Last of the Orroroo Summits for 2017

Finally got my last summit for around Orroroo done this weekend with a couple others as well.

I left home early Saturday morning to head for Quorn and activate Mt Benjamin vk5/ne-083. This is a medium hike as the Wakefield  family let me access from the eastern side of the hill and they even drove out to unlock the gate for me. After a steady hike to the summit I was set up and on the air on my Alert time to find The Crystal Brook boys all waiting to work me on 80m ssb . After that I changed to 40m ssb and made 3 contacts into vk3 then some vk3’s on 40m cw. No answer on 20 or 15 m cw to my cq.


Summit is not far from the parking spot about 2.5 km, with a great view towards Warren Gorge and Mount Arden.


I set up using the 40/20 link dipole with extensions for 80, bands were very quiet but still working ok.

After the activation I headed back to Quorn to refuel for Sunday then head to Orroroo where I stayed overnight. Before Saturday was done I headed out to Peaked Hill vk5/ne-098 to activate there and found my way to the summit on an old 4×4 track which was hard to find at first then about a 1.5 km hike from the parking spot.

By the afternoon 80m was still good to make contact with Nev and Ian and vk5ma/m, then onto 40m cw first as the RD contest was full bore on ssb. A mixture of contacts with vk2 3 4 5 and ZL1BYZ on 40m this time.


Lots of salt bush and smaller trees out this side of the Goyder Line but a great little summit to view Black Rock peak and Depot Hill off to the south from here.

Back  to the park and rest up for Sunday.

Sunday Morning up for a 5 am start time, I need to head 66 km up the Hawker Road to the turn off to Black Hill summit vk5/ne-062. It is another 70km of dirt roads to make the parking spot for Black Hill which is west of Willipa Station near their southern boundary fence, I have permission to park my ute on Holowiliena  Station at the boundary fence then start my hike from there. This is  probably a hard hike  but I have been there 3 times so I have worked out the best way to tackle the climb. There are 6 main rock uplifts running across the saddle  you take to make a way to the top but the goats know the way so it is best to follow were they go and bush bash the rest. It turned out to be 3 km to the top and I spent just over 1 hour walking and 20 minutes puffing and taking a few photos.


Sun up at the turn off, lots of Kangaroos and Sheep in this first property I crossed, that is Black Hill waiting for me.


Mulga scrub Spinifex grass Rocks and Roo shit is all you will find here , Wilpena Pound off in the distance.


It’s always rewarding to see the other side of the summit or range of hills you have climbed.


Packing up after the activation I forgot to take a photo and my Squidy and antenna set up with lots of snags in the bush for my antenna. Only two chasers on 80m ssb this time then onto 40m ssb with a steady flow of contacts some still chasing points for the RD contest but when you are trying to qualify a summit i don’t mind slumming it in a contest. On 40m cw I made several contacts and 2 S2S qso’s as well so worth the effort to come out to this remote summit probably the further-est north i travel for SOTA . After I made my way back down to the Ute I called by Holowiliena to bribe them with a bottle of nice wine and say thanks then the long 260 km straight through drive back to Clare. Once again really nice helpful folk live out here and very pleased I first asked permission and told them what I had intended doing on my visit. Thanks to Mick from Hawker the cattle legend who owns Black Hill for giving access to the summit. Thanks to all the chasers.

Another 800 km weekend .


Ian vk5cz ..