Sunday, 19 February 2017

SOTA Mt McDonald VK1/AC-048

With a cooler Sunday than it has been recently, 20c instead of the 35-40c temperatures last week, decided to get some exercise and do a local SOTA summit, Mt McDonald VK1/AC-048. Noticed last time I drove past the start of the walk a new track was now open, so wanted to give it a try.

Drove from home to the car park for the walk, off Brindabella Road. There is now a sign on the Lower Cotter Catchment reserve here.

A close up of the sign showing the track to Mount McDonald

Previously had to walk along Lookout Road then climb up. Followed the new track until it joined the road up to the mountain, close to the Cotter Catchment lookout.

Followed the road up to the top of the mountain. Good views over the Bullen Range to the South.

Reached the top, trig and remnants of the fire lookout tower. Looking East to Mt Stromlo and Canberra.

Set up the squid pole on a leg of the trig.

Looking back from the other end of the dipole, tied to a bush near the tower.

Shack on the tarp at the base of the trig. Got on 40m. The band was not that good, signals down with lots of static. Also some intermittent buzzing, think from a nearby power pole, luckily only about an S3.

Started with local Matt VK1MA, strong as usual. Then several of the usual chasers from VK1, VK2, VK3 and VK5. Most only S4 or so. Paul VK5PAS called me with a good S8 signal.

After 40m dried up switched to 20m. First contact Paul VK5PAS again, this time 59+! Very strong on 20m. Worked John ZL1BYZ and Jacky ZL1WA both good S9 signals. Ian VK5CZ a good S7, and local Andrew VK1AD S9.

Headed down at midday. Noticed a sign on the way down close to the top, 1.8 Km by the lookout track, and 2.5 Km by the old management road. So a 0.7 Km saving with the new track.

Track log confirmed the distances. 700 m shorter walk now. Dark blue the new walk, light blue the old road route.

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