Following my activation of Tothill Range, VK5/ SE-010 on Saturday 18th May, 2013, I headed up to Burra and booked in to the Burra Hotel. Certainly not the Ritz, but it was okay for the night. The beer and the bundy was cold at the bar, which was the main thing.
The following day I got up bright and early, and had my bowl of Corn flakes and coffee, and then met up with Ian VK5CZ, from Clare, out the front of the pub. We then headed south to un-named summit, VK5/ SE-009. We had a bit of difficulty finding the summit because of dodgy internet coverage and the fact that we had been told this summit was Steins Hill. It turns out definitely not to be Steins Hill, which is further to the east from VK5/ SE-009.
The summit is located on private property owned by Mr. Paul THOMPSON. Access is via Princess Royal Road which runs off the Barrier Highway, just out of the town of Burra. The trig point on the top of the summit is quite visible from the road.
We entered Paul’s land via a cockies gate and travelled across the paddock to an old quarry, and parked the car here. From that point it was about a 2.5 km walk to the top of the summit. The climb is not too bad. We tried to follow the sheep trails as they seem to know the easy way up these hills. Quite a few kangaroos were seen on the way up.
After reaching the top we set up the antennas in fairly trying conditions. It was blowing a gale on the top of the hill. No wonder they are trying to put more wind towers up here ! The westerly that was coming in was certainly getting the the squiddies to lean to the east. I set up my 40m/20m dipole close to the trig point and used a pile of rocks to prop up the squid pole. Ian used an old fence post to secure his squid pole.
The views from the top are quite good, particularly down to the south and up to the north. There is an experimental wind tower on the top of a nearby hill. It is planned for this range to host another series of wind farm towers. They are everywhere up here in the mid north. There is a trig point on the summit. I found the warning of a 20 pound fine for interference to the trig quite interesting. There are no trees on the top of the actual summit. It is rocky and quite bare.
I jumped onto 40m first, while Ian tried his luck on 20m CW. As was the case with the activation the day before, my first contact was a Summit to Summit with Ian, VK1DI/p on VK1/ AC-038 Mount Tuggeranong. Ian was 5/5 and I received a 5/3 back. Ian was kind enough to allow me the frequency and what followed was a mini pile up. I also had 2 more S2S QSO’s. The first being with Marshall VK3MRG/p on Mt Macedon VK3/ VC-007, and the second with Al VK1RX/p on VK1/ AC-019. A real pleasure to bag some more S2S contacts. That is always the highlight of any SOTA trip for me.
I ended up with 20 QSO’s, all on 40m SSB.
Stations worked were:- Ian VK1DI/p (s2s); Ernie VK3DET; Ed VK2JI/p; Rod VK2LAX/p; John VK2YW; Fred VK3JM; Marshall VK3MRG/p (s2s); Al VK1RX/p (s2s); Matt VK1MA; Peter VK3PF; David VK5KC; Shaun VK5FAKV; Peter VK3FPSR; Andy VK5LA; Ken VK7KKV; Allen VK3HRA/m (enroute to another summit); Col VK5HCF; Geoff VK2GM; Peter VK3ZPF/p, and Colin VK3LO.
After a few hours on the top of the hill, Ian and I headed down. Again on the walk down, lots of kangaroos were seen. Ian and I then drove into Burra for a bite to eat, and then headed north for our next summit…..Mount Cone, VK5/ SE-002.
I took a bit of video with my i-phone on the top of the summit, and I’ve placed it on You Tube. It can be found at …..