VKs save the day on Mt Heveldt - ZL3/WC-457

Working in the Haast Kiwi Sanctuary this week took me over Mt Heveldt - ZL3/WC-457. This 1416m 4 pointer is unusual as it lies within 500m of lake Greaney - ZLL/0315 allowing a rare simultaneous SOTA + ZLLakes activation.

The Haast-Jacksons road is at <10m above sea level, so you climb almost every one of those 1416m to reach the summit via one of several marked but unpublished trap-lines. The simplest access being up somewhat rough Tuning Forks (TF) route from the Arawhata bridge carpark (north-side).

I had just my 30 minute lunch break to qualify the peak, allowing 10 mins each on 40m and 20m. To make things worse I had no mast with me and had to string the EFHW horizontally between rocks 2m above the ground with just a trap-marker cane to improve elevation. Powering up the FT818 on 7.090 I was greeted by @ZL1SGS calling CQ SOTA on Lavericks, a popular Canterbury peak. 1 in the bag, and a S2S at that - this is going to be easy!

The next 10 mins of calling however, brought just silence.

The dread of only my 2nd failed activation in my stomach, I switched to 20m. The next 10 mins though resulted in a trickle of VKs, with @VK1ACE, @VK2IO and @VK5CZ responding to calls. Thank god for the Aussies!

Peak qualified and lunch quickly downed it was back to work on a wonderful clear West-Coast day.

Arawhata River, Jacksons Bay beyond

Mastless activation

Lake Greaney - ZLL/0315


Thanks for sharing your activation with great photos Matt.

73 Geoff vk3sq

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40m has been behaving like a band with very long skip distances lately, in the mornings (around 2100 to 0200). An event in the space weather is blamed. But the Long path has still been working on 20m, albeit at reduced signal strengths.

Glad you made enough contacts to qualify.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2DA

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