On our previous attempt at Talbot Peak, the heavy snow had us turning back just short of Mt. Erica. This time a fair amount of snow had melted, with Mt Baw Baw reporting only 4cm on their website, so we had another go before the winter bonus period ended.
After an uneventful drive to the Mt. Erica carpark, Peter, VK3ZPF and I set off at about 10am. Suprisingly, there was patchy snow soon after setting out, and after Mushroom Rocks, there was about 10cm or so. It took 1.5 hours to reach Mt. Erica and by this time the snow was around 20cm and slowing us up a bit. Another 30 minutes later we arrived at Talbot Peak.
The map on the Garmin Etrex 30 showed us off the Alpine Walking Track by up to 150 metres after Mt. Erica for some reason.
I was keen to try out the new 40/20/12 loaded end fed, so it was strung up near the trig point on a 4 metre mini-squid pole. Peter set up a linked dipole on 15m initially and got it up in a tree using a throw weight.
The new antenna showed a perfect match on 40m which was a good start. After placing a spot on Sotawatch, a call was made and several chasers came back with Peter, VK3PF first. Signals were good, so either the antenna was working well or conditions were good or both!
The EMDRC had organised a SOTA event and BBQ from Mt. Donna Buang, so we had a few summit to summit contacts with Andrew, VK3BQ, VK3OHM and others.
Other summit to summits were Ian, VK1DI on VK2/ST-004, Rod VK3TWR on VK2/ST-021 and and Al, VK1RX on VK2/ST-001.
After 23 contacts on 40m, I swapped over to 20m with still a perfect match on the antenna. After a call, strong signals from VK2KTT and VK5WG came back.
We both had lunch and then left for the car. The trip back took 1:45 including a stop at Mushroom Rocks. Just before Talbot Peak there is a bridge. This bridge had changed since the last time we visited. It looked shorter and had a bent section, not sure what had happened here.
A great trip and the weather was perfect. Very happy with the new antenna. It can’t be quite as good as a half wave dipole on 40m as it is shorter, but the ease of set-up makes up for it.