Saturday, 27 September 2014

SOTA Activation Baldy Range VK2/ST-008

With the SOTA winter bonus season ending soon had a look at other close by summits that can claim the points. Baldy Range, VK2/ST-008 is an 8 pointer and is not too far from home, so gave it a go.

You can access it via the Baldy Range fire trail 2 ways, via Two Sticks Road or Doctors Flat Road. Doctors Flat Road looked the best option with only a couple of Km of rough road to the summit.

Drove down Uriarra Road to Urriara Crossing, turned right onto Fairlight Road, then left onto Mountain Creek Road. A short distance along Mountain Creek Road reached Doctors Flat Road on the right.

Note this is a private road that crosses several properties. There was an old sign nearby advising to shut the gates.

Drove through to the next gate, leaving the first property.

Saw a sign further along asking to contact the owner before entering. Rang the number and spoke to the owner, he agreed to let me proceed. The property is called "Little Swamp"

After passing through the property reached Brindabella National Park, then another property gate, "Dingo Dell Valley".

The sign indicated okay to continue as long as the gates left shut. After clearing the property entered Brindabella National Park again. Got to the Baldy Range Trail intersection on the left.

Note the track isn't marked, but Maginot Fire Trail on the right is, so had the correct road. A short distance up the hill reached an old alignment of Doctors Flat Road and a sign for Baldy Range Track.

The road climbs fairly steeply after this around the side of a small hill, with a few mounds and puddles to cross, but nothing that an AWD couldn't handle. My Nissan Xtrail went fine without needing 4WD, just needed a bit of clearance. The road got better once on the top of the range. Around 800 m from the summit parked on the side of the track and walked.

The road passes close to the summit, in fact enters the activation zone. Headed off into the scrub. Unlike the thick scrub of Dingi Dingi Ridge quite open and easy walking.

Near the top of the summit found a nice open grassy area with a log. Used this for squid pole support and set up the 40/20 m linked dipole here.

Set up the radio on my pack and sat on the log.

Got on 40 m. Conditions quite good with strong signals from VK1, VK2 and VK3. Worked S2S with Andrew, VK2MWP on VK2/SC-040, and Mark VK1EM on VK1/AC-027.

Saw a spot for Simon, VK1FAAS on VK1/AC-038 Tuggeranong Hill on 2 m FM. I could hear him okay but he could not hear me. Even Matt, VK1MA whom I was copying S9+ couldn't contact him. Only Andrew VK1NAM could work him. Seems he had HT radio desense problems...

Worked him okay on 40 m. Another S2S with Ian, VK5CZ on VK5/NE-102, quite weak.

Changed the links to 20 m. Got Andrew, VK1NAM locally with a good signal. After finishing with Andrew got blasted by Paul, VK5PAS with a very strong S9+ signal! Went on to work VK8GM, VK5WG, VK6MB, VK5IS, VK1DR and VK1MA.

Another view of the shack.

Had lunch, packed up and went home.

Track log of drive/walk.

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