I first activated Mt Gingera on New Year’s Day 2018. Since then, life, and bushfires leading to the national parks being closed, have conspired to prevent me repeating the NYD double act. My plan – to activate and qualify (minimum of 4 contacts) Mt Gingera well prior to 1100 hours local time which is midnight UTC (Greenwich Mean Time) on 31/12/22, and then repeat the process to qualify the same summit for 2023, thus adding 20 SOTA summit points to my tally in the one visit. Following Mt Gingera, activate Mt Ginini (an eight-point summit) on my way home. I activated Mt Ginini in October 2022 with the added three-point Winter Bonus.
Mt Gingera is the second highest peak in the Australian Capital Territory at 1855 metres ASL….. (My Suunto watch reckons it is 1857m). Access is gained by driving to the Mt Ginini car park via Uriarra Rd, Brindabella Rd and Mt Franklin Road.
I departed home at 0530 local AEDT for the 84 kilometre drive (via Macca’s breaky/coffee) arriving at 0730. For the final 20k or so heading to Ginini along Mt Franklin Road I was in cloud and visibility about 40m but looking up I could see whisps of blue sky.
The hiking distance from the Ginini carpark to the Gingera summit includes 6.6 k along Mt Franklin Road and a 1.2k climb up a narrow but well-established path …. a one-way journey of 7.8 kilometres.
Along the way I spent a couple of minutes at Pryor’s Hut for a rest. I encountered 9 other people during my hike to and from the summit – all but 2 were heading for the summit. So, my hike did take a little longer than planned, but meeting people in such a remote area, it is advisable and nice to say hello and that usually leads to a short chat!
As is tradition, I opened up on 2m FM and quickly qualified the summit for 2022 with 10 minutes to spare – time I used to set up my HF antenna. Post roll-over I had a quick-fire five 2m FM contacts and one HF 15m CW into New Zealand (Geoff ZL3GA – another S2S).
The weather in the mountain ranges can and does change rapidly. Before I knew it I was getting wet and decided to pack up. Unfortunately, the views were stolen by the weather.
The long trek back to Ginini seemed to last forever but walking in the occasional sun-shower was better than sweltering heat!
I drove to the summit of Mt Ginini to find several families packing up their NYD picnics – but I found a place to quickly set up. I posted a Spot on SotaWatch for 2m FM simplex… but no replies and I assume most chasers had moved on to post NYE recovery mode 😉 So, I threw a wire up and placed a Spot for 40m CW – knowing that I really should be thinking about heading home. No need to worry, 12 minutes later I had easily qualified the summit with 8 contacts logged and thus bagged Ginini’s 8 points for 2023. I headed for home – 28 Sota points in total for the day.
I am not getting any younger – so if I do Mt Gingera again, it most likely will not be on NYD. I can take my time and make a day of just one beautiful summit…. but it is a long way there and back!
Find a better insect repellant! What I had seemed to attract man-eating flies the size of Christmas Beetles with long pointed noses out of some SciFi horror movie! Yes, March flies – often encountered, but these seemed particularly persistent! – So – hot, or not, long sleeves are the way to go!
My thanks to all who helped make New Year’s Day one of, if not THE greatest highlight of the SOTA year.
Not as many contacts as made by some others, but mission accomplished. I haven’t calculated it accurately, but I was away from home for 13 hours, four of which were driving, about 6 hiking (with a few ‘how do you do’ chats along the way with other bush-loving folk out in the remote areas of the ACT.)
Happy New Year!