Mt Coree VK1/AC-023 1421 Metres ASL, Namadgi National Park
Access to Mt Coree is via Brindabella Road to Piccadilly Circus. At Piccadilly Circus take a sharp right turn on to Two Sticks Road. Stay on Two Sticks Road for about 10 km then turn right into Pabral Road. Two Sticks and Pabral Roads are not suitable for 2WD vehicles. Drive past the Mt Coree campground then up to the summit, distance is about 2.5 km from the campground.
Today and for the first time, the XYL has expressed some interest in joining me for a SOTA activation. I did up-sell the amazing panoramic views and the awesome cliff edges. See map contours and pictures. Unfortunately I didn’t count on a thunderstorm building 10 km to our west and a new storm front would pass over Canberra from east to west heading for Mt Coree. Also the temperature would fall from a comfortable 25 degrees to what the XYL described as ‘freezing’ as the updraft from two storm cells sucked air off and around the mountain. Difficult to estimate the wind speed but looking at the squid pole bent over in a neat parabolic curve, I would estimate 40 to 50 km/h.
My car a Skoda Yeti 4WD has taken me to places where I shouldn’t have taken it! While the diesel engine and drive train are rated for off-road the body clearance isn’t high enough to negotiate the last 500 meters. Having visited the summit last year I knew the car’s limitations. When I explained to the XYL the activation will involve a short walk, say 200 metres she was lukewarm to the idea. The 500 metre walk took 10 minutes, I am happy to say the XYL wasn’t complaining too much. Just between you and me, I think she enjoyed the challenge…
SOTA activation started at 06:40 UTC on 2m simplex contacting Dale VK1DSH then on to 40m with an aim to share 4 SOTA points with VK chasers. Made one summit to summit contact with Brenton VK2DDS on VK2/HU-080.
On 20m action started with fellow activator Ian VK1DI , Mike G6TUH in Sussex, Marco O9HXX in Finland, Massimo IK1GPG in Italy and JohnVK6NU long haul to Western Australia. Later as the thunderstorm moved closer Klaus DF2GN called summit to summit from DM/BW-042, 16.451 km. Following the contact with Don G0RQL it was time to clear the summit for shelter in the car.
Interesting to work new SOTA chasers Tony M3NHA and Sara M6NHA from the UK and Liam EI8BLB in Ireland. Note the similarity of Tony and Sara’s callsings. The static crashes from the storm made copying the prefix M3 and M6 very difficult. During the contact with Sara M3NHA, I though the callsigns were the same, it took a minute or two to work out the difference.
Countries worked: England, Finland, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Ireland and Germany.
Thanks SOTA chasers, had loads of fund on Mt Coree chasing DX and dodging lightning bolts. The XYL was impressed by the number of DX contacts and the S2S exchange with Klaus. The big question, will Mt Coree be the one and only SOTA outing for the XYL?
Extract of my SOTA activator log – 8 March 2014
|6:40||144MHz||FM||VK1DSH||Dale S59 R59|
|6:45||7MHz||SSB||VK2YK||Adam S59 R59|
|6:46||7MHz||SSB||VK2YW||John S59 R59|
|6:49||7MHz||SSB||VK2FGJW||Greg S59 R59|
|6:50||7MHz||SSB||VK1GG/M||Chris S59 R59|
|6:50||7MHz||SSB||VK2NNN||Darren S59 R57|
|6:51||7MHz||SSB||VK3CAT||Tony S59 R59|
|6:51||7MHz||SSB||VK3YY||Glenn S59 R58|
|6:52||7MHz||SSB||VK2DAG||Matt S59 R56|
|6:53||7MHz||SSB||VK3MRG||Marshall S59 R57|
|6:54||7MHz||SSB||VK3PF||Peter S59 R59|
|6:54||7MHz||SSB||VK1DI||Ian S59 R59|
|6:55||7MHz||SSB||VK1MA||Matt S59 R59|
|6:57||7MHz||SSB||VK2DDS/P||VK2/HU-080||Brenton S2S VK2/HU-080 S59 R57|
|6:58||7MHz||SSB||VK2IO||Gerard S59 R58|
|6:59||7MHz||SSB||VK2UH||Andrew S59 R59|
|7:00||7MHz||SSB||VK1IRC||Peter S59 R57|
|7:01||7MHz||SSB||VK3AMB||Bernard S59 R57|
|7:02||7MHz||SSB||VK3FPSR/M||Peter S58 R53|
|7:03||7MHz||SSB||VK5CZ||Ian S59 R59|
|7:05||7MHz||SSB||VK1NK||Nick S59 R59|
|7:06||7MHz||SSB||VK2TWR||Rod S57 R57|
|7:09||14MHz||SSB||VK1DI||Ian S59 R59|
|7:09||14MHz||SSB||G6TUH||Mike S59 R57 UK|
|7:11||14MHz||SSB||OH9XX||Marco S59 R57 Finland|
|7:12||14MHz||SSB||IK1GPG||Massimo S59 R59 Italy|
|7:12||14MHz||SSB||VK6NU||John S58 R55|
|7:14||14MHz||SSB||M3NHA||Tony S55 R55 UK|
|7:14||14MHz||SSB||OZ4RT||John S58 R57 Denmark|
|7:15||14MHz||SSB||EA2CKX||Pedro S55 R55 Spain|
|7:16||14MHz||SSB||G4UXH||Colin S59 R55 UK|
|7:17||14MHz||SSB||EA2IF||Jose S58 R56 Spain|
|7:19||14MHz||SSB||M6NHA||Sara S55 R55 UK|
|7:21||14MHz||SSB||EI8BLB||Liam S58 R58 Ireland|
|7:23||14MHz||SSB||DF2GN/P||DM/BW-042||Klaus S2S DM/BW-042 S59 R57 16,451 km|
|7:24||14MHz||SSB||G0RQL||Don S59 R57 UK|
iPad screen shot of the Canberra WX radar, apologies the picture quality is not good. The picture is divided into quadrants. Mt Coree is in the top left quadrant.