There were a lot of planned mountain activations for the New Year rollover which occurs at 11am local EST Australia, so I chose Spion Kopje for the rollover activation. This summit is only a 4 pointer, but is relatively close and I hadn’t been there this year. The rollover would mean 4 + 4 points. Being close means that even after a late night, it would be possible to get some sleep before heading off. I planned for an 8am departure, but woke early, so left at 7:30am.
There is a short walk to the summit from the junction of Limberlost and Post Rd. The track up is pretty well grown over and it is easy to lose it. Someone had put up the occasional red and orange trail streamers along the way which helped keep on track.
At the summit, there is a small concrete structure with a few large diameter threaded rods sticking out of the foundation. There must have been a small tower here some years ago. I was just about to put the pack down here and I noticed that I was almost directly over a snake. I slowly retreated and so did the snake. Thinking that this was probably not the best place to setup, I moved 50 metres or so to another rock outcrop and set up there.
The_7 metre squid pole was strapped to a tree that supported my 3 band End Fed antenna. This antenna is very fast to deploy and doesn’t need link or switch changes for band swaps. In case the band conditions were poor, I took along my 50 Watt amplifer and powered it from a 3 cell 2200mAh Lipo.
The station was on air by 9:38am local, I could have slept in. There was no shortage of activity and before the rollover, 33 contacts were made with 19 summit to summits. The dead march fly pile was also growing tall.
After the rollover, 26 contacts were made ( 1 per minute) with 19 summit to summits. At 26 minutes past the hour, I had enough of the flies and as the day was still young, decided to head over to Toorongo Range for another activation.
Mt Toorongo VK3/VT-026
I drove up the Mt Baw Baw Tourist Rd. to the junction with Toorongo – Tanjl Link Rd and turned left before Tanjil Bren. This road is followed until Mundic Rd and then Toorongo Track is taken. There is a gate at Toorongo track a few hundred metres before the highest part of the road. This gate was thankfully open, so I drove past the highest point on the road and parked. The summit is a short but steep scramble from the highest point on the road. Care must be taken where you put your feet as the vegetation is thick and there are occasionally rocky areas. The weather was still fine and calm although some clouds were on their way. The gear was set up on the summit near the small cairn on a rocky outcrop. 24 contacts were made including 8 summit to summits.
A short while into the activation, it rained lightly but not enough to worry about.