Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Shack Sloth Award

A package arrived in the post today, containing a box marked "Ice Block"

Inside was my SOTA "Shack Sloth" award for 1000 chaser points. Looks good! Thanks to the activators I worked getting this, and thanks to the SOTA MT for running this fun Amateur awards program.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

SOTA Activation Billy Range 1332m

The forecast for Saturday looked okay, cloudy and 15c, so decided to try activating Billy Range, VK1/AC-028, which has not been activated before.

Drove down the Boboyan Rd into Namadgi NP. Just past the Glendale picnic area is the road to Glendale Works Depot.

A short drive and you come to a locked gate, with an area for parking on the right and the Brandy Flat walking track on the left

The walking track continues for 1.5 Km before joining the Brandy Flat Fire Trail. This took me about 20 minutes. Easy walking.

The road crosses a creek and continues up Billy Range for about 800 m. Took about 10 minutes.

At the top the road swings south towards Brandy Flat hut. Here I headed North following the ridge to Billy Range SOTA peak, about 2 Km away.

Initially quite pleasant walking though grasslands filled with Kangaroos. It then got steeper and scrubby, with lots of wattle saplings to push through. Stopped about half way up for a break. Booths Hill, VK1/AC-016 in the background at 1583m. Another unactivated peak, looks hard...

Battled my way up the ridge to the top. Seemingly endless saplings to squeeze through, catching the squid pole up. After almost 2 hours reached the top at 11:15 am Was relieved to find a relatively open area of rocks with space for a 40 m dipole.

Lashed the squid pole to a log and set up the shack at the base on the rocks.

1st contact was a S2S with Allen VK3HRA and Glenn VK3YY on Mt Matlock. Then got mobbed by the chasers...After a while got called by Andrew VK1NAM, Al VK1RX on Sentry Box Mountain, having done a 13 Km walk to get there. Good work guys! Also managed to work Andrew on the 2 m HT. Some more S2S contacts with VK3FMDV on Mt Macedon and VK3MCD on Mt Hotham. 35 contacts overall.

Some more shots on the summit. Looking back where I came up to the west. Note the wattle...

A bit of sunshine later as I was about to leave...looking South.

A view through the trees on the way down. Looking West to the Brindabellas.

Track log of the walk. Note on the way down I managed to stray off the ridge. Took me back a bit different way. Scrub was no better...Took about an hour and a half going down to get to the fire trail.

Friday, 5 July 2013

SOTA S2S and Activator Awards

Recently received 2 SOTA awards. The first one qualified on the 9th June, 250 points for "Summit to Summit" (S2S) contacts, for contacting other SOTA Activators on summits while on a summit.

The other award was for 100 Activator points on the 15th June.

I've applied for the coveted "Shack Sloth" 1000 chaser points award, probably take some time to reach Australia.