Set out early Saturday morning for Quorn one of my favourite SOTA towns to get 3 summits done for the weekend.
Had a nice drive up with the wind screen wipers going most of the way thinking this will be fun and how am I going to keep my KX3 dry. I did think about it before I left home and I had a large shopping bag with me that all my gear would shelter in if it did rain during the activation. As it turned out it never rained during any of the activating times but it sure rained in between. I went straight out to Richmond hill when I arrived at Quorn and had my Colorado in 4×4 on the wet road more to stop bogging up the road than the need for 4 wheel drive .
With the SOTA transporter parked and a gloomy looking hill in site it was time to walk into the mist to see what was on the other side.
Ready to go, this way please Sir. I took to the bush which was quite a nice walk considering I have been doing lots of walking the last couple weeks sighting and marking out a new vineyard at work. Maybe my sore body was imagined because I was half way up near the old fence line before I stopped for a puff. I saw a few goats on the hill and they have a track for me to follow, I did get wet from the bushes and it was a bit slippery in places.
Not many Rocks on the pile at the top of this hill which suggests not many people come here but it has a clear area to run out my link dipole so it’s a nice summit.
I made lots of QSO on 40m as the band was in good shape with a nice pile up on SSB and CW . I had a check for JA’s on 15m but did not hear anyone or see any Spots on my phone so I went to 20m CW to see if VK6NU was there and sure enough he was plus a few other vk’s and zl1byz gave a report on 20m.
Well with that activation in the water proof bag and nobody else chasing I carefully climbed down through the slippery rocks and headed for Devils Peak which is in the clouds also.
On the walk to Devils peak I met a group of bush walkers who steamed up behind me and I think every one of them beat me to the top.
The low cloud was on every summit I went to and I guess these big bolder’s were once up the top .
Quite slippery on the rock climb up near the top but everyone made it safely and it gave me a chance to tell the bush walkers about SOTA .
Foggy view out to Dutchmans but nice to see the area green, they have had lots of rain so far this year.
Band conditions were still good and I made lots of QSO on 40m ssb and cw but no QSO on 20m this time.
I could see the rain coming in again so I quickly packed up and headed down but I did not make it I got wet on the walk back. I discovered under my back pack there is a compartment that contains a cover which water proofs my back pack which worked well to keep my gear dry. So no excuses now.
Next morning on the Sunday I headed for Mount Brown, the rain had eased off and apart from one wet patch the road was surprisingly good to drive on. This is a 6 km hike and I recon I did it in a record time of 1 hour 40 minutes and when I got there the summit was completely covered in cloud so I could not see any thing from the viewing platform. Even the pens in the visitors book were not working so I could not enter anything and couldn’t be bothered pulling my back pack apart to find a pencil to scribe anything so I got on with my activation. It was cold and damp and I was hot and bothered from my trek so I put on some warmer clothes first and then set up the kit.
Before I go on my camera was playing up again it has a cracked screen from a previous accident and for some reason I only got a few photos before and during the first part off my walk. Leaving the Ute and at 4 km to go is where the pain begins as you leave the creek bed and start on the real accent . When the camera was in my back pocket it was turned on for quite a while and the battery warning was on next time I tried to get some photo’s, not sure really whats wrong with it.
The band conditions again were very good on 40m with lots of ssb and cw chasers, a summit 2 summit with vk3mcd and a qso with Les vk5klv and Peter vk5kpr in a conservation park was good too. Thanks to Pat vk5hae and John vk5kjg for the 2m simplex qso with my vx8g into Whyalla. This time I had some chasers on 20m cw several vk’s and zl1byz who worked me on every summit for the weekend .
This is a photo looking north from about half way up Mount Brown of Richmond Hill and Devils Peak in the middle and my next challenge, Dutchmans Stern way off in the clouds.
After I got back to my SOTA transporter I had some spare time to go and visit with some land owners to give wine as an appreciation gesture to say thanks and meet them. I have only ever talked on the phone with them so it was good to have a chat about my quest. I now have 8 summits I go to within the Quorn area and I now have permission for a new one never activated before I hope to do on my next trip. This weekend took me up to 501 activating points.
Give me strength to do this for another 3 years at 3.6 points average per activation and NO winter bonus like some other associations, that’s another 140 summit to climb. I will be a worn out old goat if I make it.
Thanks for reading
CZ e e