Snowy Mountains Trip Aug 2015

The trip started out as a weekend of skiing for a friend’s birthday. What it turned into was a 13 day trip with 20 SOTA summit activations and 7 National Park activations. Here’s a potted picture-centric summary with future detailed reports still to come.

Path travelled on the trip to reach all the summits and parks - total distance 2718km

Path travelled on the trip to reach all the summits and parks – total distance 2718km

Fri 21 Aug
Left home and 3 hours later activated Livingstone Hill VK2/SM-093 on the way to Jindabyne. 31 contacts.

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Sat 22 Aug
Skied at Perisher in very windy conditions with chairlifts on hold until lunchtime. In the late afternoon access to Mt Perisher was possible so activated Mt Perisher VK2/SM-007 Kosciuszko NP VKFF-269. Only 5 contacts. See full details here:

Sun 23 Aug
Skied all day at Perisher including First Tracks at 7am. Light winds so would have been better for activating than Saturday. Moved to campsite in Jindabyne.

Mon 24 Aug
Rain started at 2:30am and didn’t stop for days. Summit activations not possible so activated Kosciuszko National Park VKFF-269 from Creel Bay on the shores of Lake Jindabyne. 34 contacts.

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Tue 25 Aug
Still raining so drove to Cooma, wrote the blog for Saturday’s activation and caught a movie.

Wed 26 Aug
Rain eased, I packed up the tent and met Rod VK2TWR. We activated VK2/SM-053 then Jillamatong Hill VK2/SM-064 then Box Ridge VK2/SM-065. Drove out to Wattle Hill VK2/SM-063 as well but it was too wet to activate. Returned to Rod’s place in Nimmitabel to warm up with a hot meal. 10+11+17 contacts.

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Thu 27 Aug
Mostly clear weather. Drove with Rod via Cooma to Big Badja Hill VK2/SM-059 Deua NP VKFF-138 then Bald Mountain VK2/SM-052 Gourock NP VKFF-212. On the way back called in at The Peak VK2/SM-068 but it was getting too dark and wet to activate. 14+14 contacts.

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Fri 28 Aug
Poured with rain so we took the day off for some R&R and planning more activations.

Sat 29 Aug
Sunny when Rod and I left and also at Mt Delegate VK3/VG-034 – my first VK3 summit. Snowing/raining for Goonmirk Rocks VK3/VG-048 Errinundra NP VKFF-158 and last section of road was closed for winter meaning 3 km round trip. Tried to get to Monkeytop VK3/VG-041 but road was closed at the Big Tree so decided to do others rather than walk 7km in the rain. Activated Mt Koolabbra VK3/VG-061 in the rain then VK3/VG-038. Moved on to Cottonwood Range VK3/VG-057 but a long route meant we had to cut a lot of fallen trees across the road and the delay meant activating in the dark. 7+12+13+8+6 contacts – a very productive day even though 3 planned 8 point summits weren’t accessible.

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Sun 30 Aug
SOTA QSO Party day so I went to The Peak VK2/SM-068, set up the fly on the summit and activated all day until it got dark. Only a few short showers but it was windy all day. NVIS on 40m was poor mostly. Made some 20m contacts into EU including S2S with Mike 2E0YYY on Gun G/SP-013 – his only VK. Very happy with 41 S2S in a total of 83 contacts.

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Mon 31 Aug
Nice sunny day. Rod and I went to Wattle Hill VK2/SM-063 then visited Eucumbene Dam for lunch. Afterwards it was Mt Cobrabald VK2/SM-051 then Trig TS3825 VK2/SM-057 leaving just on dusk. All of these are on private property. 10+9+5 contacts.

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Tue 1 Sep
Rod hosed down my muddy car and then I was on my way to the ACT. Stopped in at Boboyan Range VK1/AC-044 Namadji NP VKFF-377 and made 32 contacts. Then headed for Tuggeranong Hill VK1/AC-038 but a flat tyre left no time for an activation. Drove into the city to the Ainslie Football Club for dinner with the VK1 SOTA guys – a very pleasant evening!

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Wed 2 Sep
Stopped by the tyre dealer for some new rubber. Very nice weather and headed to Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001 keeping clear of the weather radar tower. After the activation blew one of the new tyres leaving the site – Grrrrr! Headed to South Black Range VK2/ST-006 Tallaganda NP VKFF-474 but wrong GPS guidance delayed arrival. Short activation and then to Mt Palerang VK2/ST-009 arriving 45 mins before dark. Did a very short activation and then walked down in the dark. Refreshed, refilled and then drove home via Braidwood. 19+8+4 contacts.

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  • 20 SOTA summits activated – 12 jointly activated with Rod VK2TWR – all qualified
  • 318 SOTA contacts, 198 activator points inc. 48 winter bonus points
  • 56 summit-to-summit contacts
  • 7 VKFF park activations – 6 on SOTA summits
  • 119 VKFF contacts
  • 2718 km travelled

Many thanks to the chasers and hunters who made contact.
Big thanks to Rod VK2TWR and XYL Judy for their hospitality.

5000 Chaser Points

In a contact with Andrew VK1DA on Mt Delegate, my chaser score ticked past the 5000 point mark. It took 240 days or just under 8 months to accumulate the points. I’ve now received the wallpaper from the SOTA Awards Manager marking me as half a super-sloth. Thanks Andrew and all the activators for making those contacts possible!

After reaching this award level, I looked at my chaser points and realised there was a ratio of 100:1 between chaser and activator points. A bit shocked by that; I really need to put the effort into doing more activations!

Anyway, 9 days later in a contact with Ian VK1DI on Mt Gillamatong, I clocked up 1000 SOTA contacts. There are no official awards based on contact counts, but this milestone seemed noteworthy as well.

Looking forward to the next 5000 chaser points…