Federation Range VK3/VN-029 1482 metres ASL, Yarra Ranges National Park VKFF-556
Melbourne, Monday 22 December 2014. I’m in Melbourne for a family gathering and today everyone is at work. Perfect weather for a day in mountains, problem is there are so many high scoring SOTA peaks in the outer east, I’m spoilt for choice. I fancy a trip to Lake Mountain via Marysville to activate the new Federation Range VK3/VN-029. Last October I activated the former Federation Range VK3/VN-003 before the summit was declared invalid on 31 January this year.
My plan is to open the activation on 6m followed by 10m. Summit to Summit possibilities, Peter VK3PF is planning to activate VK3/VE-064 (unnamed) near Mt Selwyn.
The walk to the summits starts from the Lake Mountain Resort car park. Ascent is 186 metres over 4.1 km duration 1 hour.
From The Corssways the track narrows, I didn’t see or encounter any snakes
At grid UTM 400147 5852821 the track opens into a large clearing
Mobile phone coverage at the ruins. Telstra: using the iPad SIM, consistent 3 out of 5 bars no problems. Optus: intermittent and unreliable.
Be ready for BIG March Flies, they stand tall, have diamond shape wings and the buggers bite hard and draw blood. You will need a generous coating of the ‘Bushmans’ Heavy Duty repellant or wear Kevlar Body Armour, bugger I left my repellant in the car. 😦 No time to relax, swatting flies, operating the radio, keeping an eye on the S-meter, writing in the log and more fly swatting…
Started the activation at 2348 UTC on 6m 52.2 MHz, first contact was Tony VK3CAT signal reports were S5-7 R5-6 followed by Ron VK3AFW. With 5 minutes before UTC change I moved to 10m 28.510 MHz, worked Tony a second time then a big signal from Raymond W7USA in Pheonix Arizona at 23:59 UTC, signal reports were S5-8 R5-5. 🙂
Stayed on 10m for the new UTC day. The chaser group stayed with me on 10m working Tony, Raymond and Ron. Ray put out a call on the local 2m repeater, I stayed on 28 MHz calling CQ SOTA for a further 10 minutes, with no new chasers.
Moved to 40m 7.095 MHz to work a familiar chaser group, Ernie VK3DET, Gerard VK2IO, Cliff VK2CCJ, Col VK3LED, Andrew VK2MWP, Ray VK3YAR, David VK3IL for the Shack Sloth Award, Tom VK5EE, Peter VK3FPSR, Nev VK5WG, Garry VK2GAZ, Al VK1RX, Rob VK3EK and Tony VK7LTD. I hadn’t heard from Peter VK3PF on VE-064, stayed on the summit for an extra 20 minutes or so. Peter joined the chase at 0049 UTC with a 5-8 signal report. Thanks Peter for a new unique and points towards the S2S log.
After chatting to Al on 40m we gave 6m ago, unfortunately I didn’t work Al but I did make a contact with Kevin VK3AUQ in Mt Evelyn, signal reports were 5-7 each way. 🙂
Summary of band activity/chasers: 6m 52.2 MHz 3 chasers, 10m 28.510 MHz 3 chaser and 40m 7.095 MHz 15 chasers. I did call on 14.310 and 21.250 MHz for VK5 and VK6, didn’t hear any chasers.
Finally, congratulations to David VK3IL for his efforts in achieving 1000 chasers points and the SOTA Shack Sloth Award. 🙂