VK3/VC-019 – Mt Warrenheip
The lead up to the New Year period results in an activator frantically scanning the summits that he hasn’t activated this year to see what he can squeeze in. In this case, Mt Warrenheip, about an hour from home, was unactivated for the year.
After a quick trip to Scarsdale to pick up some bought goods, and lunch in Ballarat, I drove with the family to the top. At the top, we parked near another car, a Subaru, which I figured was probably a Kryal Castle employee taking a smoking break near lunch time.
I set up using the Buddistick as it allows a quicker deployment, usually. This time, however, I managed to pull one of the telescoping sections out too far. Luckily, the Buddistick package comes with two of them. I set up in my usual spot on the rise near the main comms tower, and whilst doing so noticed a dodgy looking gentleman come out of the bush behind the tower and head back to his car briefly. I’m loathe to ascribe motivations, but I got the sense I’d either disturbed him injecting some substance, or enjoying a little ‘private time’.
Try as I might, I could not get the antenna to tune up. Eventually, I found a strong signal on 40m, and decided I’d try to break in with a bit of extra power. As he gave out his summit reference, I was shocked to find that the reference that was being given out was my summit. A mistake? A person trying to cheat the system.
No, it was Allen VK3HRA, enjoying a little ‘private time’ with his 817 and an end-fed on the other side of the comms tower out of sight. It was his Subaru, and he was the dodgy looking fellow. I headed over to his set up, and we laughed about it. From my wife’s perspective, I just disappeared down the hill without a word in the direction of the dodgy guy.
Allen let me use his radio to qualify the summit, and I worked S2S with VK1VIC and VK2FPMC on VK2/ST-053, Peter VK3PF on Mt Granya VK3/VE-165 and Ian VK1DI/2 on VK2/SM-090. I also worked Amanda VK3FQSO and my good friend Leighton VK2LI/3, supplementing his chaser score.
At that point, I headed back to the car, and Allen apologised to my wife for all SOTA husbands everywhere. 4 more points, to take me to 150, and all thanks to Allen for saving the day.