My SOTA season for 2017 started on New Years Day, Hugh and I were lucky that they had 40 mil of rain at Orroroo a couple days before New Years Day and the farmer who owns the land agreed it would be safe to go to Black Rock to activated for the new years S2S SOTA party. We made an early start from Clare to arrive before UTC roll over to make it a double activation for the one visit. On the way home we called into Mount Nadjuri to get that summit in the log also as the weather was still cool but a bit windy from what I remember.
My next activation would be Mt Gawler while the Tour Down Under Bike race was here that way I can watch the bike race as well as it passed by.
With grape harvest in full swing for a couple months, I was next able to activate The Battery in March and Ian VK5IS came along for his first SOTA. It is an 11 km hike in then out to the Battery so a good long hike to build the km in the legs for what is to come for the rest of the season. Through the months of April May I worked on activating another 9 summits solo around Melrose and Quorn. Roger vk5WE came with me on a couple drive up summits to get a start on activating also, I remember Mt Jay South was freezing cold in the morning and Maurice Hill being great conditions in the afternoon.
More solo summits with my most exciting drive up with some steady as she goes 4×4 driving to make Stokes Hill summit as a single day trip this time and a very frosty start at the bottom as I was airing down my tyres. The other exciting activation for me was Tothill Range where I made my First S2S QSO to USA NJ7V was worked under trying conditions on 17 m CW using my 40/20 m Link dipole as an OCF very lucky to score that one.
Ian VK5IS came on another activation to Mount Bryan and Brown Hill Range with me and Roger VK5WE followed up with our visit to Hallett Hill and Mount Cone,probably the windiest summit I have ever done.
Hugh’s work load was starting to slow down so in June we made a start on the summits off The Barrier Highway with an overnight stay in Yunta to get 4 summits there over the weekend and Pualco Range on the way up on the Friday.
The next major event was a day trip to Mount Arden to help VK5RAE repeater group lower and fix their antenna so Ian Roger and I went along to help them and get the SOTA summit while we were there.
The next SOTA trip with Hugh was to the Bendalby Ranges to activate Price Hill Marchant Hill and Eke Hill with Peaked Hill as a Sunday activation on the way home. A big dust storm in July blew in and I abandoned to come home but was able to get back to Peaked Hill later in the season.
I was able to activate Black Hill, Dutchmans Stern and Mount Benjamin over a weekend trip solo, then Ian VK5IS and I did Mount Brown on a day trip another 12 km hike, leaving just another day trip to Nackara Hill and Waite Hill with Hugh.
I did the rest on my list solo picking some nice days as the weather was warming up ending with another double activation for the 2017/18 new year S2S SOTA party at Black Bull Hill. It is a 4 hour trip there south of Adelaide so Hugh and I will be leaving early in the morning to make sure we can qualify before and after UTC roll over.
This season I had to drive 7500 km to activate 44 summits, I can drive to 12 of those with a short hike and I hiked 163 km measured on my Garmin to the other 32 summits at an average walking speed of 3.8 km per hour.
To think about the 62 more summits I have to visit to score 1000 activating points is a bit daunting with the down turn in propagation and adjusting to try lower frequencies on HF is making my task even harder.
But I must persevere on the Quest to Mountain Goat for another 2 years.
This is the most fun you can have with Ham Radio I recon.
Thanks to the property owners for access Hugh Roger and Ian for some company and last but never least the Chasers.
Ian vk5cz ..