Friday 30 September 2016
AFL Grand Final Eve Public Holiday
I departed the Latrobe Valley around 0930. I opted to take relatively “back roads” to Stratford, thus avoiding the sites of roadworks on the Princes Highway. The drive along the highway to Bairnsdale was uneventful apart from a higher vehicle density. I stopped for fuel and then a brief visit to chat with Rob VK3EK. Most of the drive from Orbost through to Bombala was wet, with wind and rain. I stopped for lunch at the Bakery in Cann River and then drove up the Monaro Highway. The further north I went, the patches of blue sky were getting bigger. I stopped on the outskirts of Bombala to check the BaseCamp mapping software on my laptop for a possible SOTA summit to attempt, as I was aware that there are several to the east of town. Cathcart Trig looked to be the easiest to reach, even if it was a slightly longer drive. The main attraction was most of the approach would be on main roads, whereas the other nearby summits required navigating through forestry roads.
Cathcart Trig VK2/SM-090 999 m 6 points
From the Mount Darragh Road, head south along Cathcart Trig Road. I parked the car just past junction with Granite Rd, near the start of an old 4WD/forestry track heading east. About 100-150 metres along the track, an old branch can be seen just as the track starts to drop off. The start of this branch track is becoming overgrown with regrowth but is easily followed on foot. Through some regrowth the track heads up into a saddle just below summit. Someone with a 4WD could drive up to the saddle if you were not concerned with scratching the paintwork.
It is an easy climb from the saddle to the old trig, following the remnants of the access track and dodging fallen trees.
I set up on 40 m with the squid tied to a sapling. First contact was Steve VK7CW followed by Rick VK4RF/VK4HA and then Amanda VK3FQSO, all on 40 m. I set up my coaxial dipole for 2 m to work Rod VK2TWR on 2 m SSB. Rod could not hear me on 40 m due to the propagation conditions, but we made it on VHF
Another new Unique and another Complete.
I packed up and headed back to the car, and then drove to Rod VK2TWR’s home in Nimmitabel, where I would be based for the weekend.