The hike to this summit is the hardest one I do all year, so thought I would carry minimal gear and do a CW only HF activation with my HB-1B CW only rig and my VX8G as a 2m FM option. Using my Mountain bike bum bag to carry my food and water with the antenna stuffed in as well and my Camel Pack water bag with the rest of my radio kit in it ended up being 4 kg to carry. This summit is not named on the SOTA summit list it’s just Hill VK5/NE-041 but I have later found out its called The Pinnacles, a range of hills west of Mount Remarkable in the National Park. Access for me was from the western side of the lower Flinders at Mambray Creek. I have now done this hike several times and am well aware of the pain I will feel hiking the rough track to the top. Lots of rolling surface and very steep in places. Considering the car park is 124 metres asl and the summit is 804 metres asl its guna hurt somewhere in that lot. The first 1.5 km probably has the most gain to make the top of the first range above Davey Gully but its a well worn track and you just have to put up for about an hour. Once you reach that point its up then over and down some what for 3 more hills which is mentally draining having to give away your gains three times. Luckily a walking club many years ago benched some of the trail about 2 km from the top so its a bit easier to walk but you still are 100m altitude below the saddle. Once at the saddle Mt Cavern is to the north, another ankle burner, and I follow an animal track to the east for a while until I reached the eastern edge of the saddle then turn to the southeast and follow another animal track for about 1.3 km to make the AZ. I had lots of thick bush to go through here it looks like all the smaller wattle trees that got to about 3m tall died in the drought and there was fallen sticks and stuff all over the track. However I made the summit about 30 minutes late for my Alert time but found Gordon VK5GY on 2m using the home brew flowerpot antenna on my VX8. He was the only one on 2m so I set up the EFHW and the HB-1B CW rig on 40m. It was a very short on air time really finding Jeff VK5BJF and Peter VK3PF on 40m CW then a quick Re Spot to 20m I contacted Rod VK1ACE, DL2TM and VK2IO. That was it and it took me longer to put up the antenna than make the contacts but SOTA can be like that sometimes. I could see the clouds building up in the west and it was quite windy on the hill so just a quick CQ on 15m CW but no answers after a minute or so I rolled up the kit and headed down.
After something to eat and drink I started the hike back to the car park which took me close to 2 and half hours to get off this hill. I did not really have enough water and got some cramps on the way down and probably should have had at least another Litre of water with me. Stuffed a few jelly beans in and sipped some water and eventually got back to my Ute. I was away from the Ute for 8 hours and I was either walking, taking a quick spell or on the radio, full bore all day. Think it was my 8th visit to the hill and every time I say never coming back here again, next year we will see.
This was the Garmin GPS on Time moving and Distance for my hike when I got back to the Ute shattered.
But 6 more points to my tally for Goat 2 so that is the only reason I might go back.
Great work Mate!