Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Pinnacle Nature Reserve VKFF-0862

The Pinnacle Nature Reserve is located on Belconnen's southern boundary, adjacent to the suburbs of Weetangera and Hawker. The Reserve adjoins Springvale Drive and private residences to the north, and unleased and leasehold rural land on its southern and western boundaries. It is named after the highest point, The Pinnacle, a prominent hill around 700 m high.

The Pinnacle Nature Reserve is quite familiar to me, I only live about 2 Km away from the park and have visited it many times over the years. A pleasant half hour walk after work with daylight saving. A great spot to sit and watch the sun setting over the Brindabella mountains.

With radio gear to carry I decided to drive there today. Parked off Springvale Drive where there is a locked gate. There was a sign on the gate that it would be closed from 5 pm to 7 am daily, as part of the ACT Government's kangaroo cull, see my activation of Mt Painter which had a similar sign.

So needed to finish my park activation before 5 pm. Planned to leave before then as would be too cold to stay after this time anyway...

Up the hill a gate entrance to the park and a sign for the park. The writings meant to be in white paint, vandals...

Followed the track, called Springvale Track up to a pedestrian gate on the left and a sign with details on the park.

Followed the track into the park, heading for the highest point, the Pinnacle. There is a proper walking track up to it, I followed a short cut track just before this on the left.

This joins the main walking track to the summit.

The summit has no trig, just a survey marker on the ground. The views here are not that good, you need to head down the hill a bit to clear the trees.

Headed down the hill looking for a suitable spot for supporting the squid pole and operating from. An old log looked ideal. The view to the South West with Mt Taylor on the left, the new Molonglo suburbs and Mt Tennent visible. Noticed the fog I had in the morning still visible in the far South.

Set up the 40/20 m linked dipole on the squid pole lashed to the end of the log. Tied off the ends of the dipole on a tree and the end of the log.

View to the station from up the hill, looking South. The white tower building in the distance is in the Woden town centre.

View from the other leg of the dipole to the South East. Black Mountain is just behind the trees to the left of the squid pole. Radio on the log, which made a comfy seat.

Got on 40 m. Found VK3HN/p Paul on 7.090 Mhz doing a SOTA activation of VK3/VE-019, so worked him with a good report. Set up on 7.095 Mhz, called CQ. Got a bit busier after getting spotted on the ParksnPeaks website.

A good steady list of hunters calling from VK1/VK2/VK3/VK4 and VK5. Worked Peter VK3YE testing a new QRP radio, nice signal. A couple of other parks worked, VK2YK/p Adam in VKFF-589 Gir-um-bit National Park, and VK4FFAB/p Rob in VKFF-200 Glass House Mountains National Park.

Switched to 20 m to work the Europeans. Worked John VK4DP in Barcaldine Central Queensland, then after getting spotted on the DX cluster the usual bunch of EU hunters started a pileup...
Some of the usual park hunters, I5FLN, S58AL, S52KM, OK7WA, F1BLL, HA6OB, DL2DN, DK4RM, IK1GPG. Several Russian stations, also a new hunter country for me, 9A2HF Franc in Croatia.

Looked around the band, another park to park contact with Ade VK4SOE/p doing an activation with Rob VK4FFAB/p in the Glass House Mountains National Park. I spotted him on the DX cluster, seemed to help as the EU pileup found him soon after :)

By 4:30 pm the temperature had dropped from around 10 c to 7 c, so decided a good time to leave, plus needed to get out before the shooting started... A total of 35 contacts, so need to return for the 44. Not hard when you live close by.

Track log of walk

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