Quick SOTA Activation – The Cascades VK2/SM-014

Friday 14 November 2014. I convinced my boss to give me 4 hours off work (great boss) and drove to Jindabyne from Canberra, arriving at 1630 local. I’m staying at Jindabyne Holiday Park, the park is busy with family holiday makers.  Went to the local supermarket for food and goodies for tomorrow (Saturday), need food and goodies for the human pack-horse (me).

The weather forecast for Sunday is looking terrible, so at short notice I decided to activate The Cascades VK2/SM-014 at 1840 metres ASL in the Kosciuszko National Park – VKFF-269.  Drove from Jindabyne to Thredbo, paid $16.00 for the park entrance fee then drove further along the Alpine Way to Dead Horse Gap and parked at the Cascades Trail car park at 1540 metres ASL.   This is the start of the walking trail to The Cascades and The Chimneys, I will be back to activate The Chimneys in March 2015.

Previous SOTA activators: Andrew VK3BQ and Rod VK2TWR

Walked at a fair pace, I calculated a trip time of 1 hour and 20 minutes for 4.9 km, actual time 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Temperature on the summit was a warm 27 degrees.  Mobile phone reception was intermittent, when I did get a signal I sent SMS messages to Andrew VK1DA and Matt VK1MA letting them know of my revised plan to activate The Cascades before sunset.  😉

On the summit I worked the 40m band using a FT-817, 5 watts output into a half wave dipole. Worked 24 enthusiastic chasers in 15 minutes a record pace for me, I think.  😉

Track details and photos below.   The trail – 360 metre ascent over 4.9 km to 1840 metres ASL

The Cascades GPS track log

The Cascades GPS track log

Trail profile – good fun, nice 300 metre heart-starter kick-up near the summit

The Cascades track profile

The Cascades track profile

Start of the Cascades Trail. From here you can walk to The Cascades or The Chimneys

Start of the Cascades Trail. From here you can walk to The Cascades or The Chimneys or both!  You shouldn’t get lost!!


SOTA Yeti – windscreen is covered in Bug Smash!  The Bogong Moths are on their annual migration from Queensland to the Snowy Mountains

Track conditions very good

track conditions very good

Thredbo river

Thredbo River

river is flowing well, had to use the foot bridge

The river is flowing fast and over the management track.  Park rangers have set up a foot bridge, helps to keep the feet dry  🙂

snow on the peaks

foreground Thredbo River and snow on the peaks

On the summit at 07:40 UTC for a quick set up, no care taken with the coax or antenna.  On air at 07:53 UTC first chaser was Matt VK1MA, then to qualify the summit Rod VK2TWR/P, Andrew VK2UH and Gerard VK2IO for a ten pointer.  20 chasers followed in quick time, thanks for keeping the QSOs short.

VK1NAM SOTA shack on VK2/SM-014

VK1NAM SOTA shack on VK2/SM-014  FT817ND powered by a 3S 2.2 Ah Lipo

background snow cap peaks

squid pole supported by a fallen tree

background - snow cap peaks

snow gums on top, plenty of space between trees

Packed up at 08:15 UTC headed back down the mountain to the management track.  Walked the last 1 km in the dark 🙂

73, Andrew VK1NAM

Last Update: 5 April 2015


5 thoughts on “Quick SOTA Activation – The Cascades VK2/SM-014

  1. Pingback: SOTA – Snowy Mountains Saturday 23 January 2016 | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

  2. Pingback: SOTA – March Long Weekend Kosciuszko National Park | Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

  3. It’s a nice walk. But the 4 year old demanded to be carried from the river. Some bush bashing for the last bit to the summit. And the last bit is steep. :)) I did first activation on this one. 3bq.

    • G-day Andrew, After reading your blog, I though I had a good chance at activating the peak before sunset. Turned out well, thanks for sharing your notes on your trip. Andrew 1NAM

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