Middle of May already and Hugh and I have several summits in the log for this year. The cooler Summer and Autumn gave some opportunities to get out on Summits much sooner this year. April 17th was good for getting a 3 summit day trip done so we chose Hogshead, Coomaroo and Maurice Hill as a big day out on Summits.
Hogshead VK5/NE-051 is near Pekina and a rather steep climb up in a very short distance of about 900m from the parking spot.
On this Summit is a great example of a Stone Cairn that are on many of the summits we visit.
Hugh worked on 2 metres this time with his home made Flower Pot antenna with good results having good coverage to several local chasers on 2m FM.
I had several contacts on 80m SSB with the local group of chasers then made contact with some interstate chasers on 40m CW to give me 9 QSO in total.
This one in the log Hugh and I headed off to the next summit via some dirt roads near Mt Robert and hitting the bitumen road near Morchard before turning off to the Coomaroo Summit. It was Hugh’s first visit to this summit so he now has a new one to his list and it’s about a 2km to hike up from the parking spot.
Once again Hugh was able to work several 2m FM contacts from here but had to resort to 40m to find a couple extra contacts to make a score of more than 4 QSO.
It was hard to find chasers on Coomaroo as it was around lunch time by the time we got there and the bands were a bit quiet but we managed to find a mixture this time of VK and ZL stations I could work on cw. Hugh had a couple chasers on 2m FM and lucky to find a couple more on 80m SSB. We did not stay long as it was another 40 km back to the next summit along some more back roads. This activity lets you find a way on roads that would never be travelled by me other wise.
Next Stop Maurice Hill VK5/NE-049
Maurice Hill is a drive up summit so a good reason to leave it until last for the day when the old legs might be a bit sore from the mornings hikes.
This was a bit of an unusual activation for us as Hugh found enough contacts on 2m FM but we could not get much sense out of 80m SSB with the locals this time. I did however work VK5PAS VK5MAZ mobile in VK3, VK3PF at home and VK7QP in Tasmania on 80m during the day. It seemed the further away the caller was the better the signal.
A good amount of 40m SSB and CW chasers from VK 2 3 5 6 and some ZLs as well. My contact with VK3YE appeared on one of his portable operating You Tubes I noticed the other day on 40m CW.
Back to Clare and fill in the logs after a big day out on summits with Hugh.
With a few rest days but not wanting to lose any fitness Hugh and I headed for Mount Brown VK5/NE-014.
It was a mid week activation this time and really nice weather as it can get pretty windy on Mount Brown as it is over 900 m ASL. We left the SOTA transporter at 9 am thinking it would be about 2 hours to the top but we were suffering a bit on this hike and it ended up being 2 and a half hours to make it. We had the pressure on to make our Spot time on SW3 but lucky for us there were plenty of chasers waiting.
I set up HF on the side of the walking track and Hugh climbed onto the viewing platform and set up his Flower Pot antenna again for VHF 2m FM.
Being so high above sea level Hugh had very good coverage on 2m working as far south as Moonta Bay on FM voice with the signal path being over water in Spencer Gulf for most of the time.
Hugh made a good score on 2m FM then also worked some chasers of 40m SSB to top up his score.
Great take off point on VHF from on the Platform we both had plenty of contacts while on Mt Brown.
The hard walk up was worth it as we were both pretty sore and tired by the time we got back to my Ute with 12.5 km in the legs and feet.
Amazing views from the platform above the trees on Mt brown.
Next big hike is Mt Remarkable, Hugh and I and a local non ham friend Garry started from Melrose early to make the 2 hour hike to the summit which is 6.2km on the North track.
Once we arrived at the summit and got set up the weather was really nice and warm with hardly any wind on the summit. Hugh set up his Flower Pot again and made some VHF 2m FM contacts. I set up the HF and made lots of contacts on 80m SSB with local VK5 chasers and the Special Event call sign VK100AF for 100 years of the Air Force.
Garry Chilled out on the bench while Hugh and I did the SOTA thing then we headed off back down the Mountain on the new South track as a different way down.
All I can say about the South track is it meanders for a lot longer and is steeper and a very rough surface making it a harder way to get off the Mountain and it’s at least 1 km further if not more.
Great day for a hike and nice to get some long hikes done for this year I only have Dutchman’s Stern Summit to do some time later.
Thanks to the land owners for access and thanks for reading my Blog.
Ian vk5cz ..