Sunday, 18 May 2014

SOTA Activation Devils Peak

Andrew VK1NAM asked if anyone would like to do a combined activation of Devils Peak, VK2/ST-003. As I haven't activated this summit yet asked to come along.

Met Andrew off the Brindabella Road and we continued in my car. Turned off onto Blue Range Road, and with some help from Andrew navigated down this to the start of the walk. Road was unsealed but would be okay for a 2WD with care. Parked in an open area near power lines.

Headed into the bush just over the road to the left in the above photo. We initially found it easy going, scrub not bad, however heading to a saddle with a small hill at the base of Devils Peak, struck very bad scrub...

Lots of impenetrable tea tree scrub, boggy marshes and branches and logs made it slow going. You can see from the track log later we detoured quite a lot trying to bypass really thick was pretty bad! Eventually got onto the ridge heading up, thinned out a bit as we got higher.

When we reach the top found still very heavily treed, with few clearings for dipoles. Andrew and I set up our squid poles quite close together in one clearing and made the most of it.

My squid pole the closest with Andrews in the background. Given we had very close antennas couldn't both run HF bands without interference, so Andrew went to 2 m, I started on 12 m using my new 12/30 m linked dipole.

Andrew worked Matt VK1MA on 2m and then I worked him on 12 m, with a very strong signal. Then I went to 40 m. Just missed a couple of S2S stations, but usual chasers were there. Andrew managed to scrape together 4 contacts on 2 m, but hard going. He had a go on 20 m and 40m where he got a S2S with Mark, VK3ASC on VK3/VG-033, so we at least got one S2S contact in the log. I tried spotting and calling on 30 m but no luck, even though I could hear strong stations chatting away on the band.

Operating position on the other side of the log.

My new 4200 MaH LifePO4 battery went well, hardly made a dent in it, still reading over 13.1 v at the end.
Worked 20 contacts all up. Note this peak was in Brindabella National Park, so counted for the VKFF/WWFF awards, VKFF-054.

After the horrendous scrub on the way up we chose a different way down, heading NNE to pick up a ridge heading down. The scrub was thick in places but nowhere near as bad. Once reaching the flat area at the bottom of the peak it was like a walk in the park, hardly any scrub...I would recommend doing this peak this way instead of the horrible scrubby route we took up.

Track log of walk.

1 comment:

  1. G'day Ian,

    Well done to you and Andrew on the activation. And thanks also for the log for WWFF. Sounds like it was a bit of an adventure getting up there !

    Best wishes,