VK1/AC-002 1855 metres ASL, Bimberi Wilderness, Namadgi National Park
Mt Gingera is located in the remote Bimberi Wilderness area of Namadgi National on the ACT/NSW border. The summit is 7 km south of Mt Ginini and is accessible on foot via the locked gate at Mt Ginini car park. The management track is an extension of Mt Franklin Road used by Environment ACT and emergency services. Private vehicles and motor cycles are not permitted in the wilderness area. Camping is allowed on a permit basis issued by Namadgi National Parks management. The ACT Rangers patrol this area often and will always stop for a chat.
Prior to the implementation of SOTA I had climbed Mt Gingera on 4 separate occasions, I was confident in planning the activation and timings. I received interest from VK1RX Al in joining me for a dual activation. The activation plan included operations on 40m 7.090 MHz, 2m 144.200 MHz USB and 146.500 MHz FM simplex starting at 10:00 local (2300) UTC. On return to Mt Ginini we would activate the summit VK1/AC-008 on 2m and 40m around 14:15 local (0315) UTC.
The drive to Mt Ginini is via Uriarra Crossing, Brindabella Road to Piccadilly Circus then Mt Franklin Road to Mt Ginini car park, total distance 74 km. We left the car park at 07:50 for a 7 km walk to the summit via Prior’s Hut. I estimated we would arrive at the summit at 09:45 (2245) UTC, with 15 minutes to set up.
Equipment: Yaesu FT857D, FT60HT, 40m dipole, 2m Slim Jim, 2m 3el yagi and camera tri-pod, 9 metre squid pole and two 9AH SLA batteries, food and water.
We didn’t stop for a break and could only admire the potential comforts of Prior’s Hut. Pushing on we arrived at the ‘Blue Rock’ (wooden marker post with a blue rock on top) at 09:20. Grid 661610 6062095 Corin Dam topo map 1:25000.
The ascent from the blue rock to the summit is 175 vertical metres and takes about 15 minutes. Whilst enjoying the amazing views we ‘checked-in’ to the Sunday morning VK1 WIA broadcast call-back to tell VK1s Al and I would be operating from Gingera.
The FT857D and antennas were ready to go by 10:00 am, my first contact was VK2YW John in Wagga Wagga on 144.200 MHz USB, 137 km to the west with the 857D running 30 watts into a 3 element yagi. Made a further 7 contacts on 144.200, including a Summit to Summit (S2S) contact with VK1DI Ian on Mt Coree VK1/AC-023. The contact of the day was VK2ZT Steve in Port Stephens S58 R59 grid QF57WF from QF44JK, approximately 421 km, still an excellent VHF DX contact via Aircraft Enhancement.
Switched to HF at 10:45 and worked 7 stations on 40m including 3 S2S, VK3KAB Kevin on VK3/VC-011, VK3PF Peter on VK3/VT-049 and VK3ZPF Peter on VK3/VC-025. On UTC change I worked 14 HF contacts and an extra S2S with VK3WAM Wayne on VK3/VG-107.
Having completed the 7 km walk back to Ginini car park it was time to head up to the summit VK1/AC-008. Started the activation at 14:40, 25 minutes later than expected. That’s ok at least one chaser will be monitoring 7.090. Called CQ SOTA, VK3PF Peter answered immediately and posted a spot on SOTAWatch. Worked 19 more chasers with two interesting contacts, VK2NNN Darren at Bondi Beach in Sydney and VK3CM Brenton in Tangambalanga, north-east Victoria.
Thanks to the activators, Ian, Kevin, Peter, Peter and Wayne for S2S contacts and chasers who waited patiently for summits points. A very successful day on top of the remote mountains in VK1.