Tuggeranong Hill VK1/AC-038 Sunday 14 February 2021

A short 7.3 kilometre drive from my home to the carpark at the entrance to the Canberra Nature Park and the track to the summit of Tuggeranong Hill. Weather perfect, a light breeze and low 20s max expected. A short, relatively easy hike to the summit – but the track is in poor condition with many loose rocks – so trekker beware – and walking poles are I think an essential accessory especially for the downhill bit!

As can be seen , the entire summit area is covered with very thick, sharp thistle… So quite literally the only place to set up was under the trig! Fortunately I had the summit pretty much to myself, and the two couples out walking were given an easy path through had they wished – but they were not planning on progressing any further into the thistle either.. So they stopped and chatted – which was great. It would be good if the ACT Government spent some of all those rates dollars they collect each year on looking after our local public parks and nature reserves….at least attempting to control all the weeds – if it’s not thistle, it’s Patterson’s Curse…..

Today I again took the FT-817ND for 2m simplex ( and handy back up HF!). It ran on its Windcamp internal battery the whole time.. gosh it is a great little radio!! Prior to the rollover to the new day (GMT), I had 4 local contacts on 2m VHF (FM Simplex) including a Summit to Summit (S2S) with Ian VK1DI who was activating Mt McDonald (another local 1-pointer). Another pre-rollover S2S contact was with Gerard VK2IO 126k to the west/south-west on VK2/RI-006 40m HF operating CW. Again my HF radio today was the Elecraft KX2.

Rollover to the new day and the 40m CW fun continued. Thanks to Tony VK3CAT, Paul VK3HN, Gerard (S2S again) VK2IO/P, Chris VK1CT, Mark VK2KI, Peter VK3PF, Ian VK5IS, and Warren VK3BYD. Moving up in frequency to 20m, Andrei ZL1TM, Allen VK3ARH, John ZL1BYZ and capping the outing off, Andrew VK1AD on 2m Simplex.

The view to the south-west Mount Tennent VK1/AC-025 as viewed from Tuggeranong Hill – still looking somewhat battle scarred after last year’s bushfires.
Looking north towards Mt Taylor VK1/AC-037 with Black Mountain VK1/AC-042 in the distance.

One of the great pleasures of activating a popular local summit, is the opportunity to meet new people and chat about amateur radio… My walk back down to the car took about 15 minutes longer than planned thanks to a great chat to a couple heading up the hill and they were very interested in what SOTA is about…. They did mention that on a trip to Adelaide a few years ago they camped by some lake – which I gather was also a “Park” and they mentioned meeting some guy camping with a 4WD and radio set up who was on the radio “all damned night!” …. but they were not bothered by it… I then went on to talk about that other ‘going portable’ aspect of the hobby!

Thanks to those who were also out on summits today and to all the chasers. It was a great couple of hours spent just a few kilometres from home!



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