Four days of rain. Planned to activate a whole bunch of peaks and spend the night on some for some DX. Didn't work out that way at all. All up did 1300km and only activated four summits.
Instead of spending each night on a summit I fled the rain and crashed at VK2JDS Dave's and VK2XPH Phillipa's each night (thanks guys).
So two summits I had planned and two summits I hadn't planned for.
Left home fully packed for a camping trip at 10am. Planned to drive up the Bells of Line Road to activate Mt Tomah, Mt Banks, VK2/CT-012 and Mt Lambie. Then head down to Oberon to spend the night on Mt Bindo. All sounded good and doable....
VK2/CT-043 Mt Tomah
This summit has been activated a few times now and is easy to get to. Travel along Bells of Line Rd till you get to Rainbow Ravine Rd, which has a small rest area at the turn off. Turn left at Charleys Rd and near the end of the road is a large comm site.
Had five contacts. Three on 40m and one on 15m. Was very quick as I wanted to get moving to the next sites as rain was coming.
Stopped off at VK2/CT-032 Mt Banks but decided to skip it as it would be a long walk and the rain was very close now. Figured I would pick it up on the way back as I went back home.
Back on Bells of line road and it started to rain. Which was the theme for the rest of my weekend away.
So I had to skip another summit VK2/CT-012 which I also planned to do on way back home. Same story for Mt Lambie. Rain was really heavy now with the added bonus of lightning.
Stopped at a truck pull off to look over towards Oberon and Mt Bindo, which was to be my first nights camping spot.
Mmmm joy! More rain. I then SMSed Dave and asked if I could stay at his place for the night.
VK2/CT-003 Mt Bindo
On the road at 9:30am for the 2 hour drive to Bindo. Got turn around a bit in the Hampton State Forest looking for the St George ARS repeater site. Finally found the access road with the help of VK2CU Justin watching me on APRS and passing on directions.
Sunny during the drive down there and then it started to rain off and on. Since I was here I wasn't leaving without activating.
Turn off Duckmalio Rd at the Bindo Pit Road sign. Take the road on the left called Evens Forest Rd. Follow that till about the seventh right turn and head up hill to the site. This final unmarked road is very narrow with the trees brushing against the ute. There is a short cut that goes up to the top but it is 4WD drive only. There maybe 2WD access but you will need a high clearance and even then I wouldn't suggest it.
Watch out for Stinging Nettles. They are all around the edge of the bush.
It started to rain, lightning and thunder with earnest. I threw all the gear into the ute and decided to wait out the rain as I was also planning to camp here for the night. Sat in the ute working guys with the 706 (no S2S even thou I was there grrr....). After three hours of sitting there the storm became worse. Heavy rain and lightning. So I just got off! I didn't want to get hit and I didn't want to get stuck up there if the roads were going to turn to mush. Missed out on about half a dozen S2S.
I worked five on 40m, five on 30m and five on 12m. Including W7RV on 12m.
Drove over to Jenolan State Forest to check on access to VK2/CT-004 and 005. Thought I might be able to spend the night on one of these summits if access looked OK. Well it didn't...
Gave up on finding somewhere to spend the night and hurried back to Dave and Phillipa's
VK2/CT-031 Mt Bulga
Got back on the road around 11:30 after helping Dave get a new 6m yagi up, fixing my outbacker HF whip and generally playing radio stuff.
Mt Bulga is close to the Kinross State Forest and quite close to Dave's place.
Turn off Lower Ponds Rd (just after Banjo Paterson Way ends) into Kinross Lane. Follow the road into the Kinross State Forest and then take the 2nd left following the boundary road around the edge of the pine plantation. I went past the peak and found a goat trail that got me close to the top and walked the rest of the way.
I felt I was on private property and I was a bit toeie about making any noise and I just wanted to get out of there. So I just wanted to qualify the summit as quick as possible. Made six contacts on 40m. Even forgot my phone and camera, left them in the car.
When leaving I discovered that there is another road that looks better that might go to the top. And the summit is in the Bulga Nature Reserve. DOE! Not private property!
VK2/CT-001 Mt Canobolas
Another site that has had many activations. Biggest lump of rock sticking up for miles around. Has major comm sties and TV transmitters on the peak.
On the drive up it started to rain (again) so I decided to head on up and wait out the rain. But the rain got heavier and heavier until vis was down to 10m or so. And then the hail started. So I turned around and got off quick, slipping and skidding all the way back down. Stopped later on a side road to look back up to the summit to see it was in the clear again. So I headed back up and waited at the lookout till the rain and lightning cleared a bit.
Finally got a break. Grabbed the gear and did the walk over to a clear spot on a access road to two comm sites and setup.
This was my most active site. The rain gave me a good break and left me in peace till I packed up to go.
Worked 13 on 40m, five on 30m, six on 20m and two on 12m. Four S2S and CT1BXT on 12m.
Coming home I decided to skip crossing the Blue Mountains and skirting Sydney (cringe) and go via the Byong valley. Longer drive but far more relaxing. And I figured if I can get out from under the rain I might be able to get to some of the summits I was passing.
But it was not to be. It just kept raining and raining and raining till I was nearly home. Well at least all the farmers were smiling...