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.
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.
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.
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.
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