I managed to get a leave pass for Friday morning, so headed to a summit that had not previously been activated in NSW. The goal was to make some S2S contacts with those who had posted Alerts.
NSW 6884 VK2/RI-006 885 m 6 points Not previously activated
The approach looked easy: cross the Murray River at Jingellic, north and then east along Jingellic Road, then left off the bitumen into Munderoo West Road. I then went north to Cararoo Road, which on the 1:25000 digital map looked to be a higher class road than the other possible approaches to the summit. Cararoo Road rapidly deteriorated, become rougher and with growth of weed shrub species encroaching over the track edges. It was passable, but relatively slow. I finally got to Munderoo Trig Road and turned left into it to drive to the summit. The trig has a fire watch tower, a storage shed and portable toilet. Once again it was time to load up with the pack and walk out of the AZ and to climb back to the summit.
I set up using the sign that indicated that the public should not attempt to access the fire tower. Its position meant that I was in the shadow of the tower for most of the operation.
First in the log was Andrew VK1NAM/p on VK1/AC-043 for a S2S at 2330Z. I tried listening for Dave VK4OZY on 40 m, and then double checked the spots after hearing nothing – Dave had moved to 20 m. Contact was made a few minutes later, after changing the antenna links. Dave was on Mt Mary Smokes VK4/SE-041. I then reconfigured the antenna for 40 m to work the crowd before UTC rollover, with a break of a few minutes to explain what I was doing to the firewatcher when she arrived. I tried 12 m for a few minutes immediately prior to rollover, with no responses heard.
Back on 40 m, action was fast and furious. I worked S2S contacts with Ian VK1DI/2 on Mogood trig VK2/SC-049 and Glenn VK3YY/p, Kevin VK3KAB/p and Trevor VK3ATB/p, all on Mt Tamboritha VK3/VT-011. I again tried 12 m, 30 m and 20 m. Some reward finally came after about 20 minutes of fruitless calling – Mike VK6MB on 20 m.
Whilst packing up, I had discussions about access route with the firewatcher, who was up the tower. Following her suggestions, I headed south from the summit. The preferred route for an approach from the south appears to be via Blue Hills Road – in very good condition and easy access for a 2WD vehicle.
So it was back towards Walwa. En route, I stopped and managed to work Compton VK2HRX/3 on Davies Plain VK3/VE-010 whilst en route. Back in Walwa for lunch and then family activities in the afternoon, but I did manage to chase Ian VK1DI/2 on VK2/SC-050, Kevin VK3KAB/p on VK3/VT-002 and VK2YK/3 on VK3/VC-002.