Activated 11 May 2013
This was my first activation of the new Federation Range which I managed after the annual Lake Mountain Skike and Rollerski Event. I arrived at 9.00am before the road closure and drove to the top carpark to set up the Skike market tent and assist at the finnish line. For most of the event we were shrouded in fog and drizzle which kept visibility down to about 50 metres. We had to use the Lake Mountain walkie-talkies and dedicated repeater frequency to keep in contact with the start and spotters along the road.
After the race we had demo Skike sets available to try and this kept us busy for another couple of hours while the weather improved and the sun broke through after midday. After packing up this gave me the opportunity to stay back and activate the peak later than I was hoping for. I left the top carpark at about 3.30pm concerned that this was going to be insufficient time to activate before daylight faded. I made my way up the track and past The Triangle and kept to the left track at The Crossways until reaching Hut Trail and following this to the summit.
The 40 metre band was quite busy with high powered DX rolling in and plenty of loud VK stations and after having no luck calling for about 10 minutes and aware that I was going to run out of time, I found Jim VK2QA calling and logged my first contact at 0648z. He then assisted in getting me a few more contacts over the next 10 minutes as daylight was fading and the fog was starting to roll in again.
Next in the log was Tim VK2AOS quickly followed by Carl VK2CRH. My fourth and final contact was with Tom VK4ATH and was the most interesting and unexpected contact of the day. Tom was using a 40 metre magnetic loop and 100 watts and reports of 57 were exchanged both ways with my standard 5 watts back.
In fading light and with four contacts successfully logged I quickly packed up and headed back to the car. Federation Peak would make an ideal SOTA activation by mountain bike. When snowed in it should be relatively accessible by foot for bonus points in a midwinter activation.