Mount Zero, VK3/ VW-020 was my 2nd summit activation for Tuesday 10th September, 2013. Mount Zero is 391 metres above sea level, and is worth 1 SOTA point. It is also located within the Grampians National Park, so it qualifies for the Keith Roget Memorial National Parks Award (KRMNPA).
I accessed the summit after turning left from the Western Highway onto the Wonwondah-Dadswell Bridge Road, and then left into Winfields Road. I then turned left into the Halls Gap-Mount Zero Road. There is a carpark on the eastern side of the road. I parked the car there and then commenced the 2.8 km walk to the Mt Zero summit, which requires you to cross back over the Halls Gap-Mt Zero Road. The information board shows the walk to be 2.8 km, but the sign shows it to be 1 km. After doing the walk, it is definitely 2.8 km and not 1 km !
There is an excellent track leading all the way to the summit which is clearly marked with yellow arrows. A little bit of rock climbing is required, but nothing too taxing. This was a really enjoyable walk. The native plants were all out in flower including grevillias & other native flowers.
I kept up the pace during the hike to the summit, following an Irish tourist & her English companion. Once we got to the summit we had a good chat, only to find that they were in training for a trip to the Himalayas. They were curious as to why I was carrying a squid pole, so I explained to them my reason for being on the summit, and they were very interested.
There is a trig point on the summit, along with a memorial cairn to the explorer, Major Thomas Mitchell who discovered and climbed the summit on the 20th July, 1836. The cairn also shows directions & distances for various other peaks in the area. The views from the top are spectacular in all directions with the Victoria Range & The Asses Ears to the south, Black Range & Mount Bepture to the SW, Mt Difficult to the SE, the Pyrenees Range to the east, and Mount Jeffcott to the NE.
There wasn’t a huge amount of room to move up the top, so I used a small shrub to secure the squid pole, utilising 2 octopus straps. And I then ran the legs of the dipoles out, wedging the wire winders between rocks. Although it was overcast, there was no rain in sight, and even better, there was no wind on the top of the summit. You need to be a bit careful on the summit as there are sheer cliff faces and gaps between the rocks on the summit which you can fall between.
I remained on 40m SSB for the entire activation working a total of 23 stations in VK2, VK3, VK4, & VK5.
The following stations were worked:-
Larry VK5LY; Peter VK3FPSR; Brian VK3MCD; Alex VK3AMX; Mark VK3YN; Peter VK3PF/m; Col VK5HCF; Barry VK5BW; Ed VK2JI; Tony VK3CAT/m; Ron VK3AFW; Colin VK3UBY; Roy VK5NRG/qrp; Brian VK5FMID; Glen VK4FSCC; Bernard VK3AMB/m; John VK2FALL; Andt VK5LA/p; Charles VK5FBAC; Ivan VK5HS; Laurie VK3AW; Colin VK3LO; & Wolf VK5WF.
I have added a video to You Tube of the activation…..