Sunday, 20 July 2014

SOTA Activation Mt Palerang

As per last year's activation of Mt Palerang VK2/ST-009 drove via Queanbeyan, Captains Flat Road, Hoskinstown, Forbes Creek and the Mulloon Fires Trail. I was a little worried the crossing over Mulloon Creek would be tricky after some rain, however water levels made for an easy crossing.

Parked at the same place, the intersection of Mulloon and Palerang Fire Trails. The area had been burnt, probably on purpose for a fire break. A sign warning about logging trucks and using CB CH 36.

Walked 50 m along Palerang Fire Trail to the track heading up to Mt Palerang on the right.

The track at first gets very steep...Luckily this doesn't last the whole way and it flattens out.

The track heads straight up, then swings to the right. Last time I left it here and went straight up through the bush. As curious to see where the track went continued to the right and across the side of the mountain.

It took me to within about 100 m of the summit, then descended. At this stage I just bush bashed up to the top. This turned out to be a bad route, as the scrub on the Western side of Mt Palerang is quite thick with lots of boulders to clamber over...luckily only short, and reached the top ridge close to the summit cairn.

Last time I activated here the wind was howling on the very top, but not so today so set up the squid pole on the trig. The cairn is quite large and had plenty of room on the top to set up the SOTA shack.

Ran one leg of the 40/20 m linked dipole out to a tree. Mt Lowden in the background,

The other end back to a small bush off the track along the ridge.

Got on 40 m at 0030 z, working Andrew VK1MBE/p on Mt Ainslie, VK1/AC-040. Then the usual bunch of chasers from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5. Another S2S with Mark VK1EM/2 and Andrew VK2FAJG/P, strong on nearby South Black Range, VK2/ST-006. Also another contact with Peter, VK3YE pedestrian mobile wading through the water on the beach in Melbourne, with a good signal. After the 40 m chasers dried up switched the dipole links to 20 m and worked the 2 regular VK6 chasers, VK6MB Mike and VK6NU John. Signals were not the best on 20 m with QSB.

Packed up after 29 contacts and headed back down. The trip back was fairly easy, followed the ridge, then using the GPS headed for the closest point to the track, with only about 80 m of easy scrub. Got back down in less than a half hour. Continued along the Mulloon Fire Trail to Braidwood, and lunch at the pie shop.

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