Saturday, 4 January 2014

SOTA Activation VK1/AC-036 Goorooyarroo

SOTA peak VK1/AC-036, Goorooyarroo has remained unactivated, mainly because it was believed to be dangerous to approach. It lies near the Majura military firing range, so approaching from the West is impossible due to the risk of UXO (Unexploded Ordinance). Route from the North is Private property, so the East through Goorooyarroo reserve looks to be the only possible way.

A visiting amateur put an Alert on Sotawatch intending to activate it, this caused a few emails in the local VK1 SOTA community trying to warn him of the dangers. Fortunately he mixed up this summit with nearby Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve in the ACT, so no risky activation was made.

Anyway this caused some discussion about possibly activating this summit. Matt VK1MA spoke to the Ranger for this National Park at NPWS Queanbeyan, he advised there is a fire trail from a locked gate to the SE of the summit, that takes you directly to it.

Matt and I discussed this option, and after studying six maps and other online referenced decided to give this route a try. We met up at the Eaglehawk Service Station, then drove down the Federal Highway, turning down Sutton Rd. The access road is an unnamed minor dirt track next to another private driveway, Matt and I missed this at first...If you get to Norton Rd you have gone too far! Road on the left in photo.

After a while this road bends to the right. On the left is a gate with a sign for Goorooyarroo Reserve, with a warning about unexploded ordinance...

Matt had confirmed with the ranger that it was okay to enter, just stay on the road. So we headed off on the road. Steepish in places with loose rocks but not too hard.

After less than half an hour reached the summit, about 2.1 Km walk.

The gate had some worrying signs, Majura Military Range nearby. We didn't enter...

Set up my squid pole on a nearby stump. Had a bit of a lean to it...Ran out 40 m and 20 m dipoles.

Shack set up on the fly

Matt VK1MA had a 10m squid pole, with an OCF dipole so he could run on several bands.

He had brought a neat little seat to operate on

Matt got on 40 m first and qualified the summit. Tried to use 20 m but got QRMed from Matt. I went to 40 m and made 15 contacts, Matt tried 12m with no luck...I tried 20 m afterwards and managed a few contacts, with Paul, VK5PAS, Andrew VK1NAM and Matt VK2DAG. There was some sort of radar noise on 20 m which cut in and out, so some problems when it was going...Matt I think made a few contacts on 30 m and 2 m.

We packed up around noon and headed back down to the cars, took about 20 minutes.
While back at the cars we worked Compton, VK2HRX on VK2/ST-007 using Matts mobile setup, thanks Matt.

Track log of the walk. 2.1 Km each way with 150 m climb.

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