Saturday, 9 August 2014

SOTA Activation Booroomba Rocks

Time for another SOTA activation with winter bonus points. Picked Booroomba Rocks, VK1/AC-026 as not too far away with a good track to the top.

Left home early in fog, and temperature only around 1 c. As I drove past Tharwa the fog vanished and some sunshine. Drove down Apollo Road then the dirt track to Booroomba Rocks carpark. Start of the walking track. The 30 minutes is to the saddle where the rock climbers go, the SOTA summit is another half hour walking cross country from the saddle.

The Southern side of Booroomba Rocks does not get a lot of sun, so still some remnants of snow from the recent falls in places.

Some more snow on the track. Nothing deep, easy to step over.

Got to the saddle and made my way to the summit cross country. Basically crossing rock slabs with some scrub bashing in between. There are small rock piles to guide you along the least scrubbiest route

View to the main summit

 Another rock track marker. Snow covered mountains in the distance

Reached the summit cairn. Note the small tree on the right, used this to support the squid pole

Strung out the 20/40 m linked dipole. A lack of trees on the rocky top, tied one end to a tree stump not visible in this photo.

The other leg managed to just make it to the branch of a dead snow gum. View looking East towards Mt Tennent. Note the fog down below.

Looking North towards Canberra, still covered in thick fog

Set up the SOTA shack at the base of the small gum tree. A recent addition to my SOTA gear, a small tarp kept things a little cleaner.

Got on 2 m first on the hand held, worked Andrew VK1NAM for a S2S on VK1/AC-043, Mt Stromlo with a solid signal. Then hopped on 40 m. Found had just missed VK3YY/VK3ANL on a peak. Anyway good pileup of chasers from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5, and Andrew VK1NAM again on 40m. Another S2S later with Ian VK3TCX doing his first activation of VK3/VG-074.

After 40 m pileup stopped changed the links to 20 m. A good strong signal from Greg VK8GM in Alice Springs. Also worked VK1ATP, VK1NAM and VK6MB.

Finally tried the 30 m dipole. Had a good S8 signal from VK8RC/4 Rob in Brisbane. He reduced power to a few watts, could still hear him just fine. No further calls though, 30 m is not a popular band.

Packed up just before 1 pm as the wind had picked up and headed down. Missed VK3YY/VK3HRA again on their next summit, plus VK3IL...All up 27 contacts.

A frozen pond near the summit.

Track log of walk. 2.2 Km each way with about a 300 m climb.

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