VK7/SC-002 & 006 – 31 December 2015 – 1 January 2016

The UTC year changeover holds special significance for SOTA activators! It’s SOTA Double Points Day…HIHI.

Reuben VK7FREU and myself setoff early for Collinsvale and then into the Myrtle Gully track (starting 0639). Unfortunately, part way up the track Reuben VK7FREU wasn’t feeling to flash and he decided to abort. Fortunately his mum was able to pick him up. Reu has been fighting off an upset tummy and went off to the Doctor after that. Thanks Reu and Mum for letting me continue on.

I continued up to the Collins Cap Fire Trail seeing a White-lipped Snake on the track just before the trail. I then walked across to the East-West Fire trail. There was low cloud over Collins Bonnet the whole day.

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Looking along the Collins Cap Fire Trail toward Collins Bonnet in cloud

Managed to get to the Collins Bonnet track at 0805. Headed up through the cloud to the trig point. Cloud was thick enough so you could only just see the next snow pole through the cloud!

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Rock hopping in the clouds – Collins Bonnet track and you could only just see the next snow pole indicating the track!

First setup the hootchie over the trig point to keep the wind and moisture from the clouds off everything. Temp was about 17 degrees so not cold! It was interesting in the cloud as the ground and trig point were not wet however anything at a cooler temperature condensed water.

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Hootchie using the Trig point

Standing in the cloud my polar fleece would progressively become white with small droplets of water. The vertical coaxial feed line to the antenna and squid pole was dripping with water.

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Water from the clouds condensing on the coax.

Made many contacts (in 2015) mostly with other summit stations around Australia leading up to 1100 when in UTC time it became 2016. I then proceeded to contact many of the same stations. Ended up with two pages of contacts. That was an easy 20 activations points! Thanks to all who contacted me.

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Set off from Collins Bonnet back down the East-West then Collins Cap fires trails back to Collins Cap and was on summit at 1349. Collins Cap was free from low cloud and setup the antenna and started making contacts.

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Collins Cap selfie – no cloud therefore no hootchie required – just sunscreen HIHI

Radio conditions were a little more challenging and I tried a few different bands to rouse up about half a page of contacts. At our last activation of Collins Cap a week earlier – ten metres was excellent and we made many contacts. Unfortunately this time 10m propagation was fantastic into VK4  (5/9+ both ways) however I only made a couple of contacts. Proved to me that propagation is always open to somewhere however there may not always be people listening!!

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Panorama on Collins Cap looking toward Collins Bonnet which is still in cloud.

Started down about 1548 and was back at the car at 1700. All up about 11km of walking and climbing. A great day of SOTA’ing and the weather was perfect – not too hot, wet or cold.

Thanks to all who activated on the UTC changeover and the many chasers. Another successful SOTA activation.

73, Justin, VK7TW

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