Hugh and I decided the weather would be good to get the last of the Summits along the Barrier Highway this weekend which is 5 years since SOTA started in South Australia. The dry winter and spring this year made it a very dusty trip along the tracks we took and there is no green vegetation to be seen. We still saw plenty of kangaroos and sheep with a few goats thrown in, but not sure what they are eating out there.
The first goal is to hike to Nakara Hill vk5/ne-081, It’s only a short hike from where we park the sota transporter. It was quite windy and cool when we were on the summit but managed to find a rock ledge to set up behind on the northern edge of the summit.
Working the pile up Hugh on ssb and me on cw.
Not many chasers on 80 m but Nev and Ian gave us both a report then Hugh went to 40 m ssb and topped up his score with 3 other regulars from vk3 then I went to cw to get my score thanks to 6 cw chasers to help me out. We packed up and headed back down for smoko then took a new way to Pitcairn Station which ended up being a shorter trip than we thought.
Waite Hill vk5/ne-066 is a great summit to visit with a big climb up the southern end of the range but to get there is a slow 10 km track which is quite rough and stoney so we have to go slowly along until we get there.
On the way up we have a goat track to follow much of the way.
Always good to see the other side of the range on these climbs, Hugh set up by the old trig point which has blown down.
Not many chasers this time only Nev on 80 m the rest were waiting for the Crows to lose the footy.
Hugh made his score with vk3led vk3pf and vk5wat/3 who was pedestrian mobile walking in the water on a beach in vk3 a summit 2 sea contact for us.
I was lucky my faithful chasers on cw came on before the kick off and made me a score.
Great view to the south on the way down.
Thanks to the chasers and land owners.
Roger and I met at Mt Bryan township early on Saturday morning to activate the two local summits near by.
Mt Cone vk5/se-002 in the morning then Hallett Hill vk5/se-003 after smoko.
The wind was blowing quite hard when we first headed for the hills and by the time we arrived at Mt Cone it was extremely strong, and we had to hide behind the comms hut to shelter and make it at least possible to even activate.
The antenna was only put up to 6 metres as it was bending badly and I remember Paul breaking his squid pole a few years ago on Hallett Hill in similar conditions.
Roger vk5we worked the pile up on 80m first then it was vk5cz turn, then Roger went back onto 40m ssb to hand out a few more points for our regular band of faithful chasers. I went onto 40m cw but only made 3 cw contacts but I managed 6 ssb qso’s before on 80m ssb, it sure is worth using that band these days to give the local chasers and us a chance to qualify.
After a battering from the wind we packed up and descended back to the farm yard for smoko and a chat before heading across to Hallett Hill only a few kilometres away.
I think by the time we got onto the Hallett Hill range the wind was even stronger and we took the road through the wind farm to get to the actual summit. There are a few gates on this property to open and close so this time we took Rogers car so I could take a turn opening the gates. Well we stopped at the first set of gates and I was on the windward side in the car and I could not open the door, firstly I though maybe it was locked but no it was the wind holding it firmly shut. Roger had to turn his car around so my side was out of the wind to get out and open the set of double gates, then once I was ready to get back in he had to park the same on the other side of the shut gates.
We set up on the northern fence line across the top of the summit as best we could to get some protection from the wind, we did not have much luck with 80m so Roger and I both used 40m with quite good results. He had several chasers on 40m ssb and I had a nice pile up on cw then it was pack up and get out of this raging gale. No hats or inhibitions with hair styles worn on this summit. I remember the first time Paul and I went there the wind was not quite as strong but it broke Paul’s squid pole in two places and it was 4 degrees extremely cold.
That will be the last summit Roger or the two Ian’s will do for this season so I hope they can do more summits and work you all again next year. I have 7 more on my list for this year but I think the early summer will beat me on the Hawker summits.
Thanks to the chasers and land owners for access.
Getting close to 5 years of SOTA in vk5, this time back then I was busy getting the summit list organised and finalised with the SOTA Management Team in the UK . It was an exciting time but also some nervous tension involved hoping and making sure I had all the relevant information for the MT to upload to the SOTA database, and the ARM written properly as I was to take on the role of Association Manager for vk5. My new KX3 had arrived and I was keen to get out on a summit and be ready to go when the first day of October rolled around.
This weekend I was a couple weeks earlier for the anniversary but today was my chance to get back to Mt Horrocks again. I now have to ask a new land owner for permission but he was very good and allowed access for me to make a hike in from the western side of the summit which is right on 3 km from where I parked my ute. I probably could have driven closer as the gate was not locked but it was a good easy hike at this end of my SOTA season and I only asked permission to hike in anyhow.
Really nice green rolling hills this time of year in The Clare Valley
With great all around views from the top.
It was quite windy on top so I set up down a bit on the southern side this time using the 20/40 link dipole with extensions for 80 run out to use first.
I made contact with VK5WG VK5MBD VK5MJC on 3.6 Mhz but soon run out of chasers on that band so with a spot I was able to find some chasers on 7 Mhz ssb to boost my score followed by some cw chasers on 7 Mhz as well.
After it died down I went to 14 Mhz to find ZL1BYZ waiting for me on cw and he asked me to try ssb and I found ZL1WA on ssb who had a nice signal as well.
A nice way to spend the morning without having to travel very far from home is a nice change for me.
Thanks to Ben the very helpful land owner and all the chasers today doing a good job under poor band conditions. Thanks for reading my Blog.
Ian vk5cz ..