Having not activated this summit for several years I was curious to see how the area was recovering from the January 2020 fires. I had heard that the foliage was severely affected.
I dimly recalled the climb taking over an hour so I aimed for an activation start time of 15:00 or 05:00 UTC. Parked the car at about 13:30 and gathered my backpack, walking pole and antenna pole, setting forth up the initially gentle slope, which soon becomes rock steps, which continue for nearly a kilometre.
Once you reach the popular rock climbing area, you turn southwards and climb up the intermediate peak, which is plainly visible as a rising rock face about 200m south of the walking track. After that you find you are looking up at the third peak, which is the SOTA summit.
Having arrived at the peak at about 15:00 I set up the gear and the doublet, mounting the pole on the only tree available, which miraculously survived the fires.
Looking at Sotagoat on my phone I saw that several activations were under way so I found VK3PF and waited for his current QSO to end. Then I saw that there was a parks activator also on 40m but he did not answer my call, must have already moved to another band or closed down.
So the next thing was to self-spot on a suitable frequency and make some more contacts. I self spotted via VK Portalog and called CQ. no answers. Another few calls, still no answers, then I noticed a CQ and possible S2S on 14 CW with Wal VK2WP. I moved there and was able to work him. At that point I realised my network connection from the logging tablet to my phone was not actually working, so set about the task of making it work, while calling cq on 14058. I got a few calls from VK5 and VK4, then Europeans, New Zealand, one Japan, two from the USA. Eventually it was close to 16:00 local time, 0600 UTC, and the temperature had dropped markedly. Sunset would be at about 16:50 and I needed to get back to the car before dark. So I closed down at about 16:00 after one contact on 2m FM with VK1MA. A shorter activation than I would have liked given the fine weather, but I should have started earlier.
Leaving the summit at 16:15 I reached the car in fairly low light just after 17:00.
I will have to give this one 90 minutes for the climb in future.
Stats: 22 contacts, 1 on 40m, 1 on 2m FM, the rest on 20m CW.
VK – 7, ZL-1, France – 1, Finland – 2, Italy -4, Sweden – 1, Japan 1, Croatia 1, USA 2.