Wednesday, 15 October 2014

SOTA End Peak

End Peak, SOTA ref VK2/MN-098 is located about 4 Km from the Centre of Coffs Harbour, so figured an easy one to do in the morning after a night in town.

Drove North on the Pacific Highway, past the "Big Banana" (tourist attraction) to Buxner Park Road on the left. This climbed up through the banana plantations, reached a turnoff on the left "Sealy Lookout Drive"

This took me past Sealy Lookout, ending at "Forest Sky Pier", a tourist lookout over Coffs Harbour

Fantastic views over the town and surrounding area. Looking due East

Looking South over the town suburbs to distant peaks.

Some signs to help identify features.

Nice as this was, this was not the SOTA summit, still 1.6 Km away. The road ended at the end of the lookout car park, and a walking track started beyond.

Just past the bollards a picnic area, then a walking track. Nice rainforest.

The track rose but didn't take me up to the summit, went down again :( There were 2 minor peaks to walk over before reaching the true SOTA summit. No trig that I could find, just a high point on the hill just off the track on the right.

The vegetation off track was quite thick with no suitable room for a dipole, so set up the squid pole and dipole on the main walking track. Had problems with the dipole legs with nearby branches but got something up.

Shack on the tarp

Got on 40 m. Made 1 contact, VK3FPSR, a low 41 signal. As I expected not much luck on 40 m QRP this far North.

Went to 20 m. My first contact was local station Paul, VK2KTT, close by in Coffs Harbour. Had a bit of a chat about the local peaks. He remarked a 4WD is needed for most of the nearby ones, which is why he hadn't done any activations yet...

Worked Nev VK5WG. No more chasers, only 3 contacts, so not qualified yet...Got a spot from Peter, VK3PF asking me to try 30 m. After some more fiddling with close by vegetation got the 30 m dipole up, worked Peter with a 43 signal, and qualified the summit. Stayed on 30 m, worked VK3DET, VK3AUU and VK2EGC/4 so 30 m helped me get this one qualified for sure.

Packed up and headed to nearby Bruxner Park for lunch, then on to Mt Coramba

Track log of walk

Track profile. Note the 2 minor hills climbed and descended to reach the summit...

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