Sunday 9 August 2015 was the day I was to add serious numbers to my SOTA scores. This was the day Andrew VK1NAM and I activated three – yes three – summits.
We set off at 0715 for our first peak, Mt McDonald (VK1/AC-048), which is situated some 18km west from my apartment in Canberra City. Although this is only a 1 pointer, it is nevertheless 789m in altitude. From the car park at the base of the mountain, the round trip up on foot would take around two hours.
I had decided to press my Yaesu FT-817 into operating this time instead of my Elecraft KX1 because one of the aims of the excursion was to participate in the 6 and 10m SOTA challenge. I set up my Buddistick antenna, tuned it up on 10m with my Hendricks BLT tuner and put out a call.
After about an hour, it was time to pack up, head back down and make our way to our next summit, Mt Taylor. I was happy with the 9 contacts I made.
If I thought the going was going to get any easier, I was dead wrong. Mt Taylor (VK1/AC-037) is 855m high and took about 45 minutes to climb. Boy, with a full backpack, the going was difficult and required constant stops to suck in air. But the view over the city made it all well worth it, even though this summit also only scores 1 point.
I managed 11 contacts, which I was delighted with. On the way down, we walked passed a bunch of the locals, who have us quizzical looks and a wide berth.
At 1430 we made our way to our final summit for the day, Isaacs Ridge (VK1/AC-041). Here too, the going up on foot was difficult and required all of my sapped energy to make it to the top. Boy, we are made to work hard for these one-pointers!
By the time we packed up and headed back down to the car, it was getting quite cold. I was more than pleased with the 27 contacts I had made.