VK3/VW-020 – Mt Zero – 10 February 2016

On a recent driving trip back to my home state of VK5 I decided to break the trip and activate a summit on the way. A quick look at the SOTA map and Mt Zero seemed a logical option. At the end of the Grampian Mountain range it is easily accessed just after Dadswells Bridge (the big Koala!) along the Wonwondah-Dadswells Bridge Rd, on to Winfields Rds and then Mt Zero Road and follow the signs to the Mt Zero Picnic area.

The day I chose put me at the picnic area around 11am and it was already 30 degrees centigrade! Plenty of water, hat, sunscreen and covering and I set off along the very well marked track.

IMG_3387

Sandy track up Mt Zero

The track heads up through the sandstone rocks and is easy to follow with yellow triangles painted on the rocks marking the track. It is steep toward the end with natural sandstone steps. The direction cairn is the first feature you come to and further along the ridge line is the trig point. Caution is required on top as there is a scary cliff face that you are next to along the ridge line. I decided to operate from the cairn as there was a tree I could velcro the squid pole to and it was within the activation zone.

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Direction cairn commemorating Major Mitchell who explored this area

I started on 40m and scraped up four contacts as conditions were not good. I then move to 15m and called CQ for about 15 minutes and out of the noise came AI0L Mark from Colorado with a 5/7 5/7 contact. This proved to me propagation is always open….to somewhere! We talked for a short while and completed the contacts and I called but no one else came back on 15m.

IMG_3392

Panorama from Trig point in 180 degree to ridge line toward Flat Rock

IMG_3395

Panorama in other direction showing the olive plantation

I went back to 40m and conditions had improved and I worked VK2, 3, 5, & 7 including Murray VK7ZMS/3 who was on the Spirit of Tasmania with me and was helping to drive to Port Douglas with a mate, thanks Murray.

IMG_3397

Looking toward Flat Rock from Mt Zero – huge monoliths of sandstone.

With 13 contacts and the temperature in the middle of the day rising I decided to call it quits and made my way back to the car and continue driving to South Australia. I had lunch just down the road in Horsham and was in Adelaide by about 7pm. I slept well that night…HIHI.

Thanks to all who contacted me.

73, Justin, VK7TW

 

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3 Responses to VK3/VW-020 – Mt Zero – 10 February 2016

  1. vk5bje says:

    Hi Justin,
    This description of your activation came just in time! I will be in the Grampians in a couple of weeks and Mt Zero is on my possible visit list, and maybe a second activation of Mt William. I read Allen’s (VK3ARH) description of a recent visit and he wrote about the visual impact of the fires, but it appears that the rains and passage of time have made the place more attractive again. I am sorry I missed you while you were at Mt Zero: a too busy life!
    Cheers
    John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

    Like

    • Pleasure John, hope you are well? It is an easy activation and I hope you get cooler weather! The road into the place was heavily corrigated but there was a road crew there at the time I activated so they may have graded by the time you get there. The Colorado contact was a real bonus! 73, Justin, VK7TW

      Like

  2. vk5bje says:

    Hi Justin,
    Well I am well: well as can be expected as bits wear out! Thanks. I was impressed with the Colorado contact: those sorts of contacts bring a great deal of pleasure when on a low-power portable expedition. Thanks for the comments on the road. I will probably give it a go!
    cheers
    John D
    VK5BJE/VK5PF

    Like

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