Today I activated SOTA summit Gentle Annie VK3/VT-078.
This summit is 40 km from home as the crows fly but about 55 km drive. My intention was to drive up near the summit and then walk the last 200 metres from outside the activation zone to the top of the hill.
This plan changed dramatically when I started driving up Gentle Annie Track. The track was just too steep for my wife’s car to make it, so I turned the car around and parked it at the bottom, near the intersection of Bunyip Rd, Gentle Annie Track, Forest Rd and Proposch Rd.
From here Gentle Annie Track rises up 200 m from 470 m to 670 m in a distance of 1.3 km. The walk up was strenuous with a pack of around 10 kg on my back. It took me about 25 minutes to get to the summit. After catching my breath I decided the trig point would be the best support for the 7 m squid pole and I set my linked dipole antenna up, ready for working on 15 metres.
I made one QSO on 15 metres just before 9:30 am, with Peter VK3PF who was about 65 km away in the Latrobe Valley. After calling on 15 metres with no further success I moved to 20 metres and got no contacts.
Moving on to 40 metres brought many contacts from the usual chasers and activators.
|Squid pole fastened to trig point|
By the time I left the summit at about 11:30 am I had 18 QSOs in the logger including 11 summit to summit contacts.
The summit has little view but the track up and a second track down are very popular with motor bike riders and four wheel drive vehicles. During the two hours I was on the hill about 15 motorcycles and 8 four wheel drives went past. Some of the motorbikes went passed multiple times.
When there are no vehicles on the hill it is a very quiet place to operate from.