Pheasant Hill VK1/AC-021 1455 metres ASL and Booroomba Rocks VK1/AC-026 1384 metres ASL both in the Namadgi National Park ACT
I last activated Pheasant Hill in April this year when Wayne VK3WAM was undertaking the VK1 Wilderness Adventure. It is a good time to head back to Pheasant Hill and claim the 3 winter bonus points. I had planned this trip prior to VK2 SOTA going live and whilst there are more SOTA points on offer elsewhere in the region around VK2 SM and ST, I have fond memories of my last visit to Pheasant Hill so it would be a pleasure to return.
4 weeks earlier I wrote to the VK1 SOTA group asking if other SOTA enthusiasts would like to join me, particularly activators who hadn’t activated the summit and were looking for a little scrub-bashing experience. The vegetation leading up to the summit is medium to heavy in some parts. In comparison to VK1/AC-012 Orroral Hill and VK1/AC-018 (known locally as Hells Gate), Pheasant Hill is easy-going.
Andrew VK1DA volunteered to come along for a joint activation of Pheasant Hill but also requested a diversion to Booroomba Rocks on the drive back to Canberra.
It would be an early start for Andrew coming from Yass. We met at Maccas in Weston at 6:30 am and loaded up the Yeti SOTA mobile for a 78 km trip down Boboyan Road to Brayshaw’s Hut. Along the way we stopped at Hospital Hill Lookout to admire 6 of the highest summit peaks in the ACT and Namadgi National Park. They look hard!
The temperature was 1 degree Celsius.
We were on the air by 23:00 UTC, I made a successful contact on 2m simplex with Matt VK1DA in Canberra using the 2m HT coupled to the 2m Slim Jim. Summit to Summit contacts before UTC change were Paul VK5PAS/3 on VK3/VS-015 and Al VK1RX/2 on South Black Range VK2/ST-006. QRP contacts were Rob VK2FROB and Jim VK2FADV.
Andrew’s gear is a FT-817, 40 and 20 metre combined dipole, CW paddle and a 2.5 Ah gel battery. After an hour of operation we changed the battery to a 4 Ah LiFePO4.
Andrew’s mobile phone reception with Telstra was good while my provider Optus was poor. Andrew easily posted self spots to SOTAWatch using an Iphone.
SOTA chasers in the action were Matt VK1MA, Col VK3UBY, Mark VK3PI, Ron VK3AFW, Rob VK2FROB, Jim VK3FADV and Andy VK5LA.
The temperature was now about 10 degrees with a light westerly breeze.
Booroomba Rocks VK1/AC-026
Navigation details can be found in an earlier post – Two Rocky Summits Saturday 31 Aug 13.
The Booroomba Rocks activation started at 04:25 UTC. Made Summit to Summit contacts with Marshall on VK3/VN-002, Al VK1RX/2 on VK2/ST-002 Mt Cowangerong (Captains Flat Radar) and Paul VK5PAS/3 on VK3/VS-009.
The pace of SOTA action in the afternoon was slower than the morning session at Pheasant Hill. It was nice not being rushed to write, speak and watch the ‘S’ meter all at the same time. Chasers were Matt VK1MA, Mark VK1MDC, Dale VK1DSH, Brian VK3MCD, Fred VK3JM, Andrew VK3ARR, Mark VK3DEE, Ron VK3AFW and Bernard VK3AMB.
Reflecting back on the day’s activity, I think Andrew enjoyed activating two summits in one day. It’s fun being out on the mountains playing SOTA and sharing navigation tips.