SOTA – Mt Palerang and a Black Snake

Mt Palerang VK2/ST-009 1234 metres ASL, NSW Southern Tablelands

Sunday 4 October 2015.  With the SOTA winter bonus in operation until 14 October, I decided to activate Mt Palerang and South Black Range.  Mt Palerang is 45 km east of Canberra in the vicinity of Tallaganda State Forest while South Black Range is within the boundary of Tallaganda National Park VKFF-474.

The walk to the summit of Mt Palerang starts from the intersection of Mulloon and Palerang Fire Trails.
Ascent: 289 metres over 1.4 km taking 1 hour with an average grade of 20%, some sections are steeper.   The descent is much quicker at 30 minutes.

Oz Topo map of Mt Palerang, contour lines are at 10m intervals

Mt Palerang GPS track log

Mt Palerang GPS track log overlay on Oz Topo

Mt Palerang ascent profile

Mt Palerang ascent profile

Rocky scree goat track to the summit

1.5 km goat track ascent

1.4 km goat track – steep ascent for the first 300 metres where the grade is about 30%  😦

ascent incline

view of the ascent incline

On the summit – Mt Palerang Stone Cairn Trig.  Standing on the trig provides a 45 km line-of-sight view west to Canberra and beyond to the Brindabella Ranges.

Mt Palerang Trig

Mt Palerang Trig

Radio shack on Mt Palerang.  Equipment Yaesu FT-817, FT-60R dual band HT, 12 volt 3S 2.2 Ah LiPo, 2m SlimJim, HF link dipole for 6/10/20/40m.

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Mt Palerang Trig

VK1NAM SOTA shack on Mt Palerang Trig

Started the activation at 23:00 UTC (10 am local) on 6m 52.2 MHz with one contact Matt VK1MA.  Moved to 2m SSB and FM working Matt, Ian VK1DI and Dimitri VK2COW.

On 40m 29 chasers most in the south-east regions of Australia in VK1, VK3, VK3, VK5 and VK7.

6 Summit to Summit contacts: Peter VK3PF on VK3/VG-033 Razorback Range, Mitch VK3XDM on VK7/SC-001 Mt Wellington in Hobart, Bernard VK2IB on VK3/VE-041 Mt Benambra, Brian VK3MCD VK3/VC-031 at Arthur’s Seat looking over Port Phillip Bay, Tony VK3CAT at VK3/VN-001 Mt Torbreck, and Tony VK1VIC at VK1/AC-040 Mt Ainslie.  🙂

antenna arrangement

Antenna arrangement – 2m SlimJim and a HF link dipole.  The fiberglass pole is bending under a strong westerly wind.  The 2m antenna elevation has a radio line-of-sight to VK1 Canberra suburbs.

SOTA Graffiti

Activator Honour Roll

SOTA Activator Honour Roll

Descent – My 1st snake sighting for the 2015 spring and summer seasons

During the ascent, roughly 180 metres from the summit I noticed a Black Snake next to the goat track, less than 1 metre away (3 feet).  Terrific to see a snake in its natural environment, certainly adds a level of excitement and awareness to a walk which is relatively routine.  I kept my distance, took a few steps backwards, observed the snake for a minute or two and took a couple of photos.  I’m guessing the snake would be close to 1 metre in length.

Black Snake warming in the sun

Black Snake warming in the sun

After the 2nd photo the snake became aware of my presence and departed for nearby rocks.  I departed leaving the snake to its business.  All Australian snake species and other reptiles are protected for good reasons.   I was on snake alert for the rest of the descent.  o_O

Black Snake is now aware of me!

Black Snake is now aware of me!

Steep descent, rocky gravel goat track

view north west looking down the goat track

view north-west looking down the goat track with 1 km to go

Back to the car in 30 minutes, next a 30 minute drive to South Black Range VK2/ST-006 in the Tallaganda National Park.

Previous post on Mt Palerang (Dec 13)


3 thoughts on “SOTA – Mt Palerang and a Black Snake

  1. HI Andrew,
    I listened for you a few times and each time you were not loud enough to work. I was quite disappointed. The more challenging propagation conditions have made it a bit harder here in SA. Once if I heard you I could make a contact. That is not true at the moment. A most interesting write up and I share you views about snakes. They should be left alone to get on with their business. Humans behind the wheel of a car are far more dangerous!

    John D

  2. Yes we will have to watch the snakes this Summer they are already about i saw three on my VK3 activating last weekend.
    heading up to Charlottes Pass to activate some of the top summits tomorrow
    will be snake free for a while yet

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