Once again I found myself providing transport for a family sporting event. This time it was a Churchill in the Latrobe Valley. This area has plenty of Summits to pick from so I knew I would be able to amuse myself in-between drives.
Peter vk3pf had provided some suggestions and after further discussion we joined together for some joint activations. For the Saturday the plan was Mt Tooronga Range vt-026, Hyde Hill vc-008 and Spion Kopje vt-040. The first activation had taken longer than expected but had netted me my first VK8 summit.
I had be forewarned by a local that the normal access to Hyde Hill could be closed due to logging operations, this meant we used the longer Mac Spur access to the summit, we did try our luck using the short way out, finding it open but I would not risk it on a week day. This extra time on the first two summits meant we were unlikly to make Spion Kopje, so Peter with his bottomless knowledge of SOTA summits suggested Hells Gate South vt-059 was worth a try, access to this is effected by seasonal road closures but Peter thought there may be a back way in. However luck was against us and we headed home with the just the two summits for the day.
The Sunday plan was flexible and in the morning we desided to do Mt Useful vt-016 and the un-named vt-034. Peter had already activated Mt Useful this year so he simply worked four S2S and few astute chasers who heard him on, whilst I taped away on the key.
This was the most hectic SOTA activation I have ever been on so did not even think about photos however I have put together a map show the trip taken. The track is an artist’s representation not a plot of Peter actual driving 🙂
Joint activations using SSB and CW are a challenge, time taken to collect the minimum four means the activation takes longer than a normal SSB one. Peter did bring some 1296MHz gear and very sportingly allowed me to get the activation on 40mx CW before he worked the SSB crowd. Equally two HF transmitters on the same hill does result in interference from time to time even when I was on 30mx and Peter was on 40mx.
vk3/ve-026, Contacts 7, S2S 2
vk3/vc-008, Contacts 4, S2S 1
vk3vt-016, Contacts 4, S2S 0
vk3/vt-034, Contacts 4, S2S 2
Chased Mobile, 4
In closing I will once again thank Peter for his support for the weekend and it is certainly one that will remain in my memory for some time.