Inaugural Summits and Parks event Wagga Wagga October 2015: The event weekend

Summits and Parks event

I arrived at the Wagga ARC clubroom around 1145 and quickly joined in the discussions. At around 1200, John VK3YW started collecting registration fees. A short while later, the food was available for lunch: BBQ sausages, burgers and onion, salad and bread.

The event formally kicked off with a Welcome from John VK2YW.

Warren VK3BYD discussed CW Activations

I spoke about Portable antenna options, including some relatively simple options for some gain on HF.

John VK2YW talked about Logging Software – Log4OM.

Allen VK3HRA talked about some of the newer features and tools available on the ParksnPeaks site and on MacLoggerDX logging software.

Paul VK5PAS discussed Portable DX for WWFF & SOTA.

Bernard VK2IB was unable to attend, but supplied a document about Propagation, which will be available on the ParksnPeaks site in due course.

There was some interest in Mapping Tools, so I gave a second presentation, including a live demonstration of the Flooding technique using Google Earth. Mind you, we had some issues with the later, but everyone got the idea.

There had been some Show and Tell going on during the day, including the mid-afternoon break. We broke up late in the afternoon to get ready to gather for Dinner at the William Farrer Hotel.

The food was good, but the venue was loud, resulting in discussion being restricted to small sub-groups.

Sunday 25 October 2015

The group gathered back at the Wagga ARC clubrooms at 0830 local. We discussed plans for the day. The result was three summits would be activated, with a larger group going to Mt Flakney. Paul VK5PAS had already set off and was operating from Livingstone National Park.

Four cars headed off to Mt Flakney, with the visitors following John VK2YW. The route was simple: head out to the main road, head east to the edge of Forest Hill, turn south on Elizabeth Avenue to Gregadoo East Road, south east for a short while to Big Springs Road, then south to Flakney Road. The trip down Elizabeth Avenue was steady, with a cycling event being held on the road.

Mount Flakney VK2/RI-025 536 m 2 points

We quietly drove up Flakney Road, which is mostly unsealed, but with the steeper sections sealed. There were cattle grids, pot holes and gates to negotiate. John had spoken to the landowner midweek to obtain permission to access the site.

We pulled up under some shady trees south of the trig point, well inside the activation zone. I set up my station, but a grabbed a large vehicle battery for the operations, so that I could save the lighter batteries for later in the day.

Warren VK3BYD, John VK2YW, Yern VK2KJJ and I used my gear. Ian VK5CZ headed about 150 m south and set up in the shade and started operating mainly on CW.

First in my log was Paul VK5PAS/2 in Livingstone National Park VKFF-0292. I worked six stations, then handed the microphone to the others to qualify the summit for themselves.

John VK2YW on mT Flakney with Warren & Yern watching

John VK2YW on Mt Flakney with Warren & Yern watching on.

We also worked Marcus VK3TST/2 and David VK4DD/2 on Wheel of Fortune VK2/RI-031 for S2S contacts.

Warren VK3BYD on Mt Flakney

Warren VK3BYD on Mt Flakney.

It all started again after 1100 local, working Chasers wishing to gain the summit points after UTC rollover.

We waited for Allen VK3HRA/2 to come up on air on The Rock VK2/RI-026 and then waited again for the VK1 team to come up on air for the first activation of Mount Gudgenby VK1/AC-009. It was more than 30 minutes after they were spotted on 2 m that they finally appeared on 40 m. We quickly worked them, then started packing up and headed back down the hill.

29 contacts were made, 8 S2S uniques and a new Complete for me, having chased the summit three times previously.

John, Yern and Ian all headed back towards Wagga. Warren and I headed southeast along Gregadoo East Road and then south on to the Hume Highway. Warren then headed for home and continued south to Burngoogee Fire Road.

Mount Burngoogee VK2/RI-016 701 m 4 points

I made my way up Burngoogee Fire Road and then Tower Road to the locked gate about 1.7 km short of the summit. The walk in took me about 35 minutes – the afternoon had become quite warm!

I set up at the trig point, simply using a walking pole to suspend the dipole out from the trig. It was not very high, but I was planning a quick activation.

First in the log was Ray VK3YAR/p on VK3/VC-018.

12 stations were worked, one unique S2S contact with a repeat with Phil VK3BHR/p, and a new Complete for me, having chased the summit several times previously.

I headed back to the car, and then retraced my route back to Tumbarumba Road, then south to Carabost Coppabella Road. About 3.3 km down the road, I turned right into the access track into the Carabost State Forest, with a large sign indicating a plantation company was controlling area. I did not see any “no entry” signs.

I drove back north to then travel up Branch Creek Road to the junction with Carabost Creek Road. The desired road was to climb up the hill on Branch Creek Road, but it was steep with a very obvious large spoon drain across the road about three quarters of the way up the hill. Driving the Impreza and having low-ish ground clearance, I decided to continue along Carabost Creek Road and on to Western Fire Road. I then headed north to Vyners Creek Road and parked the car near the road junction.

Unnamed summit VK2/RI-051 748 m 4 points Not previously activated

I walked up Western Fire Road about 1.1 km to a prominent bend in the road which was well inside the activation zone. I strung up the dipole at around 3 m off the ground.

I turned on the radio to hear some summit activity – Monica VK6FMON/3 was on Mt Buningyong VK3/VC-018. I tried to call in for a S2S and Heath VK3TWO/p came back to me. I then worked Phil VK3BHR/p and Ray VK3YAR/p on Mt Warrenheip VK3/VC-019 for S2S number 2. Unfortunately, my GPS had an incorrect summit code for the waypoint, so I gave out an invalid summit code VK2/RI-012.

I moved up the band a little and John VK2YW was next in the log. He had trouble logging the contact due to the summit code error. John pointed out my error and all was good for subsequent contacts.

I worked 10 contacts before the callers ran out.

I packed up, headed back to the car and retraced my route back to the bitumen, then headed north to Little Billabong Road and then west onto the Hume Highway to travel back to Wodonga for the night.

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