This one was an opportunistic activation.
I am a member of WICEN Tasmania (South) and we help out with Equine Endurance Event safety communications. The weekend of the 26/27 September 2015 saw the group at the historic Southern Midlands property of Fonthill about 25km east of Oatlands.
The event run by the Southern Tasmania Equine Endurance riders included an 80, 2 x 40 and 20km rides around the property. The WICEN crew are stationed at base and for this weekend two checkpoints. I was with Roger VK7ARN on the checkpoint in the middle of the property at a place called Murderer’s Tier. This was a four wheel drive into checkpoint.
At around 11am all the riders had passed the checkpoint and a quick check on the map thanks to Roger’s Android tablet map app and it was found we were close to the only SOTA summit in the area.
I decided to make a dash up to the summit with a small pack and VHF hand held and see how I went. Roger lent me his tablet and I used this to track my way up to the top. It was a bush bash through low scrub and bracken fern. Keeping my eye open for joe blakes (snakes) as it was nice and warm that day.
The top is a long flat rocky knoll area which is open to the North and tall mature trees in an east – west direction on the southern side of the tier.
I operated all the stations on the Endurance ride and then put a spot up and to my surprise VK7ZMS came back to the call from Hobart over a distance of ~70km. Thanks Murray. I called for another 10 minutes but nothing heard. With my eight contacts I decided it was time to descend ready for the next round of riders on the 80km ride.
Coming down the summit was easier than the ascent as you could more easily pick the areas with less vegetation to push through. I made it back to the car and then back to Roger in good time.
Thanks especially to Roger VK7ARN and the people who contacted me. I really didn’t think I was going to do an activation that weekend!
On the drive out I stopped and took a picture of the gate sign.
73, Justin, VK7TW