With a good winters day forecast decided to do a couple of SOTA summits for the winter bonus points, South Black Range VK2/ST-006 and Mt Palerang VK2/ST-009.
As per previous activations drove to South Black Range via Hoskinstown and Forbes Creek. Turned off onto North Black Range trail. Some fog about. Used 4WD as quite muddy and steep in places.
Cleared up as I got higher.
Parked just before the turnoff to the summit. You can drive up this track, with care, but wanted to do some walking...
Despite the sunshine it was cold, the car outside temperature sensor showed only 3 C. Approaching the summit noticed some remnant patches of snow in the foliage.
Reached the summit. Noticed someone has provided another access ladder to the top. A step up from the rickety thing in the past. Still looked a bit dodgy, not really long enough, gave it a miss...
Found my usual spot to operate from, a stump with a convenient rock nearby for a shack table.
Set up 20/40 m and 6/10m linked dipoles up to nearby trees. This is an easy summit to set up on, plenty of room.
Got on 40 m. Lots of good strong signals from chasers in VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5. An S2S contact later with Andrew VK1MBE/p, on VK1/AC-044 Boboyan Range. Like my last activation he was operating in the snow... Shortly after Mark VK1EM/p and Andrew VK2MWP/p came up on VK2/ST-005 Webbs Ridge. Like myself had problems with muddy roads.
After 40 m chasers dried up switched to 10 m. A good copy with VK1MBE/p, Matt VK1MA, and a weak contact with Al VK1RX. On 6 m worked Paul VK1ATP, Al VK1RX with a good signal on this band, and Matt VK1MA.
Tried 20 m. A S2S with Nigel VK5NIG/p, Allen VK5LAM/p and Stu VK5STU/p activating Mt Gawler VK5/SE-013.
Returned to 40 m for a last look around. Worked special event station VI5MCP, Bob activating Morialta Conservation Park, VKFF-783. Nice eQSL card, thanks.
Also worked Mick VK5PMG in Koorooya State Park VKFF-759. Packed up at midday and headed for Mt Palerang.