With the winter bonus time running out and a sunny weekend approaching, it was a good opportunity to get to a 10 pointer and claim a 3 point bonus.
We had been to Mt. St. Phillack several times before, it’s a very scenic walk. This time, Andrew, VK3JBL, Kevin, VK3KAB and myself planned a hike up on Sunday 20th September.
We left the outer burbs at 6:30am and arrived at the Mt. St. Gwinear car park around 8:30am. The car park was deserted and without snow. We wondered about whether to carry snow shoes or not, but decided to carry them in the end. It wasn’t long before the patches of snow started connecting before Mt. St. Gwinear, but we held off putting on the show shoes until the saddle between Mt. St. Gwinear and Mt. St. Phillack. Kevin’s wife Jody had kindly let me use her show shoes.
The shuffle from the saddle to Mt. St. Phillack summit was just as steep as last time oddly enough. On the way we all had turns at falling through the softening snow into the hidden creeks.
At the summit, I had a look for my squidpole tripod that was constructed a couple of years ago. It was there last visit, but absent this time. We all separated so as to minimise interference. I set up on 40m ssb to find very poor conditions. VK1, VK2 were weak while VK5 was better. After qualifying the summit, I moved to 10m while Andrew worked on 40m CW and Kevin on 40m SSB. Andrew worked into VK6 on 20m.
10m was surprisingly good with a few contacts racked up quickly. 6m was tried using the “flowerpot antenna” recommended by Andrew, VK1NAM. It worked well with several local contacts made.
Summit to summit contacts were made with VK1NAM and VK1VIC on Mt. Majura, VK3AGD on Briarty Hill, VK3PF on VK3/VT-047 and VK3MRG on Donna Buang. A few things went wrong calling Marshall VK3MRG. Firstly I was listening on 146.500 but the dual band portable was coincidentally receiving on 146.520. I could hear Marshall, but could not get back to him. When we finally figured out he was on the other receive frequency, he was called but said the signal was noisy. He was actually on 146.525, no wonder.
Meanwhile the other guys were waving a yagi around listening on 146.500 (which I had called) and wondering why they couldn’t hear anything.
The weather held out and we headed off shortly after.
Thanks Kevin and Andrew.