Saturday, April 29, 2023

ZS/WC-058 Lion's Head 1st Dec 2022

 A steep climb rewarded with views across Cape Town (1 point)

We parked on the road near the start of the sign marked footpath.  An alternative approach would be to park at Signal Hill and walk along to join the same Lion's Head path.

This a popular climb full of walkers, although it can be technically challenging, with a couple of metal ladders and some very steep sections at the top.  However the walk is very safe and well marked.  The ascent took about 90 minutes.

I decided to use my 2m FM Handy to activate as there are clear line of sight views to much of Cape Town and surrounding suburbs.  Putting up an HF antenna would be challenging with the number of fellow walkers and limited space on top.

Following a CQ Sota call on 145.500 MHz I enjoyed 5 short QSOs over 10 minutes, including one with a visitor to Cape Town (ZS1/AD4GN) and Phil ZS1WW who had been very helpful in planning my activations.

I would recommend Lion's Head as perhaps the first activation for any Ham visiting Cape Town, a day or two before climbing Table Mountain (Maclear's Beacon).

ZS/WC-965, Vasco Dagamapiek (Cape Point) 30 Nov 2022

 A straightforward climb with views across 2 oceans (1 point).  2m saved the day!

This is the most Southerly summit at Cape Point and is easily accessible from the main car park. I decided to activate on HF: with spectacular views over 2 oceans I expected my take off to be good and for this to be an easy activation...

We paid our entrance fee at the gate and drove up to the main car park, near the gift shop and Funicular base station.

The route starts from a North Westerly gate from the car park and proceeds fairly straight all the way to the peak.  The path is rocky, rough in parts and well marked and so this was a fairly straightforward climb, around an hour I think.

Once at the top I saw a disused hut that could have been used to prop up my SotaPole.  The ground around it was pretty uneven so instead I decided to base myself on a concrete foundation area and put up the pole with the usual 3 supports (2x antenna wires and 1x string) staked into the ground with tent pegs.

I had alerted the WhatsApp Sota group, so started calling CQ Sota on 40m SSB.  Conditions were very poor as the band was noisy and I only achieved 1 QSO on 40m despite calling for 25 minutes.  I switched to 20m and was delighted to speak with Adele ZS5APT and her partner, who had been very helpful with planning and getting on to the Whatsapp group.  20m was also hard going.

I resorted to 2m FM for a further 3 QSOs and so achieved my one Sota point, but my dreams of 10-20 HF QSOs up and down the country were not realised!

Back at the car park we headed to the Two Oceans restaurant for lunch - highly recommended!

Next activation: WC-058 Lion's Head

ZS/WC-058 Lion's Head 1st Dec 2022

  A steep climb rewarded with views across Cape Town (1 point) We parked on the road near the start of the sign marked footpath.  An alterna...