This week in November Hugh and I finally got the chance to get back up north and finish off these out standing summits on our list. I have a cabin in the Orroroo Caravan park and the air conditioner was very nice when I got back this afternoon. Early this morning I went to The Bendleby Ranges property to meet up with Hugh as he was staying there in the sheering Quarters accomodation. Its about 50km extra for me to travel but I like this cabin here and it can be a good escape from hay fever that has been bothering me for about 6 weeks this year.
While I was waiting for Hugh I had a chat with Ian VK5IS on 3.680 mhz using my trusty old Hustler set up with good signals on the band this morning . Hugh came along and we headed for Price Hill about 30 km further up the track and met the station manager who was busy fencing when we turned up. He was a very nice fellow and he knew about Amateur Radio from when he was a boy scout as he had taken part in several JOTA camps. After a rather long chat and showing him my KX3 he agreed it was a lot smaller than the big Valve radios he remembered from his scouting days.
As you can see the grass is very thick long and dry, we were very careful not to park the hot vehicle in the long grass and seeing the track was completely over grown we decided to walk from here.
Hugh was setting a great pace and we were still not sure how far it was, but Hugh’s GPS said about 3 km so we just had to head in the general direction as long as we gained height as we went. The summit is further south from the hill in the back ground of the picture so finding the best way there is always a bit tricky on a first time visit.
Break through at last the summit range is in the back ground and Hugh is on a Goat track now so that should take us up into the higher parts of the range . Typical stony rough terrain for the Flinders with low trees and native grasses and lots of Spinafex Grass to stick in you through your jeans.
Its a nice feeling when you finally reach the top of a range and you can see even further beyond the sight of a steep climb in front of you , This is my view towards West and Quorn is way off in the blue hills, my other favourite SOTA destination. We then had to walk about 1 more Kilometre along the top of the range to arrive at the old fallen down Trig that is now used as a Roo shelter on a windy day.
Had the shirt undone , as it was not cold but we did have a nice breeze from the south east direction causing us to find a spot on the western side to set up as it was probably too windy right on top.
The Solar Panel runs a UHF CB repeater on channel 1 which was quite active and very handy for the local land owners to keep in touch on their daily jobs around these large Pastoral properties.
Hugh is the proud owner of a KX2 which we were able to give a run this activation . As we got to the summit a bit later than we thought the gang of chasers on 80m were all doing other things so we made no qso on that band.
But after much calling we finally attracted some chasers but not many, Hugh just making 4 qso’s and I made 6 after him. That is a bit too close for comfort .
I must say I like the KX2 it works just like my KX3 in lots of ways but it has a better speaker that can handle higher output or volume levels so even with quite a strong wind it was easy to hear everyone. Getting a few of the function buttons worked out and turning off a few unnecessary settings was achieved without the hand book . One thing with the Tune button being used for a second function it can take you into a menu if you push and hold instead of tapping it for a short period of time. I think the KX3 with two fold out legs makes it more stable when perched on a rock too as the KX2 only has one fold out leg and the stiff mic cord can make it easy to pull the radio off its footing if you are not careful.
On the hike back down we took a different way trying to find a track that might give more chances to drive in a bit closer but we found the track was washed out quite badly with lots of short sharp creeks running across out path and it was 4 km to walk back so our more line of site way up was shorter and no harder.
Bit of a foot note here near the end, I called this summit Price Hill which is it’s rightful name but in the SOTA summit list it is named Prince Hill which I will request an update soon.
Thanks to the chasers and thanks Hugh for organising the permissions for the properties and thanks for reading my Blog.
CZ e e