Sunday, 24 March 2013

SOTA Activation Pheasant Hill 1455m

Decided to do a first time activation of SOTA summit VK1/AC-021, Pheasant Hill. Note this is misspelt on the VK1 summit list as "Pleasant Hill". Drove down Sunday morning to the far end of the ACT, took about a hour and a half, slow going on the unsealed Boboyan road. Arrived just before 10am at historic Brayshaw's Hut for morning tea.

Pheasant Hill can be seen at the back of the hut. The GPS showed the summit a bit under 2 Km away. There is a sign near the hut telling a bit about the history, and the start of the Settlers Track to Westerman's Homestead.

After morning tea walked to the edge of the hut clearing and started climbing. Fairly open scrub, could push through it easy enough, just following animal tracks.

There were even a few nice grassy areas on the way.

Eventually got to the top after about 50 minutes. The summit is not really well defined, and I could not find any trig or cairn. Just a hilltop with rocks and trees...The altitude on the GPS seemed to agree with the published height of 1455m.

Close by to the summit was a nice grassy clearing with a big log to sit on. Strapped the squid pole to a small sapling wattle tree and set up the shack on the log.

Ran the legs of the 40m dipole out to a couple of nearby trees.

  First contact on 40m was Andrew VK1NAM/p on VK1/AC-039, for a S2S. Then worked heaps of VK3s, most with booming S9 signals! I was worried the local VK1s would have been in the skip zone, being only 70km away from Canberra, however several were good signals too. Even worked Peter, VK3PF portable using the squid pole near the car. Band really quiet and easy to work. Waited until Allen, VK1HRA/p came up on Grampians peak VK3/VW-001 at 12:30pm and had lunch. Worked several more stations, most very strong VK3s. 25 contacts in the log.

Headed back down around 2:30pm, a slightly different way. Did find a bit of scrub in a gully, otherwise not hard. A pleasant day on Pheasant Hill :)

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