Mt Foxlow Activation – Sunday 14 September 2014

Mt Foxlow VK2/ST-010 1210 metres ASL, Yanununbeyan National Park VKFF-555

Mt Foxlow has been activated twice since VK2 SOTA went live on 1 September 2013.  Al VK1RX made the journey to the summit via the marked fire trails, access to the fire trails is through private property.  Ian VK1DI chose a 6.5 km cross-country route following a series of ridge lines from Woolcara Lane in the Yanununbeyan State Conservation Park.

During the week I chatted to Ian and Al on the pros and cons of both options. After working through the details of the 4WD tracks, I chose the hardest of the two options, a 6.5 km cross-country route similar to the route taken by Ian.  I enjoy the serenity of the Australian bush, this will be a good opportunity to familiarise myself with the Yanununbeyan State Forest and Yanununbeyan National Park VKFF-555.  Weather forecast a sunny day 19 degrees, perfect for a mountain hike.  🙂

How do you get there?  From Queanbeyan take the Kings Hwy turn right into Captain’s Flat Road.  Next turn right into Woolcara Lane, continue along Woolcara Lane to the Yanununbeyan State Conversation Park.  After passing over a cattle grid, you will see a disused gravel road 100 meters on the left, I parked my car opposite.  See Ian VK1DIs blog for his track notes.

Equipment: FT-60R HT, FT817ND, 2 x 2.2 Ah 3S LiPo, 7 metre squid pole and guy kit, 10/20/50 link dipole
First Aid Kit, compass, GPS Garmin 62S, food and 3 litres of water.

The walk: 500 metre ascent over 6.5 km, duration 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I have saved a copy of the Mt Foxlow GPS track log in the VK1 folder on SOTA_Australia Yahoo site.

Mt Foxlow GPS track log

Mt Foxlow GPS track log

Track profile

Mt Foxlow track profile

Mt Foxlow track profile

Woolcara Lane

Turn right into Woolcara Lane

Turn right into Woolcara Lane

Yanununbeyan Conservation Area

Yanununbeyan State Conservation Area

set off for a 500 metre ascent over 6.5 km walk

set off at 7:35 am for a 500 metre ascent over 6.5 km walk

Take the vehicle track over the hill, then descend towards Primrose Valley Creek.

former vehicle track

former vehicle track

Primrose Valley Creek.  Steep and deep banks caused by erosion

Primrose Valley Creek. Steep and deep banks caused by erosion

open eucalyptus forest

enjoyed the walk though an open eucalyptus forest

steep climb to the 3rd ridge

steep climb to the 3rd ridge

heavy bush scrub ahead

heavy scrub ahead, fortunately the heavy scrub lasted 100 metres

McFarlanes  Firetrail

McFarlanes Firetrail

tough climb up McFarlanes Firetrail

A tough ascent along McFarlanes Firetrail.  800 metres to the summit, ascent 100 metres, steep!

Mt Foxlow summit rock cairn

Mt Foxlow summit rock cairn at 1210 metres.  Same design as the cairn on Mt Palerang

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Mt Foxlow

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Mt Foxlow.  FT-817ND,  2.4 Ah 3S LiPo, Blade fuse 5A and a Watts Up meter

Arrived at the summit around 23:45 UTC.  The summit cairn is surrounded by trees where there is little room for a squid pole and a dipole antenna.  I decided to set up in a clearing 20 metres from the rock cairn.   With no suitable support for the squid pole, I used a three rope guy kit.

With 4 minutes to go before UTC midnight, I made a call on 2m simplex using the HT with some hope at least one of the VK1 chasers would be listening.  Matt VK1MA responded 5-9 each way, then Ian VK1DI/2 called in at 23:58 UTC for an excellent S2S exchange also 5-9 from a very windy Spring Hill VK2/ST-036  🙂
Andrew VK2MWP called at 23:59, I could hear Andrew 5-7, unfortunately Andrew didn’t receive my signal in return.

With 12 points in the S2S Log before UTC change, it was time to fire up the QRP 817ND for 37 chasers and pick up 11 points (8+3) for the SOTA Activator log.

I stayed on the summit for 1 hour and 30 minutes working 31 chasers on 7.080 MHz, 4 chasers on 14.310 MHz and 2 chasers on 28.510 MHz.  Summit to Summit contacts were Ian VK1DI/2 on Spring Hill, Nigel VK5NIG on Mt Nigel VK5/SE-013, Peter VK3PF on Mt Useful VK3/VT-016 and Mark VK2WU new to SOTA on Mt Stanley VK3/VE-126 near Beechworth.

Andrew to Andrew contacts were Andrew VK2MWP and Andrew VK2UH, yes I agree there was a clear shortage of the otherwise well know VK SOTA Andrews.

Peter VK3YE famous for his hombrew QRP  rigs and antennas, called in at 00:27 UTC operating QRP 1 watt into a magnetic loop antenna. From Melbourne to Mt Foxlow Peter’s signal was 5-2 over 471 km, 230 degrees south-west.

At 01:35 UTC I packed up and headed back to the car for a 1 hour 55 minute descent.  After enjoying a sandwich and a cup of tea, I headed over to Mt Cowangerong VK2/ST-001, known as Captain’s Flat WX Radar to pick up 3 winter points.  Will I head back to Mt Foxlow in 2015?  You bet, Mt Foxlow is one of the best climbs in VK2, thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, a big day out.  🙂

link dipole and squid pole supported by a rope guys

in the clearing 10/20/40 link dipole and squid pole supported by a rope guys

moist ground enabled the use of guys and aluminium ground pegs

moist ground enabled the use of guys and aluminium tent pegs

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2 thoughts on “Mt Foxlow Activation – Sunday 14 September 2014

  1. Hi Andrew,

    Looks like another beautiful part of Australia. We are very lucky. You were a little weak on 40m, but I was still able to copy you well, with the low noise floor here at home. Further afield VK has taken a bit of a step back in the mornings recently on 40m, with the band picking up again in the afternoon.

    Thanks for plugging the WWFF program as well, and sending me your logs. Greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Paul
    VK5PAS.

  2. Good report Andrew. Pretty much the same route that I took. Yes the last part on the road was steep…I looked at the open area for operating from but unable to find anything to attach a squid pole to, so set up on a stump near the trig instead. Good idea using rope guys.

    Good to work you S2S from Spring Hill.

    73 Ian VK1DI

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