Tuesday, 11 June 2013

SOTA Activation Mt Zero VK3/VW-020

From Halls Gap drove the Mt Zero Rd to the far Northern end of the Grampians. Unsealed road but not too rough. Got worried about the weather, passed through some rain showers, however on reaching the Mt Zero car park the rain had stopped and was pleasantly sunny. From the car park about a 1 Km walk.

The track climbed up through some rocky outcrops, easy to follow as yellow arrows painted on the rocks. Saw the junction VK3ZPF Peter mentioned in his blog, chose to go the non squeezy route as carrying a squid pole...

Some good view looking back at the Grampians.

 Reached the summit. Fantastic views all round. South from the marker.

North to the flat plains.

Not a lot of room for a 40m dipole though. No idea how Peter got both a vertical and a dipole fitted in here...Used a tree stump for support, and ran the legs out.

One leg ran up to the end of the lookout fence

The other end ran down to a tree

Set up the radio on the ground near the squid pole.

Got on 40m, Peter VK3PF called me first and spotted me. Then worked VK3JM, VK3AXH, VK3AFW mobile in Adelaide, VK5CZ, VK5KC and VK3DET. While talking to VK5KC the wind decided to detelescope the squid pole...so had to go clear and hoist it back up. Ernie VK3DET remarked the signal was about the same detelescoped...in fact could hear signals quite well with the wires on the ground...guess when you are that high up in the clear the extra height is not making much difference.

Good strong signals from VK5, probably due to the border being not far off.

Packed up and headed off for Adelaide. On the way heard Paul, VK5PAS spotted on Darke Peak via Rucksack Radio Tool on my phone in Kaniva. So parked at a wayside stop and worked him on the SOTA gear with good signals both ways.


  1. Nice pics, what a rocky hilltop. Enjoy your trip. Andrew vk1da/2uh

  2. Hi Ian,
    I'm heading off to the SE of SA this Friday and then over the border, to activate some parks and summits, including Mt Zero. So I was very interested to read your blog. I've driven passed Mt Zero dozens & dozens of times (my family live in the Wimmera), but I've never climbed it. All things going well I will be on the top of Mt Zero this Tuesday, around 0300 UTC.
    Glad I was able to work you from Darke Peak over on the Eyre Peninsula.
    Best 73,

  3. Hi Ian,
    I wishes I had checked out your description of Mt Zero before I climbed the peak. Your photos are the best, I think, on any of the blogs I checked. My visit was great and the weather was good as well, although in the wind I needed my jacket but out of the wind and protected it was shirt weather. I was pleased with the number of contacts I received and I was glad to achieve two SOTA activations while we were away.
    John D