Sunday, 1 January 2017

SOTA The Cascades VK2/SM-014 for UTC New Year Rollover

For the UTC New Year rollover there is a chance to get SOTA activation points for contacts made on either side of 00:00 UTC, which in NSW Australia is 11:00 am local time. Decided to get 20 points by activating a 10 point summit in the Snowy Mountains, The Cascades" VK2/SM-014.

After stopping at Thredbo overnight for New Years Eve slept in a bit. I had been up to after midnight... Had breakfast and drove the short distance to the start of the Cascades Walk, parking about 8:45 am. The weather here was cold for January, about 11c, so dressed warmly.

It's a 4.7 Km walk from here to the summit. Followed the Thredbo River for a while, quite scenic.

The track eventually crosses the Thredbo River at a metal bridge put in by the park rangers.

Looking upstream. Summit around to the right.

Looking downsteam

After crossing the river the track heads up and heads around to the right. Good views. Looking back.

Note the white patches on the main range in the distance. These are snow drifts, in Summer!

Just a few hundred metres from the summit needed to leave the walking track and head cross country to the summit. Lots of tracks to follow, probably left by brumbies, wild horses. A bit of a marshy area before the summit but not too bad to walk through.

After an hour and a quarter of walking reached the summit. A rough post on a rock trig point.

At the top the wind was very strong and cold. Probably gusting to about 30-40 Km/Hr. Found a rocky outcrop out of the wind, and set up the squid pole here, radio shack on the tarp mostly out of the wind.

Shack on the tarp

Even though I was out of the wind the top of the squid pole was not, and collapsed on me a few times. So operating was interrupted now and then by my having to hoist it back up again...

The 40m band was full of activators... Started with an S2S with Andrew VK1AD/p on VK1/AC-043 Mt Stromlo with a good signal. Andrew spotted me and let me have the frequency. Worked my way through a pileup of activators and chasers, also going after new ones on SOTAwatch. Pre UTC

23:27zVK1AD/P7MHzSSBs58 r58 s2s vk1/ac-043
23:29zVK3PF/P7MHzSSBs58 r56 s2s vk3/vg-001
23:31zVK3ARR/P7MHzSSBs51 r56 s2s vk3/ve-008
23:33zVK2AOH7MHzSSBs52 r55 s2s vk2/ct-012
23:34zVK5WG7MHzSSBs58 r55
23:35zVK2YW7MHzSSBs58 r57
23:35zVK2IO/P7MHzSSBs58 r58 s2s vk2/hu-093
23:36zVK7CW7MHzSSBs58 r57
23:37zVK5ZAT/P7MHzSSBs58 r59
23:38zVK5FANA7MHzSSBs57 r33
23:39zVK3GGG7MHzSSBs58 r54
23:40zVK3PMG7MHzSSBs58 r54
23:42zVK1MA/P7MHzSSBs55 r55 s2s vk1/ac-008
23:45zVK3SG/P7MHzSSBs55 r59 s2s vk3/ve-007
23:50zVK7ZMS7MHzSSBs58 r25
23:51zVK7FAMP7MHzSSBs53 r53
23:52zVK4RF7MHzSSBs53 r55
23:53zVK4HA7MHzSSBs53 r55
23:54zVK3ARH/P7MHzSSBs53 r57 s2s vk3/vs-027
23:57zVK3TST/P7MHzSSBs53 r55 s2s vk3/ve-034

Note VK3TST/p at 23:57. He had just got on air with only 3 minutes to go to rollover. Don't think he made the 4 contacts needed...

Post UTC. Only 1 contact on 20m, John VK6NU/p on VK6/SW-039.

00:04zVK6NU/P14MHzSSBs51 r51 s2s vk6/sw-039
00:10zVK3ARH/P7MHzSSBs53 r55 s2s vk3/vs-027
00:11zVK3ARR/P7MHzSSBs52 r52 s2s vk3/ve-008
00:20zVK5PAS/P7MHzSSBs57 r54 vk5/se-001
00:21zVK5FMAZ/P7MHzSSBs57 r54 vk5/se-001
00:24zVK3TST/P7MHzSSBs53 r55 s2s vk3/ve-034
00:26zVK3AFW/P7MHzSSBs51 r53 s2s vk3/ve-031
00:31zVK3SG/P7MHzSSBs55 r56 s2s vk3/ve-007
00:35zVK2IO/P7MHzSSBs57 r57 s2s vk2/hu-093
00:37zVK7TW/P7MHzSSBs41 r41 s2s vk7/sc-063
00:38zVK7FREU/P7MHzSSBs41 r41 s2s vk7/sc-063
00:42zVK3PF/P7MHzSSBs55 r55 s2s vk3/vg-001
01:06zVK1MA/P7MHzSSBs55 r55 s2s vk1/ac-008

Poor Justin VK7TW and his son Reuben VK7FREU had microphone failure just after I worked them and had to qualify on 2m FM. After midday I had had enough of the wind and cold and packed up, heading back the same way, taking a bit over an hour to get back to the car. Drove to one of the picnic areas down from Thredbo out of the wind for lunch. 20 SOTA points done :)


  1. Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the S2S contacts with Marija Vk5FMAZ and I at Mount Bryan. Nice photos of the beautiful countryside at your summit.

    73 & HNY 2017,

    Paul VK5PAS.

  2. Hi Paul,

    Good to make an S2S with you and Marija. Looks like we both had windy summits. Even though cold and windy was still a beautiful walk to this summit.

    73 HNY Ian VK1DI