Saturday, 16 January 2016

SOTA Mt Majura VK1/AC-034

I've activated Mt Majura VK1/AC-034 several times now, and for something different decided to walk up a different way, from Hackett Gate off MacKenzie St, instead of the Horse Paddocks off Antill St.

Got to Hackett Gate. Found not a big car park, only enough room for 4 cars, and there were 3 there already...Parked and started walking. A sign nearby for Mt Majura Nature Reserve, a Canberra Nature Park and eligible for the World Wide Flora and Fauna Award, VKFF-0851.

The road behind is labelled Hackett Houses Track (North). Followed this until coming to a smaller track on the right. There was a track marker, the brown disk says Mt Majura Summit

Followed the track, crossing a power line access road, then the track starts to rise.

The track zig zags it way up the mountainside. A bit of a view of nearby Mt Ainslie.

The track eventually reaches the top ridge and follows it. Came to the junction of the track I usually come up from Antill St Horse Paddocks.

From here its a bit of a steep slog up the fire trail to the summit. Gate just before the summit.

Set up the squid pole on my usual spot, the round metal thing near the trig

Shack on the concrete base.

There was a spot on SOTAwatch for Adan VK1FJAW/2 on VK2/ST-005 Webbs Ridge on 10 m, so hurriedly set up the 6/10 m linked dipole up. Worked Adan, Tony VK1VIC/2 and Grant VK4JAZ/2 on 10 m. Signals were not strong, only S2 and wasn't getting much power out. As I suspected in my haste to get the dipole up had left one of the links open...After fixing Adan was a good S7.

On 10 m also worked Andrew VK1AD, Matt VK1MT and Roald VK1MTS with good signals. No DX though, able to hear a ZL beacon but not much activity or replies to my calls.

Went on to work the usual chasers in VK1, VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5 and VK7 on 40 m. Chased a couple of Park to Park contacts, Rob VK4FFAB/P in VKFF-0391 Noosa NP and Rob VK4AAC/5 in VKFF-0816 Spring Gully CP.

After UTC rollover a couple more S2S contacts, with Allen VK3HRA/P on VK3/VS-040 and Russ VK2BJP/3 on VK3/VE-029.

Packed up around noon and headed back down.

Which way was better? The Hackett Gate distance was 2.7 Km to the summit, the Hackett horse paddocks about 2.6 Km, so only about 100 m or so difference. Both took about the same time, around 30 minutes. For ease of parking I would probably stick with the Antill St walk. This can also be shortened by driving to the end of Jukes St and joining up to the walk at the top of the first rise.

Track logs of both walks. Hackett Gate in Blue and Antill St in Green.

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