I’d planned a camping trip a few months ago with some friends at Geehi in the snowy mountains, a 45 minute drive, about 35kms past Thredbo on the Apline Way. So, thinking about it a bit more, I decided to see if there are any close by SOTA peaks, lo and behold, there are two, Mt Youngall a 10 pointer, and Tyrell’s Ridge, 4 points and not previously activated!
Access to Tyrell’s Ridge, VK2/SM-096 is not too bad, turn off Alpine Way at the Geehi Horse Trailer carpark and follow the track into the bush, it says ‘4wd only in dry weather’ but the track would be navigable by 2wd in dry, no clearance issues, but there are steep sections.
I found a nice spot to park near a ridge that runs up to the top and walked up to the summit, it took me a bit less than an hour, and was a bit of a slog through some wet, thick regrowth from fires in the area some years ago.
As I got there it started a very light rain, so I set myself with my japara protecting the radio and logbook, made me a bit wet, but the radio kept working! After starting out with AM on 7.140MHz for 15 minutes or so with no takers, I found a clear frequency and started the CQ calls, and after 5 minutes or so I had a taker who spotted me and then I was away! I managed 20 contacts over the next little while. I did try 14.310 and 21.250 MHz, but no takers on there either. Not being able to spot from the summit made it a bit more difficult! There might be mobile phone reception for the various phone apps on Mt Youngall, the next nearest summit, but driving along the road, the closest is probably Khancoban, or back to Thredbo.
At some point, the rain started to get a bit heavier, and towards the end of an hour or so, I was very cold and had most definitely had enough of this! I again omitted to take photos of the SOTA station, one day I’ll remember it in time!
A careful slog back to the car to a change of clothes and some food! Had to Sit in the car for a bit to warm up, then drove in to Khancoban, stopping at Scammell’s ridge lookout and spotted some snow on the hills! Alpine way’s a hard drive, and should be taken with care, especially in the wet!
A rather difficult activation for me, and I think next time, I’ll not try activating a summit in the wet. It’s not much fun at all! Alternatively, I should get myself a bothy bag I suppose.
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