impressive lump of dirt.
The final climb was easy on this western side of the range the wind was very strong and not as much bush grows here plus the goat made a track up to the top.
This is my poor set up, the poor old pre dinosaur grass tree [yuka] helping modern technology at work by hold up my antenna pole. The dipole was only about 5 metres at the centre but it still worked pretty good I was working vk2 in the middle of the day on 40m and had a nice pile up of chasers. Nev gave me a call on ssb and I exchanged rst with him on cw so that was a first for me . I have heard Wayne activating on CW only and work SSB chasers so it worked well. I must say the little YK rig went well but it was very noisy with the wind being so strong I had the volume level up and held my hands over my ears to help hear at times, that made my side tone very loud on tx. 20m was really good around VK, VK2IO gave me 579 and I got John VK6NU in the log this time but he had qsb problems but after I sent his report several times he pieced it together. I must thank Angus VK2SB who was on the frequency calling cq when I first got set up , I worked him and told him I was doing SOTA so he gave me the frequency to continue on with the activation. Thanks to my loyal chasers and a couple new ones VK2SB and VK2NP nice to work you.
This is my shack for the moment its funny I spent at least 4 hours walking there and 3 and a half hours back to the ute and I was on air maybe 30 minutes tops. The rig is the YK HB-1B 5 Band and a SOTA beams link dipole using that very light 2200 mAh battery that weighs a few grams and it runs the rig quite nicely for the time spent on air. I think it would probably give service for an hour or possibly more it did not seem to drop much more than .2 of a volt on the screen and only took maybe 10 minutes on the charger once I got back to camp.
Big day out I walked 16.2 km round trip 4.5 hours walking and about 3 hours stopped, at least the useless garmin told me that much. Not that I am bitter it would not cooperate finding my way points, possibly op error, more than likely the case. Well an un eventful decent but I did find a better goat track down the eastern side of the ridge that got me clear of so much under story bush and into a sheoke forest which was easier. Dare I say I saved a couple way points for next time in the general area to the walking track to try my accent from there HI.
Thanks again everyone next stop Mount Brown.
Cheers de Ian vk5cz . .
Day Three I drove out to the Argadels to visit with the owners of Mt Arden summit and have a chat about what I wanted to do and gave some information about SOTA. I decided not to go to Mt Arden because of the storm we had and it would be too windy and slippery for the 4×4 climb. So I now have an excuse to go back again. I headed to Port Augusta to book a canopy for my ute then headed for Spear Creek to lias with another land owner re Mt Jay South another summit I want to do this season. Then I headed for Wilmington to find another farmer on the eastern side of the range who may give me access from the eastern side which will be a lot easier to make the summit. But of course he was not at home but I got a phone number for him and will make it a work in progress.
Day 4 Mount Brown
I had a relaxed start to the day with no real hurry to get a start the day was very foggy and damp and I thought it would clear as the day went on.
The Colorado looks a bit dirty after all the rain but I am sure the local farmers are enjoying this rain on their crops.
Off I set on the 6 km hike to Mt brown it is up along a creek bed for about 3 km so not a hard walk to start out and I saw some very tame locals having breakfast along the way.
I really need a better camera.
Let the fun begin . On my back pack I placed the hood of my rain jacket on my sqiddy and covered the pack with the coat so if it did rain my gear would stay dry. Legs pretty sore on this climb and it took me probably another hour of puff and stop and so on until I reached to top .
Fog and mist covering Devils Peak and Richmond hill back to my north as the track makes its way up.
More Kangaroos one with two heads.
Made it to the top and told a short story in the visitors book then set up for SOTA.
Another selfy of my great hiking boots and rig, the rocks were very slippery when I set up my antenna so I was real careful . I had a very nice pile up waiting for me on 40m of locals the band seemed very quiet so all vk5’s on ssb and vk2io vk3byd vk5is on 40m cw then a re spot and found vk6nu on 20m cw.
I had a short listen to the beacons on 15/17 m and heard a couple ja jcc chasers but decided to pack up and head on down. Thanks for all the contacts.
The end of another great activating time in Quorn what a great place and really nice folk, the caravan park is great with a good selection of accommodation and nice people to make your stay a welcome one.
Looking a bit worse for ware and after all that I am still suffering from SOTA fever, I can’t explain it and hope there is no cure.
cheers de Ian vk5cz ..