Mt Warning VK2/NR-001
To escape the cold of the Victorian winter, my family headed up north to stay with relatives in the Tweed Valley. It is a bit of a tradition to climb Mt Warning, with my grandfather first doing it in 1980. When I was a kid, I remember seeing an enlargement of him holding the chain that is on the path near the summit. I first did it in the late 90s with my dad and siblings. Our photos with the chain didn’t quite capture the same ambience. I also remember struggling to get back down with my legs worn out and then being really stiff for days. Now, it’s time to do it with my son, Simon, and also sneak in a SOTA activation of the summit as well.
Access is via the Kyogle Road from Murwillumbah. Its about 12km to the turn off – it’s well signed. Keep following the road from then until it ends in a car park. The walking track starts from here. The walking track proceeds up the hill, it gets straight into it from the car park. Switchbacks are used so the gradient is steady. The track becomes more rocky the higher it goes. Eventually the area of the summit is reached and this steeper section has a chain to assist. The summit is surrounded by cliffs, apart from this approach. The track makes its way to the summit, where a number of viewing platforms have been installed. It tends to be busy up there.
It was cloudy this day – Mt Warning is informally called the cloud catcher. I did manage to get at least a bit of a view:
With all of the platforms, the next challenge was to find somewhere to activate. I activated right at the summit itself, to try and get a bit of space from the viewing platforms.
Activation was using the KX1 with the random wire. Got a few queries from people curious as to what I was getting up to. Activating up in the northern ends of New South Wales is a very different experience from down in Victoria. Most of the usual chasers on 40 were no where to be found – or they could not hear me. I had no contacts on 40. I had a little more success on 30, with 2 contacts, including a VK3 contact. No contacts on 20. So only 2 contacts, enough to get the summit in my list of uniques, but not to get the 6 SOTA points. The uniques is far more important to me. Still a bit of a shame to leave without the points – but I’m not ready to go back to SSB land and carry a rig that needs a microphone to get more contacts just yet. I could have stayed longer, but my wife and son had already left about half an hour earlier, so I needed to get down so they would not get to the car park far ahead of me.
No stiffness in the legs today – I’m a lot fitter than I was in 1999. Simon did Mt Warning easily, so he is pretty fit for an 8 year old. I told my wife that it was a warm up for Mt Gower on Lord Howe Island, now she is thinking she won’t attempt the climb there.
Thanks for reading, and hope those that attempt Mt Warning have more contacts than me.