Sunday, 16 October 2016

Bullen Range Nature Reserve and SOTA Bullen Range VK1/AC-033

With a sunny, although windy day decided to do another WWFF park activation, along with a SOTA summit. I had activated Bullen Range, SOTA peak VK1/AC-033 before but had not done so since the surrounding Nature Reserve was added as a WWFF park, VKFF-0984. so set out to activate both.

As per other times accessed via a track off the Tidbinbilla Road. Note this is not the edge of the Bullen Range Nature Reseve, this is reached by crossing the Paddys River Travelling Stock Reserve.

A map of the park off the Protected Planet website. Its a fairly large reserve at around 40 sq Km, surprisingly close to Canberra. You could access it from the East via Kambah Pool Road, you could access from the Cotter Reserve to the North or from near Tidbinbilla Tracking station to the West. Otherwise a long walk to enter from the Southern end.

After 3 gates crossed along the road started walking along the edge of the park, ACT Pine forest on the left and the park in the hills on the right.

Another gate on the right, through this up the hill and onto the ridge within the park

While walking along the fence line on top of the ridge came across an Echidna. He spotted me and curled up into a ball for protection.

Continued along the ridge. Yet another gate. The summit in the distance. It was quite windy on the ridge.

Getting closer to the summit. Black Mountain with the tower on the right.

Yet another gate after here. Once in the forest got a bit of a break from the strong wind, climbed up the road to the summit. Marked by a rocky cairn. Thankfully a bit sheltered here from the wind.

Near the cairn used to be 3 log off cuts that made handy seats and tables for SOTA operators. Seems someone claimed a couple for firewood, as only one left :(

Set up the squid pole on a small gum tree sapling and strung out the 40m dipole to a couple of trees nearby.

Used the one remaining log off cut as a seat and set the radio up on the log.

Got on 40m. The VKFF "Team Challenge" was on today, so teams of operators out in parks. Started with VK5ZEO Steve and VK5PET Peter in VKFF-0916 Mount Magnificant CP. Then the usual chasers.

Worked another team in VKFF-1757 Upper Spencer Gulf Marine National Park, VK5KLV Les and VK5KPR Peter. Worked VK2IO Gerard in VKFF-1383 Tuggerah State Conservation Area. And a SOTA station VK1MBE Andrew on VK2/IL-006.

Worked another team Paul VK5PAS and Marija VK5FMAZ in VKFF-0828 Monatro CP, and Tony VK3XV Mick VK3PMG in Ararat Hills Regional Park. Also Joe VK3SRC in Churchill NP VKFF-0621, also doing a Jamboree On the Air JOTA activation.

Briefly tried 20m, but no answers to my calls even after spotting myself. Returned to 40m, finished working another team, VK7JON John and VK7FOLK Helen in VKFF-0005 Narawntapu National Park.

As a long walk back, almost 5Km, packed up after 37 contacts.

View along the ridge looking towards Tuggeranong town centre.

Looking South along the ridge. Castle Hill in the middle and Mt Tennent in the distance on the right.

Got back to the car after over an hour and a quarter walking.

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