Mt Zero VK3/VW-020
Day two of my 2014 Queens Birthday long weekend activations, and I headed north to activate Mt Zero first. Mt Zero is the northern end of the Grampians. There are high quality gravel 2wd roads that lead to the car park. It has picnic facilities, and it has been known for campervans to stay there overnight – but tent camping is not allowed.
The track that heads up to the summit is straightforward, but is also quite popular. On a long weekend, you are unlikely to be alone up here.
It’s interesting looking at this photo in May 2015, as the area was subsequently burnt after this activation. The ground is far more open now.
The trig point is not at the summit, but a little to the north – it’s only a few metres down. There is a marker at the summit itself, which is where I operated from. I had to be careful in the space I took up. I started off alone, but shortly thereafter, 10 people were on the summit, many taking interest in this strange radio activity. As I was operating CW with earbuds, they could not hear anything, they could just see me touching the key. Perhaps I could have dressed up 1910’s style with a big brass straight key
Mt William VK3/VS-001
I’ve been to Mt William a few times before. It is the “go to” summit in the Grampians for a quick few points. Obviously no new unique for me here. It’s a bit different being here in the middle of the day, and CW activating at that. My preferred place to activate is to get away from the crowds near the navigation site and the summit boulders to its immediate north. A further 20/30 metres north from there, about 5m down from the summit is plenty of space, and it’s a lot more quiet.
Here’s a look at my operating location – the towers in the back made little to no impact operating 20/30/40 on the KX1 – no 20m contacts however 😦
Mt William range VK3/VS-032
The final summit of the day is a lower summit to the south of Mt William, in the shadow of the Major Mitchell plateau. Recent maps show this summit off track, but it is actually quite easy to get to. I took a little bit of a harder way on the way in, but easier on the way out. Access is via Jimmy Creek Rd. I headed up Yarram Park Rd from Jimmy Creek Rd to the saddle. I found an old track from there that headed about half of the distance along the ridge to the summit. At this point I came to a 4wd track that heads up from Jimmy Creek Rd. It leaves Jimmy Creek Rd about 500m to the east of its junction with Yarram Park Rd. This would be the easiest access. From here a track continues along the ridge towards the summit. It does not quite make it, the summit itself is actually outside of the national park on private land, however the national park boundary is well within the activation zone, and so I activated close to the NP boundary (inside the boundary of course).
That was the end of day two of this trip. I planned to head over to the western Grampians on the third day.
Regards, Wayne VK3WAM