16 September 2015

12. SOTA Party on 30 August Part 1: Mt. Gillamatong VK2/ST-034

Mt. Gillamatong(30 August 2015)

On 30 August a number of VK1, VK2 and VK3 SOTA Operators participated in a SOTA party.
Operators tried to activate at least one summit, or if they weren’t able to get out on the day, to chase those who were.

I decided to do 3 summits towards the east of Canberra, two of which would attract the 3-point winter bonus. I chose Mt. Gillamatong (VK2/ST-034) close to Braidwood, Mt. Palerang (VK2/ST-009) about 18 Km from Braidwood and Mt. Cowangerong (VK2/ST-001), the location of the Captains Flat BOM Weather Radar. If  I could activate these on the day, they would bag me 28 Points.

Mt. Gillamatong

The drive to Gillamatong took about 1 hour and 15 minutes from North Canberra and as you approach Braidwood you can easily make out Mt. Gillamatong. The 1Km walk starts at the end of Gillamatong lane and takes about 45 minutes to climb 174 meters to reach the summit at an average grade of 16%.

There is one pedestrian gate to go through and an old fence to step over on your way up.
The walk up is fairly straightforward without scrub bashing or other obstacles to get over and there are nice views over the Budawang range.

On my way up I ran into Jack, an 87-year young local who walks up Gillamatong every day to call back to Sydney with a weather report. Jack is an institution, Andrew VK1NAM told me to look out for him.

Jack, at 87 years old, going up and down Gillamatong every day.

I set up in a clearing about 30 meters from the Trig Point.

Special Permissions or Arrangements

No special arrangements are necessary.

Summit Information

Mt. Gillamatong’s summit is at 900 meters above mean sea level and it is worth 6 SOTA activation points. Its Maidenhead locator is QF44vn. There are a few trees around the summit (no horizon view) and a few other radio towers (but no appreciable interference on HF or VHF).

Trig Point on Mt. Gillamatong

Contacts Made

I gave myself about an 30 minutes on the summit to operate and managed to make 10 contacts, all on 40 meters SSB. Six of these operators were themselves on SOTA Summits. The other contacts were with chasers from VK3, VK4 and VK5. All up a nice mix of stations.

The contacts were:

Thank you very much to every chaser and also to all the other SOTA Goats who were out there!

Useful Links

GPS GPX Track Log: Dropbox Link.
VK1NAM Blog: https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/mt-gillamatong-mt-g/
VK1DI Blog: http://vk1di.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/sota-activation-mt-gillamatong.html

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