With an alert posted during the week and a favourable weather forecast, I set my sights on activating this local 2-pointer. Last night ( Saturday 10 April) it began to rain – albeit very light rain.. The the Bureau of Meteorology put out a weather alert for the region with winds of 35 to 40 kph warning farmers of a predicted wind-chill factor temperature of 2 degrees Celcius – nudging 3 degrees C – and that was the forecast for in and around Canberra…..NOT up on a summit!.. I awoke and I admit came very close to cancelling. However, the rain was gone (thanks to the forecast wind) and the sun was shining.. So at 8am I left home via my standard departure ( yes Maccas Coffee!!)
The hike up to the summit is 4.5klm and it IS a taxing climb! I reached the summit in time to open up at the alerted ETA..
I stuck to using my FT-817 for 2m, and my KX-2 for HF… With many of the local VK1 community volunteering for a WICEN activity, I expected 2m 146.5 FM to be quieter than usual – and I was correct – However
VK1AD S2S ( VK1/AC-048), VK2KI, VK2VEX, VK1MIC, and VK1RX ensured a 2m quallie!
Then to HF. Began on 80m not expecting much, not disappointed, just the one – Thanks Allen VK3ARH.
Had mixed results on 40m and 20m… BUT the highlight of my day – was when I gave 15m a go ( expecting NOTHING)..Well – how wrong… An S2S with JJ1SWI/1 who was on JA/TK-035 a little west of Tokyo.. a range of 8000k on QRP.. It did take about 20 minutes to pull his very weak signal out of the noise – not helped by the wind as it generated more noise against the outside of my headphones!! But we persisted and got the S2S – two very happy CW operators!
<edit 13 April> ..BUT WAIT! There’s more!! Moments later another call from Japan – this time Katsu JR8MHA… Katsu even emailed me thanking me for the S2S.. I was so excited about the previous contact minutes earlier I did not appreciate that I was in another Summit To Summit! Because of the need for headphones, freezing and a strong breeze I had reverted to using pencil and paper to log contacts – and this was at the very bottom of the page… I missed entering it on my phone app (VK port-a-Log).. How did I do that? No idea! But all fixed and up to date now.
I also had the following chasers on 15m YC1RIK, JH1MXV, and thanks again Mark VK2KI from Yass who enjoyed making a number of CW contacts with me!
Others to enter my log today ( all CW) ZL1BYZ, ZL1BQD, ZL1FV, ZL1TM, across 40m and 20m.
I would have stayed longer given the opening to JA, but that wind was cutting through four layers of clothing and I was so cold! I just had to pack up and head for home…. No time for SSB … I was fully CW occupied for the entire time on the summit.. Those JA and Indonesian stations needed quite a bit of work – but I would have had no show ( given the same conditions) with SSB ..
A word of caution for those who have not tackled Mt Rob Roy.. Yes the ascent is very steep – especially the first 700m or so from the car in Banks — but I STRONGLY recommend the use of hiking poles . The descent is treacherous in parts with marble like gravel on very steep grades… I managed to stay upright with the backpack – but those hiking poles are a must. Don’t leave home without them!