Today we went in search of Mt Bruce aka Bruce’s Hill….where the track to get to the summit is for now, we will never know. The DOC map shows the track that enters from either end however, on arriving no amount of searching revealed the track to us and so we gave in, feeling defeated Warren spotted a mast on the hill tops of some farm land and we discovered this was another summit, after a bit of driving around we managed to find the land owner and gain permission to access the track.
After gaining access permission we followed the track to the super-bin where we had to park up and walk to the rest of the way. This walk was an easy dash across the paddocks and only took around 20-30mins. The anemometer, which measures the wind speed was in the distance and where we headed for, though this is not the summit, the actual summit is only another 2 minutes walk from this point.
We set up using fence posts as aerial supports in a small dip between two rises. We made several contacts with both ZL and VK, however we still found conditions trying, despite more favourable weather. As luck would have it our first contact was a summit to summit from VK2DI who had QSYd to our frequency hoping to use it. Had he been a minute earlier he would have had it. As it was we only worked Gerard VK2IO afterwards before giving up on 14 MHz. We tried 7, 18, 21 and 28 MHz all with no success before trying 3.9 MHz using the 7 MHz dipole and gaining 2 ZL contacts. We also managed to get Neil ZL2UN on 144 MHz simplex after putting a call out on the local repeater – a lucky find. After an hour with 5 contacts in the log we decided enough was enough and it was time to head down. A successful day but not what we had originally planned.
This was Warren’s first activation in the WL region, and the first activation of this summit.
Summit – ZL1/WL-097
Height – 510 mASL
Access – Off Opaki Kaiparoro Rd, find Old Coach Rd (South). Permission can be obtained from either of the 2 houses down this road. With permission follow the track up to the superbin, park up and walk following a light vehicle track to the North East (always aiming for the anemometer).
Nominal time to summit – 20 minute drive from Eketahuna, 30 minute walk to summit.
Mobile and internet coverage from the summit – 3g coverage on Spark and Vodafone network.
Summit Marker – Anemometer is in the AZ – but no marker for the true summit.
Land Access Permission – Required. The farmer seemed friendly but insisted that vehicles remained on the track and that you walked to the summit from the end of the vehicle track at the super bin.