In the Hawkes Bay for more teaching, I have to look harder now for a new summit to do that will not involve an expedition to achieve. Rocky Range, on Ridgemount road was one I had been looking at for a while. A trip to the summits location to try and find a land owner to get permission from was first on the list. Although there was no one at the farm house, the sign out the front had the owners name and a quick search found me a phone number. A friendly chat with the land owner explaining where we wanted to go and why and he gave us the green light to walk on.
The road height is not much beneath the actual summit height in fact the road side may have been in the AZ but we would need to prove that with the GPS. We did – it wasn’t. On-wards to the summit. On the map a trig is shown. With our highly tuned navigational skills “I think its that lump there” we ascended the highest lump and found no trig. However the map said we were in the right place. Then we found the trig. Horizontally polarized next to the fence down the hill. Bugger that was going to be my antenna support. Now what? The kids were sent to find a stick in the near by plantation to act as an antenna support. One end of the dipole tied off to the fence, the other to a lump of grass. Hi tech stuff.
A few very full looking clouds were heading our way. 7 MHz was not offering any contacts so up to 14 MHz before we get wet. With 2 on 20 and one contact on 2 metres I thought I was going to get wet but the cloud went around us – but another was following behind. A run up to the peak of the hill to get a few more on VHF and then back to the HF. Just as I was about to give 5 MHz a go VK3YY popped up on 20. We exchanged numbers (they weren’t great with QSB) and down to 5 MHz to work another 2 contacts. With final calls the gear went away in the backpack for a brisk walk back to the car to beat the imminent rain.
This was an easy one to add to the list if you get permission. On a fine day this would be a great summit to spend time working a full page of contacts I am sure. Just bring an antenna support.
Summit – ZL1/HB-112 ocky Range
Height – 516 m (height gain of 30 m)
Access – via 747 Rocky Range Road
Nominal time to summit – 10 minute walk from roadside.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – Good coverage (and into 725 and 670)
Summit Marker – Trig has gone – use GPS to find correct lump.
Land Access Permission – Required – contact me for phone number.