Sunday, 31 May 2015

SOTA Pigeon House Mountain VK2/SC-033

Pigeon House Mountain is an historic mountain on the NSW South Coast, close to Milton/Ulladulla. Captain Cook named Pigeon House Mountain as he sailed past in 1770 - "a remarkable peaked hill which resembled a square dovehouse with a dome on top and for that reason I called it Pigeon House".The local aboriginal tribe called it Didthol, a word meaning "woman's breast".

Fairly obvious when viewed from a distance. Here is a an old photo I took from the side of "The Castle" nearby

I've climbed it a few times before bushwalking but had not climbed it as a SOTA activation. I knew the top did not have a lot of room for antennas, however having worked Phil VK2FPJR on the summit a few years ago knew it was possible to get something strung up.

Stopped overnight at Ulladulla. Drove down Croobyar Road to Pigeon House Mountain car park, the road is unsealed. In wet weather a 4WD would be advisable as it is unsealed and steep in places.

Sign at the start of the walk. It is 2.5 Km each way with about a 500 m climb. The 3-4 hours is a bit generous, about 1.5 hours to get up and about an hour to get down. The mountain is in the Budawang Wilderness Area, part of Morton National Park. The track climbs steeply as soon as you leave the car park...

The first park of the walk takes you steeply up a ridge, up through some cliffs and onto a plateau.
The top of the mountain visible through the trees ahead.

Then a bit of a break walking on a flat ridge before the next climb.

The final climb to the base of the cliffs is steep, took a few breaks. At the cliffs a series of steel ladders to be climbed. The first ones fairly easy.

Got progressively steeper as you climb up to the top through a gap in the cliffs

Nearing the top

Once on the top you wander past a rocky overhang, then ascend to the summit

Reached the trig on top. Not a lot of room here.

Looking to the North West. Byangee Mountain, VK2/SC-046 is the multiple cliffs plateau, "The Castle" VK2/SC-019 behind it.

Nowhere to put an antenna at the lookout, sheer cliffs beyond the railing...

Came down from the trig into the bushes to the South. Found an old stump, lashed the squid pole to it and ran one dipole leg through the trees. The old wooden trig can be seen abandoned on the ground. The trig is just behind the rocks on the right. Just past the trees on the left was a cliff...

The other leg ran out the other side to another tree, again a sheer cliff close by...

Set up the SOTA shack at the base of the stump. Nice spot away from the crowds of walkers heading for the lookout, although still got a few people come down to take a look at the view here. Note this walk is very popular with families, despite the difficulty.

Got on 40 m. Despite my antenna running close to trees, some strong signals from VK1, VK2, VK3 VK5 and VK7. A couple of S2S contacts with VK3HN/P on VK3/VC-011, VK7BO/P on VK7/NC-015.

Briefly tried 20 m but no chasers. Returned to 40 m, worked a few more chasers before packing up at noon.

Worked 33 chasers. The summit is also in Morton National Park, VKFF-334, a new park for me.

Going down a bit of a pile up on the ladders, as having to wait for ascending walkers to climb up before descending

Got back to the car by 1:00 pm. Had lunch and drove home.

Track log of walk

1 comment:

  1. Good report Ian, thanks for sharing. Photos tell the story.
    73, Andrew