Saturday 1 October
We were up reasonably early and headed towards Cooma, then took The Peak Road. Rod knows the landowners here.
The Peak VK2/SM-068 1230 m 8 points plus winter bonus
The wind was strong at the summit. We set up at the trig point. Rod was first on air, using a handheld 70 cm Yagi around 1.5 m long. I set up my lightweight 2 m Yagi, with the squid pole mast strapped to the trig. My first contact was into to Canberra on 2 m SSB, working Rob VK1KW and Matt VK1MT, followed by Graeme VK2FPQ, and Steve 2ZT near Newcastle. Rod also worked Gordon VK3EJ at Cobram. After checking what was happening with the group based at Adaminiby, we packed up and headed back to Nimmitabel for some coax adapters, and the new UTC day was still approaching. We then drove to Cooma for fuel. As we were leaving the service station, we saw Ken VK3KIM drive past. We headed out on Numerella Rd to Numerella, then north on Peak View Road. Rod’s “map memory” was poor and we missed a key corner. We finally found Anembo Rd and climb up into the real hills. Unfortunately we missed the Tumanang Trail junction. Rod did not have appropriate maps on board and I had left my laptop at Rod’s house. Rod knew something was “off”. We stopped and checked our position and found that we were about halfway between our intended target Tumanang VK2/SM-049 and Bald Mountain VK2/SM-052. With no maps on board, we continued along Slap Up Firetrail, arriving at Bald Mountain.
Bald Mountain VK2/SM-052 1469 m 8 points plus bonus VKFF-0212
On arrival, I saw Phil VK3BHR/2 operating 40 m SSB from the edge of the road with his home brew transceiver. Ron VK3AFW/2 was set up at the locked gate and operating 40 m CW. Ken VK3KIM/2 was working the team on Big Badja on 2m FM, with his daughter Chantelle watching proceedings. After the usual greetings, I had a quick look around and noted that Ron was just completing a S2S contact with Warren VK3BYD/2 on Big Badja on 40 m CW. I asked Ron if I could use his gear to work Warren and was promptly shown his homebrewed paddle. A quick S2S contact with Warren was completed. We then fired up the 23 cm FM radio to work S2S with Compton VK2HRX/p, Allen VK3ARH/2 and VK3HRA/2, which qualified the summit for me without having to set up any gear, simply fill in the log. Another new Unique and another Complete.
Everyone had qualified the summit, so we all packed up and head to the start of Badja Firetrail, where we waited to meet group coming back from Big Badja. We all stopped for a brief chat and some quick group photos and to discuss plans. Rod and I decide to look at the track to Dampier, with the next target to be Mt Cowangerong. The rest of the group from Bald Mountain headed to Big Badja, whilst the Big Badja group travelled to Bald Mountain.
Dampier VK2/ST-007 1244 m 8 points plus bonus VKFF-0138
From Cooma Road, head east on Curranbene Creek Road. At about 600 m in, you reach Curranbene Creek, with a ford to cross. We looked at the apparent depth and decided it was safe to cross. Depth was about 40-50 cm, with some steam coming off the exhaust system as we progressed. We headed along to Minuma Range Firetrail and on to the summit, where several 4WD vehicles were taking a break and enjoying the scenery.
I quickly set up on 40 m using the trig to hold the squid pole. First in the log was Allen VK3ARH/2 on Bald Mountain using the 2 m handheld. I then worked Compton (Bald Mtn), Ken and Ron (both on Big Badja) on 23 cm with Rod holding and pointing my 10-element 23 cm Yagi. The final S2S contacts were Warren on Bald Mtn. 40 m CW and Phil on Big Badja on 2 m FM. After ensuring that everyone had worked the other two summits and had the summit qualified, we all packed up and headed to the next target. Another new Unique and another Complete.
We drove out to Cooma Rd then north to Captains Flat Road, then west to Cowangerong Firetrail and up to Mt Cowangerong.
Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001 1364 m 8 points plus bonus
I quickly set up on 40 m with little heard, even on CW. I heard VK7CW work Warren VK3BYD/2, who was very weak at our location. I set up the 2 m Yagi and worked the others on Dampier S2S via 2 m FM. Next in the log was Allen VK3ARH/2 on Middle Mountain followed by Warren VK3BYD/2 on 2 m CW on Dampier.
Again we packed up and headed back to Captains Flat Road. As we were descending the Firetrail, we punctured a tyre. After changing wheels, we realised that were running late, so we headed back to Nimmitabel via Queanbeyan.