Monday, 31 August 2015

Big Smoky VK2/MN-117

Big Smoky VK2/MN-117 is located near the town of South West Rocks, in Hat Head National Park. It had only been activated twice by Adam VK2YK. He left some access notes on the SOTAWatch entry for the summit which proved very handy as I would not have known how to access this peak.

As per his instructions drove to South West Rocks, Arakoon Road, then Gap Beach Road. Gap Beach Road turns to dirt and rises steeply. Didn't need 4WD though. The road ends at a car park, gate and the start of Green Island Fire Trail walk

Walked up the track until coming to a track on the right

This is the Green Island to Smoky Cape walking track.

Followed this track for a short distance until it started to descend, at this point headed into the bush following the ridge line up. GPS showed around 600 m to the summit. It was fairly open scrub but steep...needed to pause now and then and recover...

Eventually reached the top ridge where the going got easier. So far the scrub was not too thick. Then approaching the summit got quite thick, Finally reached the top after around 60 minutes walking. A trig here that has seen better days...

There was not much room here to string out a 40 m dipole...Found an opening in the trees for the squid pole, mounting it on a stump. The dipole legs were touching lots of branches, still seemed to load up okay though

Set up the shack at the base of the trig

Got on 40 m. Band was quiet, very few signals low down. Looked like still poor propagation... At least was mobile coverage so able to spot myself okay on SOTAWatch. Called CQ.

Worked Dave VK2JDS/m, Dave VK4DD, Phil VK2CPO/p, Al VK1RX/m VK3, Ian VK5IS. Gerard VK2IO called me, advising he would be on a summit in 20 minutes. While waiting tried 20m with no answers, in fact couldn't hear much on 20m at all...

Got a spot from Peter VK3PF saying he couldn't hear me on 40m or 20m, could I try 30m? Got out the 30m antenna, at least it fitted better...Called and got both Peter VK3PF and Gerard VK2IO/P on a summit. Peter a good 57 on 30m, Gerard was a 53, on VK2/SM-063 together with Rod VK2TWR/p

Packed up and walked back down. A lot easier down hill, took about 30 minutes to get back to the car. Drove to South West Rocks town for lunch.

Track log of walk

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