An October 2016 long weekend in the Snowy Mountains – 3

Sunday 2 October

Sunday morning was a little slow to start, given the change to Daylight Savings Time plus Rod organised the loan of a spare tyre, given the previous day’s puncture. We travelled south to Bombala to buy lunch at the bakery. We had a wait whilst the sandwiches were made and we forgot to pick up the drinks that we had purchased from the counter. We did not remember until much later in the day.

We travelled down to Delegate and then to Mt Delegate.

Mt Delegate VK3/VG-034 1308 8 points plus bonus

I set up on 40 m, with propagation again poor. After spotting myself and calling several times, I managed a S2S with Compton VK2HRX/p on VK2/SM-033, with 41 reports both ways. Then conditions deteriorated further. I set up the 2 m Yagi for SSB and worked Rob VK1KW, Ian VK1BG and then Matt VK1MA with the Yagi vertically polarised to match Matt’s vertical antenna. We packed up and headed down to Bendoc.

We then took the Bendoc – Orbost Road to Gunmark Road, which we followed into Errinundra National Park.

Goonmirk Rocks VK3/VG-048 1208 m 8 points plus bonus

Follow Gunmark Road to the junction with Coast Range Road and the seasonally closed gate. We parked, had some lunch and headed up Goonmirk Rocks Road to the track leading the final few vertical metres to the summit. We activated at the track junction.


The start of Goonmirk Rocks Road

We had poor phone coverage at Goonmirk Rocks and 40 m propagation was still poor. Without a spot, I started calling on 7.090 for several minutes with no replies. Rod had wandered further along the road and found some coverage and called Ralph VK3WRE in Traralgon, asking him to listen on 2 m SSB. When Rod got back to me, I set up the 2 m Yagi and quickly heard the VK3RGI 2 m beacon at good strength. Repeated calls yielded no replies. After returning home, Ralph reported that I was audible to him, but we heard nothing of Ralph on the summit – it must have been the conditions and the height difference between Traralgon and the VK3RGI beacon at Carrajung. I eventually worked some stations on 40 m SSB, with a contact with Rod well down the road and outside the AZ on 2 m to qualify the summit.

Ten minutes walking saw us back at the car for the rest of lunch. We drove back out to Bendoc – Orbost Rd, south and then north to Bonang, then north to Delegate River. At East, we turned into Delegate River Road, then south on Mead Road and then into Cottonwood Range Road and then on to Cottonwood Range.

Cottonwood Range VK3/VG-057 1145 m 6 points

The summit of Cottonwood Range is covered in bush, with a road junction only a couple of metres below the actual summit. We used the road sign post to support the squid pole. I set up on 40 m. We had no phone coverage. I started calling on 7.090 with Paul VK5PAS coming straight back – conditions were finally a little better. Several others followed fairly quickly: Steve VK7CW, Warren ZL2AJ, Neil VK4HNS/p and Rick VK4RF/VK4HA. I forget to go to 20 m as I had intended. I ended up with six in the log, for a new Complete and Unique. We packed and head down Cottonwood Rd to the east, arriving at Old Bendoc Bonang Road, turning north to Bendoc. It was simply a case of travelling to Delegate and back to Nimmitabel.

About half way down from the summit, I received a text message from Allen VK3ARH saying can we try 2 m SSB? But we were a couple of kilometres down the track, so I replied advising that we were off the summit, with no coverage on the summit and heading back to Nimmitabel.

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