Sunday, 21 September 2014

SOTA activation Dingi Dingi Ridge

Dingi Dingi Ridge VK2/ST-004 is a high point within Brindabella National Park, just to the Northwest of Canberra. At over 1300 m it is worth 8 points, with 3 more for winter bonus points, so decided time to activate it before the winter bonus season ends.

To get there, took the Brindabella Road, turned off onto Blue Range Road, headed along this, entering Brindabella National Park.

Continued along Blue Range Road until it joined Two Sticks Road. Two Sticks Road runs around the side of Devils Peak, VK2/ST-003. There was a turn off this on the right onto Baldy Range Trail. Note the sign for Baldy Range Trail has been destroyed...After a short section of Baldy Range Trail took the track on the left, Dingi Ridge Trail.

The roads up until now are probably okay for a 2WD in the dry, however you probably need at least an AWD or 4WD for Dingi Dingi Ridge Trail. My Nissan Xtrail went okay, mainly need clearance as some tricky rocky bits and spoon drains. Followed Dingi Ridge track until the closest point to the summit, parked here off the road.

Entered into the bush on the left. This was probably not the best approach as fairly thick scrub here...

Lots of wattle regrowth. Thankfully did thin out as I got higher. From reviewing VK1NAM Andrew's track log might have been better to follow the road a bit further on before bush bashing up. Once on the top ridge not too bad. View from a minor saddle before the final summit.

Reached the activation zone. Looking for a suitable clearing for antennas found a nice grassy clearing on the Southern side, looking towards Mt Coree, VK1/AC-023

Set up the squid pole on a small sapling, able to lay out the 40 m dipole okay. Operated on a tarp on the grass. The sun came out at last.

Looking across the clearing

Some views of parts of Canberra through the trees.

Got on 40 m, started with a S2S with Russ, VK2BJP on VK2/RI-035, One Tree Hill near Albury. Then got the usual pileup of chasers...

Had a very weak copy on Rod, VK2TWR/p on VK2/ST-032, only a R4 S1, seems he had antenna problems, others had problems copying him.

Switched to 2 m FM on the Jpole and tried a spot. Got Matt, VK1MA, 59+, always gets out well on 2 m. Also a good copy with Andrew VK1NAM, and a weak copy on Andrew VK2MJP near Queanbeyan. Andrew was on a hand held outside standing on his water tank for height!

Tried 30 m, worked 4 chasers, VK2YK, VK3XPT/p, VK1MA  and VK3AFW. 30 m is a great band for around VK, just not that many using it.

Returned to 40 m after Matt VK1MA alerted me to a S2S. Worked VK2XDM/VK3EQ on VK3/VN-005. Later worked S2S with VK3YY on VK3/VT-010, and a group of activators on VK3/VC-002 Mt Donna Buang, having a SOTA BBQ lunch. VK3KIS, VK3OHM, VK3BQ and VK3PZ.

As I was packing up heard Rod, VK2TWR come up on another summit, VK2/ST-021, with a good signal, he had fixed his antenna problem.

While packing up found a small piece of tape on the ground, seems I wasn't the first to operate here :)

Headed back down. Went a bit more North, avoided a lot of thick scrub, but still very thick just near the car...You can see the squiggles in the track log as I attempted to navigate through it.

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