SOTA Summit, Mount Zero, VK3/VW-020, is within the Grampians National Park, VKFF-0213. I have activated the Grampians National Park a number of times. Here is a link to my last activation:
I wanted to activate a second summit in the Grampians National Park. I have previously activated Mount William. Mount Zero is worth one point to the activator, and it is a much harder one point to earn, than the one point earned at nearby Mount Arapiles! However, I did not think that the walk and time spent on Mount Zero would keep two active Grandchildren busy (as well as their parents). So the family, including my xyl, Jenny, all went rock climbing at Hollow Mountain. This suited me as Hollow Mountain car park to the Mount Zero car park is only a further two or three kilometres, but over a badly corrugated road.
The photo shows our six year old (nearly seven) grandson near the top of the cliff. The organiser of the rock climbing experience said her youngest climber was aged four and her oldest in her/his eighties. All three women (three generations) in the party abseiled down the cliff. Congratulations to them. JCD photo
In preparing for this activation I read a number of blogs from other amateurs who have successfully activated the summit. They were all helpful. However, my only reservation about the advice given was that I did not adequately consider the age differences between them and me. I am a few years older than all of them! The walk is rated at medium. I would rate it as hard. The track is marked with yellow triangles and, towards the summit, additional markers. I had trouble on the return journey missing markers near the end of the track. I thought I would find my own way back to the car park though the bush and I was only one hundred metres out! So that was no great drama. I did not feel in the mood to retrace my steps by climbing back up the track to see the markers. The car park, or rather vehicles in the car park, are visible on the return walk so I knew I was close to the target.
Another message I received from the blogs, and also over the air with am amateur who has previously activated Mount Zero, is that the summit area is small and very exposed. As there were walkers, climbers and ‘boulderers’ on the mountain I chose to activate from a ledge just below the summit. I wondered what the persons were who were carrying something looking a bit like a single bed up the mountain? I stopped and had a exposition from a young chap so equipped! The ‘mattress’ is a safety device for when you fall! He was a ‘boulderer’!
I was given until about 13:30 local time to complete the activation and return to Hollow Mountain car park. However, I was given a reprieve via a phone message from my xyl who indicated that the family’s climbing experience would take longer. That was bad timing as I was already on the way down!
Here is my log for the activation:
I should point out that the contact at 01:26z with Warren, VK3BYD/P was dual mode, that is he used CW and I responded in SSB. How did Warren know to do this? Well I have had contacts from home in CW using my CW call, VK5PF. I did not have any CW gear on the summit – that will come!
Also the contacts at 01:33z with VK2UHI/P , Steve and his son, Thomas, VK2FTES/P were summit to summit and park to park as Steve and Thomas were activating Mount Kosciusko, VK2/SM-001 and VKFF-0269. Logs in the SOTA data base cannot be edited and the other choice is to delete the log and start again!
Once again I wish to thank all the chasers who helped make this activation so enjoyable.
Was all the effort worth one SOTA point! Absolutely yes! I recommend the walk.
As one of the former activators of Mount Zero I know how small the summit is, and it can get quite crowded too…Still it has a terrific view and I recommend it too. Details on my blog.
It is true that logs in the SOTA database cannot be edited, however you can export your log, delete it from the database, edit the exported file and import it in again. Saves redoing it all again.
Thanks for you comments on my activation of Mount Zero. I enjoyed the experience and am certainly glad I walked to the summit. Quite a few activators have set up on the summit. I did not feel comfortable doing that. I set up on a ledge and one leg of the dipole was a bit low. Two walkers had to duck under the wire. On the way down they stopped and chatted about my activity and they were fascinated. I was working Rick (VK4RF/HA) at the time and they were impressed that I was talking with another person ‘so far away’. I will confess it never occurred to me that you had activated Mount Zero. I will have a read.
Good photo John, great to see kids outdoors. Thanks for sharing your experience at Mount Zero. Mt Zero is now on my SOTA to do list.
It is amazing what our grandson can do! He is the same chap you commented on in my Huon Hill post. The Sydney family like camping which is great. Mt Zero is great fun and would probably be worth a try on VHF but not much fun getting the gear to the summit, even though it is not very high.
Thanks for the comment,
Many thanks for the contact from Mt Zero. Yes the very top can get a bit crowded as Ian pointed out as it is quite narrow. But as Ian mentions, the view is terrific of the surrounding countryside.
I am glad I made the effort – even though it is worth just one point!