VK7/SC-001 – Mt Wellington

by vk3arr

After reaching Hobart, I had permission to finally tackle some SOTA. I knew that Mt Wellington was an easy drive-up, so I decided to try instead Collins Cap, after dropping the wife and kids in town. I had read a number of articles on this particular walk, and parked the car at an unexpected locked gate up from Myrtle Forest. The walk in was therefore longer than anticipated, and by the time I reached Myrtle Falls, I was doing the maths in my head and realising that I’d have about 5 minutes on the summit to set up, activate and pack up to make it back to Hobart in time.

I cancelled my alert, and then decided to go straight to Mt Wellington. I would have about 90 minutes at the top on the basis of the agreed meeting point with the family.

As mentioned, Mt Wellington is the easiest 10 pointer you’ll do, a simple drive right to the top. The summit is always crowded, so I set up near the shelter I’d seen on Justin VK7TW’s blog. Unfortunately, there were a lot of people around, so I opted to use the vertical, attached to the fascia board of the shelter, and strung out the counterpoise along the rock line.

I started on 40m, and Col VK3LED came back at 11:36 am to give me my 14th association, VK7. A slow effort led to 4 contacts on 40m SSB – not the vertical’s most efficient band. I decided, therefore, to use 20m. I worked two contacts on 20m on SSB and then decided I’d go for it. I’d use CW on an activation.

My CW skills are OK. They aren’t fantastic, but I’d probably pass a 5 wpm test if I had to. I have been practicing at 15wpm, at which speed I’m not much cop. So, I spotted myself on 14.061 MHz, and after a short while, back came an almost unintelligible stream of CW at about 30 wpm. I asked them to QRS, and I realised I had a ZL station, ZL1BYZ in the log. BYZ? BQZ? BYZ? BQZ? something like that, anyway. I settled on BYZ, and was grateful to see I was right!

Rick VK4RF also responded, and I answered a few kids’ questions about morse code while I packed up. I met up with the family at Salamanca Place, and had lunch and took the kids off my wife’s hands.

A really bad shot of Hobart from the top

A really bad shot of Hobart from the top