16 September 2015

13. SOTA Party on 30 August Pt. 2: Mt. Palerang VK2/ST-009

Part 2: Mt. Palerang (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 close to Braidwood, Mt. Palerang about 18 Km from Braidwood and Mt. Cowangerong, the location of the Captains Flat BOM Weather Radar.

Mt. Palerang

I got to the car a little late, coming down from Mt. Gillamatong. It is not too far from Braidwood, about 18Km down Bombay road, which starts very close to Gillamatong road and then onto the Hoskinstown fire trail follwed by the Mulloon fire trail.

I obviously must have enjoyed the drive too much because I managed to drive straight past my intended starting point that was based on earlier activations by Ian VK1DI and Andrew VK1NAM. Anyhoo, I knew I was in the wrong spot, but I was also running out of time - My SOTA Alert for the next activation was 45 minutes away. I pulled up next to the fire trail and got ready to get up the hill.

I had to make it up the steepest part of Mt. Palerang within 45 minutes.

I didn’t make it in time. I turned around 3 times looking for a better track but no track was really much better. They all had rocks and logs covered by fern, skree and granite tors to get over or around.
I stopped on the summit, 25 minutes late, the climb took an hour and 10 minutes.

My GPS log shows that the average gradient during my walk was 25 percent, or 1 in 4. 1 meter climb for every 4 meters horizontal. Pretty steep in itself, but on a spree slope with rocks and logs covered by fern it got pretty interesting.

I set up in a clearing about 40 meters away from the Trig Point, there is not a lot of space on the summit. Once I had the antenna set-up, (the squid pole wedged between some rocks and the antenna tossed t over some bushes), I started calling CQ.

On my way down from Mt. Palerang, same track as I took coming up.

Special Permissions or Arrangements

No special arrangements are necessary. All access is via public roads and Mt. Palerang is on Commonwealth land.

Summit Information

Mt. Palerang’s summit is at 1234 meters above mean sea level and it is worth 8 SOTA activation points, plus a 3 point winter bonus. Its Maidenhead locator is QF44tn. There are a few trees on the summit blocking most of the horizon. There was no radio interference but the rocks de-tuned my low-hanging dipole such that I got pretty ordinary signal reports. In my rush I forgot to take a picture of my station.

Contacts Made

In the 15 minutes I managed to make 6 contacts. First with Mark VK1EM and Andrew VK1MWP on nearby South Black Range. Then I got Coll on a summit in Victoria and Gerard VK2IO on The Peaks, followed by Amanda VK3FQSO and Rex VK3OF from their QTH in Victoria.
I didn’t hang around, I was running out of time for my next activation on Mt. Cowangerong and I had a nice 45 minutes of sliding downhill to look forward to.

The contacts were:

Thank you very much to everyone who chased us on the day, and also to all the other SOTA Goats who were out there.

Useful Links

GPS GPX Track Log: To be added soon.
VK1NAM Blog: https://vk1nam.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/sota-activation-mt-palerang-14-december-2013/
VK1DI Blog:http://vk1di.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/sota-mt-palerang.html

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