A case of remarkably good timing, E5 (Cook Islands) joined SOTA the beginning of September, and I already had a trip booked for the end of September.
There are a number of summits on Rarotonga, however only 3 or 4 are probably accessible. Of those, two (E5/RA-001 & RA-005) sound like they have some relatively serious & exposed climbs to reach the activation zone. The other one E5/RA-002 still involves multiple rope assisted climbs up short cliff sections but sounds much more reasonable.
I haven’t yet secured a guide but I’m working on that. In order to climb we’ll need several days of dry weather which looks like we’ll get the second half of this week. I’ll aim to have a go at E5/RA-002 or E5/RA-005. I’m guessing it will likely be around 1900-2100 UTC.
I’ll be activating with the MTR on 20M (9v battery) and maybe the FT817 on 17M/15M with SSB as well. EFHW and dipoles. Propagation might exist to both VK and NA at that time, Hawaii & NZ look really good according to VOACAP.
First thing to do is actually reach the summit, or maybe it’s to sneak the radio gear into the suitcase on a trip which is meant to be for our 10 year anniversary