I was invited to accompany Andrew Moseley VK1AD on this activation. It had been some time since we activated together so it was an extra pleasure doing this one.
The previous time I activated this summit was actually also a joint activation with Andrew.
The main thing we both noticed both enroute to the parking area and on the walk up to the summit was how dry the bushland was, areas which were previously green and even slightly damp were bone dry this time. The long drought had certainly made its mark even in southern VK1. We both thought that the hot summer that has been forecast will probably discourage activations in the bushland to the west and south of Canberra, due to the risk of bushfires. Walking an hour into dry bushland does not make much sense and in fact risks not only the walker’s health/safety/life, but also risks the life of rescuers. Summer may be a quiet period in terms of local activations in the forests near Canberra.
The climb up to the highest of the three peaks comprising the Booroomba Rocks cluster requires descending into the bush between the two southern peaks, then climbing back up through bush and then onto the rocks, after which it is an easy walk up to the tree that my telescopic pole was lashed to, to support my wire antenna. I operated on 40/20/17m and also called cq on 10m just in case something was happening there. I made contacts with other mountain activators in New Zealand and in Japan, as well as several contacts with home stations within NSW, Victoria and South Australia. My total contact count was about 12.
Andrew VK1AD operated on 144, 1296 and 2403, using an FT817 driving transverters on the higher bands, each with a PCB antenna seen in these pictures. He made at least 4 contacts on each of those bands. A number of Canberra operators called him as well as several on other summits, including Ted VK1BL on Mt Ainslie and Bill VK1MCW on Mt Stromlo. Wade VK1MIC called in from his home station as did Peter VK1JH and Matt VK1MT. Dermy VK1DB also called on 144 to give his brand new callsign a workout. He recently passed the advanced licence course.
I was pleased to find this climb was much easier than last time I came up here. On that day we first activated Pheasant Hill and then came up to this one. My feet were very sore after that day, possibly due to my walking boots being too tight. On this occasion I wore the Merrell mid boots I had worn on my walk in Spain, which are still in good condition and still comfortable. I did have a few aches the next morning, but that’s ok.
A good day spent playing radio and I got home in time to prepare for a social function in Canberra later that day.