Yankee Ned Hill VK2/SW-026 1237 metres ASL, Bondo State Forest
I have taken three days leave from work to take advantage of the Easter break and a short working week which concludes with the ANZAC Day public holiday on Friday 25 April.
Today I am heading out of Canberra to the South West Slopes region of New South Wales (NSW) to activate three SOTA summits, Yankee Ned Hill 8 points, Mount Tumorrama 8 points and a third hill named Billapaloola State Forest otherwise an unnamed summit for 6 points.
The 1.5 hour drive to Yankee Ned Hill is via Brindabella Road, Piccadilly Circus, Brindabella, Goodardigbee River crossing then continuing along Brindabella Road direct to the base of Yankee Ned Hill.
Previous activator is Ian VK1DI. Ian has an excellent write-up for this summit at Yankee Ned Hill. For the ascent I opted to walk a management track leading to the north side of the hill, then took a direct route heading due south up the hill. Allow 30 minutes for the ascent and 20 minutes to set up.
Parked the SOTA Yeti off Brindabella Road 100 metres in on the lower management track, there is no sign of current logging operations. From here the ascent to the summit is 181 vertical metres over 1.9 km. The management track will take you to within 450 meters of the summit for a 90 metre ascent. The last section of the ascent is through a new pine plantation complete with blackberries, canvas gaiters are recommended.
The softwood pine plantation is recent, you may like to activate the summit before the trees grow to a height that may prevent access. The Billapaloola summit is an example where access is restricted by the density of the pine forest.
Started the activation at 23:50 UTC, 20 minutes later than the posted alert. As a last-minute decision I decided to start the activation on 10m 28.510 MHz with some hope of working North American chasers. (in recent weeks I have been successful with N.A. SOTA chasers on 28 MHz) My thinking is, it would be cool to qualify ‘Yankee’ Ned Hill with 4 N.A. chasers. Good news, on the summit I had an Optus 3G signal. Who do I thank at Optus, makes a nice change? 🙂
Posted an alert using RRT, called CQ SOTA for a minute or two while RRT servers processed my post. First chaser was Richard N4EX then in order Tom W7RV, Ray W7USA, Phil NS7P, Jeff N6JP and WA7JL. Signal reports ranged from 5-1 to 5-8. Awesome 6 N.A. chasers to qualify the summit in 9 minutes before UTC change. I stayed on 28.510 MHz for UTC day change to work Tom W7RV, Ray W7USA and Phil NS7P who each claimed the extra 8 points for an easy 16 chaser points and a new unique VK2/SW summit. Thanks USA chasers, I look forward to offering another unique VK summit soon.
Changed to 40 metres for 12 VK SOTA chasers including two summit to summit (S2S) contacts, Matt VK2DAG on VK2/NW-006 and Rod VK2LAX on VK2/HU-093.
20 metres 14.310 MHz was open with contacts to 5 unique chasers in VK2, VK5 and VK6.
Summary: Yankee Ned Hill is an easy access summit at 8 points with an additional 3 seasonal winter points. From the south access is via Tumut then Brindabella Road. If you are driving to Canberra from Victoria or southern NSW, Brindabella Road is an alternate route for 4WD vehicle owners. The section of the road between Brindabella and Piccadilly Circus is narrow, rocky and steep in parts, there are ample signs warning drivers not to tow caravans on this road.
Next activation: Mount Tumorrama VK2/SW-027 8 points.