I was up at Mt Buller for the Victorian Inter-schools ski racing where my daughter was competing. Of course I had to escape for a couple of hours to activate it as in previous years!
Access in winter is quite straight forward as the Summit chairlift goes to within a few hundred meters of the summit itself. The last ascent though is fairly hard work in snow conditions wearing ski boots.
This year, I have invested in a pair of alpine touring skis with “skins”. These are like a cross between conventional downhill skis and cross-country skis. The binding to the boot has a “ski” mode where the boot is firmly attached to the ski for downhill skiing and a “walk” mode where the heel of the boot is free to rise to facilitate comfortable walking. The bases of the skis are smooth, which is exactly what you want for skiing, but not so good for walking up hill. To enable walking, “skins” are attached to the bottom of the ski. These are like very short pile nylon carpet with a tacky glue backing. The pile all points in one direction which allows them to slip in the forward direction, but grip remarkably hard and prevent sliding backwards.
Using the skins made the walk up the summit as easy as walking up a smooth hill!
I set up the station just past the summit hut as in previous visits with the antenna pole supported by the “go past here at your own risk sign” 🙂
The weather was partly cloudy as you can see from the photos, but there was only a light wind which made the location quite comfortable.
The good snow cover again made snow pegs the only easy way to anchor the ends of the antenna. I set up the operating position with my legs hanging over the lip of the ski run below (which is rather steep). This provided a comfortable operating seat with the insulating foam pad to keep the cold out
Getting on air, I fairly quickly worked seven chasers on 40m before switching to 20m and picking up two more. Highlights were working John ZL1BYZ on both 40 and 20m and Snow VK4ME in Townsville on 20m (quite an appropriate name given where I was!)
Given it was Friday afternoon, this was quite a good result and saw the summit comfortably qualified.
Packing up, I pulled the skins off the skis, locked my boots into them and had a pleasant ski all the way back to the lodge.