SOTA Peaks and VKFF Parks

Now the Mountain Goat Award is on my shack wall and the Trophy is proudly on display on the shelf in my shack I can relax a bit on all the travel to Summits and activate some parks in the World Wide Flora and Fauna award VKFF and SOTA as well.

Now some of Woods and Forests have been sold off by the previous Government and the Pine forests are farmed out some of the hardwood sections have become conservation parks. Two such new parks are in the Wirrabara Forest area so I thought it appropriate to be the first to activate these parks as one of the new parks Spaniards Gully CP is the neighboring property to Emu Springs which was my family’s property for many years.


Operating from Spaniards Gully and Wirrabara Forest Range parks on the same trip, making 44 qso’s for each park is the biggest challenge for VKFF but I managed to make the score in both parks.

Table and chairs and a bigger heavy battery can all be taken in the vehicle as long as it is set up inside the park boundary. Using my new FT 891 at 30 watts is quite adequate power with my 8m squid pole to hold up the link dipole.

Some time later Ian VK5IS and I had a chance mid week to head to Quorn and do two summits to get back to SOTA activating after the Mountain Goat Summit a few weeks before.


VK5CZ on Richmond Hill and my view to Mt Brown.


VK5IS on the climb to Devils Peak and the view out north from the summit.

We both made a conservative score on these summits it had been a while since we were out and about plus being a work day some of our regular chasers were not around or doing other things.

Back to parks again I found a couple more parks that had not been activated up northeast from Orroroo, this time the wife and dogs came for a trip to get these parks in the log.


Set up at Yalpara CP in the shade and Halima is organising the hounds to go walking on the roadway along the boundary fence. Really nice wx that day and being a new park in 1 hr 40 min I had my 44 qso’s so it was quite a busy air time for me. Pack up and head to Black Rock CP about 30 km away.


Sorry about all these park signs and me sitting at a table out in the middle of nowhere but that’s what it is, Black Rock Peak off in the distance.


Red Banks CP was the next park east of Burra.


More cw and ssb at coffee time in Caroona Creek CP.

I like the rule in vkff where working a station on a different mode or band can be a score instead of just one qso per activation. It is good to be able to work Hunters on cw and ssb to help with the qso tally, then score them again on a different band makes 44 qso’s more achievable. So far the quickest time to qualify a park is 1 hr 20 minutes.

Hugh made a plan to go to Wilpena Pound and get some of the summits up there, he planned 2×10 pointers and an 8 pointer on the Wilpena Rim and another 2 point summit near Hawker over 3 days.

I decided maybe I should do some hiking as training for this trip and did lots of gym work and some hikes around home with the hounds. The weekend before Wilpena I went to Dutchman’s Stern summit a return of 13 km which was perfect training for this event coming up.


Some views off the walking track heading back down from the summit. I had only 9 qso’s this time with a couple new cw ops on 40m cw I had not worked before on SOTA and only 3 on 80m ssb, no answer to my cq on 40m ssb but a great hike all the same one of my favourite summits to visit.

The Training was good gym work done, all fit ready for Wilpena and a couple days before we went the old heart problem turned up again and miss fired a few times again. This time the new pace maker did it’s job but it left me wondering if I should do such strenuous climbs later that same weekend. I am usually very tired after such events and just need to sleep a bit more so I think not going was the right thing to do.

Not wanting to lose any SOTA opportunities Hugh and I decided to do some of our drive up summits with shorter hikes instead. Black Rock Peak in the morning then Mt Nadguri on the way home.


View of Depot Hill to the South and view to the Northwest on the way up to the summit.


Hugh’s new 3 band link dipole and 6m collapsible pole. Hugh working 80m ssb.


Me working some 40m cw not many chasers today. Trig point photos.


That is the hard way to the top.                        This is the easy way down just be careful.

We had plenty of spare time so once off the summit we went to Orroroo for lunch and tried to catch up with a owner of another summit but was unsuccessful so headed for Mount Nadguri along a back road tour to kill some time.


Mt Nadguri is a wind farm summit and this turbine right here makes lots of noise on the kx2 it was quite hard to hear the few chasers on 40m. My Sqid pole fell over once from the wind and we had to set up two antennas as Hugh’s seemed to be a failure on its second outing. Turns out the bnc antenna plug was loose at the chassis nut inside the radio. Hugh made three 40 m ssb qso and I made two 40 m cw qso, Nev vk5wg and Ian vk5is were chatting on 2m fm and we were able to work them to top up the scores with my hand held on 2m simplex otherwise it may have been a fail.

Back home for the Saturday and Hugh had a chance to work out his antenna or rig problems we went separate ways on the Sunday. Hugh went to Lagoon Hill and I went north again to do two more drive up summits Mt Jay South them Maurice Hill in the afternoon.


Slowly making my way to Mt Jay South with 5 gates to deal with I was pleasantly surprised at how green it was in the hills. Still needs a good rain but greener than last year for sure.


My shack for this summit, lots of call signs worked on 80m ssb this time and an S2S with vk5flea on 80m cw from vk5/se-005. Only 3 qso on 40m ssb and a few more on 40m cw with a S2S with zl3x on zl3/cb-574 so conditions were quite good.


Great views all around from up here and good to see Spencer Gulf for a change. Colorado runs well in this terrain, the track is quite stony and steep in a few places needing steady slow gears to keep things in order. It takes about 40 minutes to get off this summit with all the gates and rough track but a great place to visit for SOTA.


Maurice Hill summit. Steady 4×4 climb up quite stony and very dry of course I think it has forgotten how to rain in these parts. The wind was very strong and lots of loose dust and dirt flying in the wind getting my gear dirty, so I got on with it as quick as I could get set up.


Shack behind this rock shelf was ok but my squidy was only up at 6m as it was bending in the wind and it fell down soon after i put it up. More rocks and reset my bunji straps helped hold it firm for the activation. Nev and Ian were the only chasers on 80m this time as I was able to lias via 2m to let them know I was ready to go. Most qso was on 40m cw this time and again made it to zl and I heard a 9a calling me but he did not respond to my answer. Worked Rob vk4aac/2 a famous parks operator and a very nice surprise call from Amanda vk3fqso whom I have not heard for a long time. Keith vk3mke was my final caller who also hunts park operators and was my first qso with him from a summit.

Glad to be able to catch up these summits while missing out on the Wilpena trip but that’s how it goes and I hope to keep going as long as possible at this great activity.

Thanks to the land owners and all the chasers/hunters out there.

Thanks for reading my blog

Regards Ian vk5cz ..