At last after a restless night away from home I hit the road at 5am to drive the 70km from Cradock to Quorn then out the Richman Valley to hike to Mt Brown VK5/NE-014. After a breakfast stop at Quorn I headed for the summit starting my Hike at 7:30 am. This is a 6.5 km hike and gets harder as you near the last 1km or so it just seems to ramp up in spite of the benched walking track around the contours of the hill. Roughly 420 metres of gain from the car park to the top so its a steady climb all the way.
I stopped for a drink and rest at Sugar Gum corner on the trail and Hugh and Kate came along and we continued on to the top together.
Once on the summit and a few photos taken it was after UTC roll over and time to hit the air waves. I started on my favourite mode CW on 40m first and made 9 QSO’s with VK’s and ZL ops. I had 4 Summit 2 Summit QSO with VK1ACE on VK2/SM-005 then VK1DA on VK2/ST-005 then VK1AD on SSB also on VK2/ST-005 then another quick chat with Andrew VK1DA on SSB as well.
Changing to 20m CW I made contact with more VK’s and ZL ops some who could not hear me on 40m and a couple new Chasers gave me a score so good to get you in the log.
Hugh VK5NHG went next on 40m SSB to get his score for the activation then we both had a chat on SSB with brother BoB VK5FB who was very strong on SSB.
I got 16 QSO’s to count and a couple double ups on modes, then we hiked back off Mt Brown with activation number 400 in the log and another milestone of 10 years of SOTA in South Australia vk5.
Once back to the Ute I found a spot still in the conservation Park to set up my antenna and stuff again to Qualify the VKFF for the parks award. Needing 44 QSO’s for parks I set out on 40m SSB first getting 11 willing Hunters then switching to CW I got one U.S. station then a great pile up of Europeans getting most of them in my log being 7 more. Then I hooked up the FT817 and Laptop for digital modes and topped up the rest of my score with FT8 and a couple JS8 contacts. So 10 Data mode scores where logged making it 44 counting my earlier SOTA contacts as well. Mt Brown Conservation Park VKFF-0914 has 2 SOTA summits as well so a good area to play portable radio and hike.
Such a great feeling with all those activations behind me and finding another 3 new summits for me to activate is great. Over those 10 years there are a few summits access is no longer possible due to mostly change of land ownership and they deny access for their own reasons. You just have to live with that and find some new summits its their prerogative in the end. I really appreciate the land owners who do still grant access other wise this program would be fairly restricted in summits to visit. I always get nervous even today after 10 years and 54 different possible summits to access when ringing up to ask for access. I always ring up well before I go out to make sure circumstances are the same and I am not interfering with what is happening on their working properties. I also buy a seasonal Park Pass every year as to do the right thing there. Its just what I have to do and really enjoy SOTA along with Ham radio as a hobby come obsession. I get to visit places I would have otherwise never been and meet folks I would have probably never met. I say a big Thanks.
Amazing views from Mt brown and it is so good to see the season will be much better this year from many previous years of drought.
Thanks to my SOTA Chasers and VKFF Hunters for all the contacts on this special day.
Thanks for reading my Blog.
Ian vk5cz ..