It’s been a very busy time before and after the Christmas/New Year period. I started a new job early in mid December and I’ve had little time to activate SOTA summits or National Parks and even less time to blog about it.
On Saturday 7 December 2013 I headed to the Alpine National Park with two goals in mind. First was to join in with a multi-summit VK to Europe Summit to Summit effort, as listed on the Sotawatch reflector. My second goal was to activate the Alpine National Park QRP on five new HF bands as part of the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award. The Alpine National Park was the first park I activated for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award in December 2008 making three QSOs on 20 metres using my FTDX100 from the back of a station wagon with a 120 Ah lead acid battery to power it.
I had chosen SOTA summit Mt Tamboritha, VK3/VT-011, for my activation. Leaving home just after 7:00 am I stopped at Warragul to buy some food for the weekend and in Moe to buy a something to cook it in. I passed through Licola just before 10:00 am and arrived at the base of Mt Tamboritha at around 11:30 am. I parked the car on the side of Dingo Hill Track at GPS -37.462183, 146.69881.
The walk from here to the summit is along the McMillan’s Walking Track and took about 1 hour, rising 140 metres steadily over 2.7 km. My progress was slow as it was a warm day and I was carrying a full pack with radio, antenna and camping gear.
Arriving at the summit cairn I took a couple of photos, logged the nearby geocache and then walked down a little from the summit to find a suitable place to camp.
I got on air at 13:20 local time working VK stations on 40, 12 and 10 metres including summit to summit with Nick VK3ANL at Mt Ginini VK1/AC-008.
At about 3 pm I took a break to set up my tent. I relocated the antenna a little as I didn’t like the look of a tree leaning over my initial camp spot. I felt much safer camping in the clear.
I got back on air about 5 pm working Allen VK3HRA at Mt Buller VK3/VE-008 on 40 and 15 metres. Later in the afternoon on 20 metres I worked stations in Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, Finland and England and a third Summit to Summit QSO with Col VK5HCF at Mt Burr VK5/SE-019.
After dark I managed three QSOs on 80 metres before going to sleep. I was quite tired and thirsty as I had underestimated my water needs.
In the morning after taking some sunrise pictures and before I packed camp, I listened for SSTV on 20 metres and received an image from WB9KMW. My tablet and phone batteries were exhausted soon after and I left the summit about 7:15 am.
I have a blog post about that part of the trip here.