Hartz Peak VK7/SW-008 1254 m 10 points
Hartz Mountains National Park VKFF-227
Monday 2 February 2015
The weather was forecast to improve on Monday, so I decided to attempt Hartz Peak. The only concern was the wind velocities forecast for lower down – the speed was sure to be higher up high.
I headed south from Hobart and on to Geeveston, then followed the signs for the Hartz Mountains National Park. Drive as far as you can, to the car park and information area and shelter at the end of Hartz Road. I loaded up the pack, registered my walk and headed up the hill…..
The approach is initially larger on duckboards, with sections of natural terrain. Once past Ladies Tarn, the walk steepens considerably. Three-point climbing technique is required for much of the climb. You are only part way up when you reach a flat section, with an option to divert to the tarn to the west of the saddle. Continue up and you will reach the scree slopes. Care is required throughout the climb. Once past Ladies Tarn, most of the climb was done in the clouds – it was damp.
There is a hollow summit “cairn” at the top, but not much room to string out the dipole. I set up in the saddle immediately below the summit. The wind was really blowing, so much so that the squid pole started splitting lengthwise from a point where I had noticed one small crack – the electrical tape was not enough! The antenna centre was only about 3 m above ground and the antenna itself was close to the rocks for the outer half of one side.
Rob VK3EK was first cab off the rank this time, followed by Fred VK3DAC. I heard a call from Compton VK2HRX, but he then disappeared. I worked 6 stations on 40 m, and then another 6 on 20 m. Given the strong winds and the damp conditions, I packed up and headed down.
When I was in the middle of the steep descent to Ladies Tarn, RRT announced an activation – Rod VK2TWR/p in the Snowy Mountains on 40 m. I descended as quickly as was safe, and then started to set up at Ladies Tarn. As I was setting up, RRT announced that Rod had gone to 20 m. I was pleasantly surprised when I worked Rod on VK2/SM-069. Not a S2S, but it was a good chase.
I continued down to the car, and then set up in the car park to work a few more stations from the National Park before heading back to Hobart.