Saturday 9 November 2019
The annual Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award activity weekend was in full swing. I have tried to participate in the activity weekend each year. As I was spending a few days based in Wodonga, one of the NE Victorian Parks was a logical choice.
I headed off from Wodonga just after 0800 EADT to head east via the Tallangatta Bakery and on to Shelley and towards Corryong. I then took Jeffcott and Jewells Road to access the target Park.
Burrowa Pine Mountain National Park VKFF-0069
Black Mountain VK3/VE-093 1202 m 8 points
Part way up Black Mountain Track, I was stopped by a small tree across the road. Out came the battery chainsaw and the trunk (about 25 cm diameter) was done in a single cut. Once I had the debris off the road, I resumed the trip. There were a few other trees and branches down but all could be negotiated with careful pointing of the vehicle. Some larger trees had been cut by others, making gaps large enough to drive through. As I was climbing the Track, the low fuel warning signal appeared – in my rush to get away, I had neglected to stop for diesel. I continued up to the start of the walking track in Hinces Saddle to park and then set up the station. The final climb is signposted as “4WD Only”.
I was set up just before 2300 UTC. I was about to spot when I saw spots for a couple of ZL stations. I soon had Geoff ZL3GA on ZL3/CB-806 in the log on 20 m CW. I tried several times to call Ian ZL3GIG on ZL3/CB-760 several times on 20 m SSB, but I was below his high local noise level. I quickly worked David VK5PL on 20 m SSB. I pulled out and set up the IC-7300 set to 40 W and connected it up to the 18 Ah battery and the antenna and then waited for Ian’s signal to reach a QSB peak. I soon had Ian in the log.
I then returned to using the KX2 at 10 W, moving to a clear spot on 20 m SSB, working VK4MWB, ZL2IFB, VK5IS/p and VK4TJ.
I then moved to 40 m CW, working John VK4TJ and his extra calls plus Andrew VK1DA/p on Black Mountain VK1/AC-042 for a S2S and P2P, and a Black Mountain to Black Mountain!
I then moved up to 40 m SSB, working VK5PL, VK2IO and VK4NH and his extra calls. Then the ‘phone went ping and I soon moved to 80 m CW to make contact with Warren VK3BYD only a minute or 2 before UTC rollover. I had 18 contacts in the log at this stage.
I worked Warren again on 80 m CW just after UTC rollover, followed almost immediately by Bill VK1MCW. I called for several minutes on 80 m CW with no further repsonses. I moved up to 40 m SSB and worked a dozen stations, including another contact with Andrew VK1DA/p for another S2s, P2P, Black Mountain to Black Mountain. Amongst the contacts were P2P with Brett VK3FLCS/p, Gerard VK2IO/p and Paul VK5PAS/3 and Marija VK5FMAZ/3.
20 m CW yielded contacts with ZL1TM and ZL1BYZ.
I moved to 40 m CW to gain another four contacts. I then moved to 40 m SSB to work another eight stations. I had 46 logs in the log, so had qualified the Park for WWFF. I packed up and started the drive back down the mountain.
I headed back down to the Murray Valley Highway and then east to Corryong for fuel, finding only a single service station open and diesel at 164 c/L! I put 40 litres in the tank, which was more than enough for the rest of the day. I would fill the tank when back in Wodonga.
I drove to Towong and then swung onto Murray River Road to travel toward Tintaldra, turning south onto Ranch Road.
Mount Mitta Mitta VK3/VE-138 988 m 6 points
Mount Mittamatite Flora Reserve VKFF-2400
I drove to the top of the hill and found a spot to set up within the summit AZ.
Activators for the SOTA summit should note that the true summit lies inside an AirServices Australia compound, one of two such compounds at the top of the hill. Both compounds are excluded from the Reserve. There is plenty of space within the AZ and inside the Reserve.
I set up with the ZS6BKW and was soon chasing on 40 m SSB. The first five contacts were Park to Park: Marija VK5FMAZ/3 in VKFF-2324, David VK5DG/3 in VKFF-0287, Alan VK2MG/4 on 10 m SSB in VKFF-1493, Peter VK3ZPF on 80 m in VKFF-0626 and Gerard VK2IO/p on 40 m CW in VKFF-0092.
Gerard had called after I had spotted myself. I worked two more on 40 m CW, followed by two on 20 m CW, one being Gerard VK2IO/p.
I returned to 40 m SSB to work Paul VK5PAS/3 in VKFF-2324 and then worked another five stations. With 15 in the log, the Park was qualified for VKFF. I had no responses to further calls, so closed down and packed up.
I headed back down the hill, entering the next Park.
Mount Mitta Mitta (Mittamatite) Regional Park VKFF-0974
Mount Mitta Mitta (Mittamatite) Regional Park surrounds the Flora Reserve.
I found an open area to set up the station and again erected the ZS6BKW.
My first contact was Gerard VK2IO/p in VKFF-0092. I worked two more stations before being called by Marija VK5FMAZ/3 and Paul VK5PAS/3, both mobile. I worked six more stations before being called by Alan VK2MG/4 in VKFF-1493. I worked another five stations on 40 m SSB before moving to 80 m SSB to work Geoff VK3SQ.
I then returned to 40 m SSB to work Paul VK5PAS/3 and Marija VK5FMAZ/3 in VKFF-0373. I then closed the station, packed up and started the trip back to Wodonga.