Mt. Ritchie and Mt. Donna Buang Pilgrimage

Tough day at the office today. The walk up to Mt. Ritchie was very pleasant in mild sunny conditions. It was either my new boots and poles or else I am a bit fitter than last year – the trekking in the Rockies may have paid dividends?
Saw a number of wallabies on the way up. This trek is a very pretty one at this time of year.

Looking north on Road Ten on the way to Mt. Ritchie

Looking north on Road Ten on the way to Mt. Ritchie

From the car parked on the Acheron Way at Road 15 it is a 7.5 kilometre walk to the Mt. Ritchie summit. The steepest parts are the first 3 kilometres that includes Road 15 and the first bit of Road 10. After the 3 kilometre mark, the grade gets a bit flatter. From car to summit is an elevation gain near to 550 metres.
Click here for a Garmin Mt Ritchie Adventure

Anyway, activity started off smartly with a S2S and two further 40m CW contacts then nothing. Liased with Ron VK3AFW on the VK3REC repeater for an 80 metre sked but still nothing, Ron was 5×5. In the end, worked Ron simplex on 2 metres.
Qualified the summit on CW with John running the Wagga Club station then two solid contacts on 40m SSB with VK5PL and VK5BJE/P

Date:12/Sep/2015 Summit:VK3/VC-003 (Mt Ritchie) Call Used:VK3CAT/P Points: 8 Bonus: 3
Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:40z VK3BYD/P 7MHz CW Warren 559, 559 S2S VK3/VC-003 to VK3/VE-014
00:49z VK2IO 7MHz CW Gerard 579, 449
00:52z VK3HRA 7MHz CW Allen 559, 339
01:04z VK3AFW 144MHz FM Ron 5×7, 55 to 7 QSB
01:32z VK2WG 3.5MHz CW John 559, 519, long protracted contact due to qsb (0127 to 0132)
01:37z VK5PL 7MHz SSB David 5×8, 58
01:39z VK5BJE/P 7MHz SSB John 5×7, 57

Phone coverage was mostly good, New Samsung S5 is much better than the Galaxy Nexus!
Also good access into VK3REC 147.175 repeater. I used this to coordinate a qso with Ron VK3AFW.
Summit height is listed at 1255 metres. This confirms with Forest explorer but not with my GPS or Garmin Oz Toppo that mates it 1269 metres.

Back at the car 90 minutes later. No problems getting over the gate this time as the big concrete barrier was gone, meaning I could go through it. Last time I fell off!

A smattering of rain heading up to Mt. Donna Buang,
No phone coverage until arriving at the top carpark. Text message from Warren VK3BYD, looks like I may have missed him at the Hump but no…
Must have a pipeline to Gerard VK2IO as I worked him plus VK3PF Peter and Ron VK3AFW in quick succession. Then again nothing. I was lucky to catch Warren VK3BYD on the Hump – warren set his station back up to enable the contact – Thanks Warren 🙂

Finished of working Peter VK3ZPF/P on 40m ssb and 2 metres FM from near Drouin.

Date:12/Sep/2015 Summit:VK3/VC-002 (Mt Donna Buang) Call Used:VK3CAT/P Points: 8 Bonus: 3

Time Call Band Mode Notes
04:21z VK2IO 7MHz CW Gerard 559, qsb, 419
04:25z VK3PF 7MHz CW Peter 579, 339
04:26z VK3AFW 7MHz CW Ron 579, 439
04:46z VK3BYD/P 7MHz CW Warren 339, 519 S2S VK3/VC-002 to VK3/VC-019
04:49z VK3ZPF/P 7MHz SSB Peter 5×8, 55
04:50z VK3ZPF/P 144MHz FM Peter 5×5, 51 VX7r + standing on table

I am pretty sure I heard VK2AOH calling and may have heard VK2YW?
Generally signal reports were beyond that being workable on SSB.
All up, some of the worst propagation I have experienced but there are some advantages:
Firstly the bands were relatively quiet.
Secondly, only small logs to submit.
Third, time to have a leisurely lunch and enjoy the views!

Packed up in a rain squall, bright sunshine back towards home.
Thanks to all who enabled me to qualify the summits.
With a bit more time, I will have the 2m CW/SSB setup working.

Travel notes from East Brighton:
Depart 6:40 AM, Montrose roundabout 7:20 AM, Seville 7:30 AM, Yarra Junction 7:52 AM, Warburton 8:02 AM
Mt. Donna Buang Rd 8:10 AM, 15 Mile Rd 8:27 AM (11 kilometres from the Donna Buang Rd).
Departing from the parked car @ 08:37 AM, I was on the Mt. Ritchie Summit by 10:25 AM (UTC 00:25hrs). I took the time to have a look at an area off to the west of the summit.
Ready to activate 00:38 hrs utc, last contacts 01:39 hrs utc

Departed summit 12:00 Noon, back at the car @ 1:30 PM. At 2:05 PM I was on the summit of Mt. Donna Buang.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Mt. Ritchie and Mt. Donna Buang Pilgrimage

  1. Wow what a beautiful place, great write up Tony. Another summit to visit next time I’m in Melbourne.

    • Andrew, it is a really lovely walk. I think it is only us Sota Activators that ever go up there! Well not quite true, looked like the ANU is doing a tree survey and most of the fallen timber from last trip had been cleared. Well done on forthcoming Goathood. May catch you from Matlock?

  2. Pingback: Winter Sota activations for 2015 | vk3cat

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