New year’s day activation – Mt Vinegar, VK3/VC-005

The SOTA program awards activator points only once per calendar year for each summit. The calendar year starts at 0000 UTC which in Victoria is 11:00 am on New year’s Day. This allows activators easy access to double points for one hill climb.

I decided I would again try to activate Mt Vinegar, after my blocked attempt in November 2016 due to a fallen tree. This time however there was a locked gate blocking Road 8, the easy path to Mt Vinegar.

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Locked gate on Road 8

Being keen to get the 12 points on offer, and not wanting to miss out on the activation again, I parked the car at the bottom of the hill and hiked 5km up to the top. The track up has a constant slope and rises nearly 550 metres over 5 km.

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Mt Vinegar Rd cnr Acheron Way

Today was quite warm and it was a tough climb up. Once on the summit I strung my linked dipole in a gum tree and started calling on 7.090 MHz. I made 24 QSOs with 11 S2S QSOs before the UTC change and 20 QSOs with 13 S2S QSOs after the change.

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Linked dipole in gum tree

This summit is also part of the Yarra Ranges National Park and I made 3 Park to Park QSOs. My radio was FT817ND and I logged with VK port-a-log.

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Recovering forest after fires in 2009

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Tall old tree

On the walk down to the car I saw what were probably two red bellied black snakes.

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Snakes alive

While it was a tough climb up from the Acheron Way is was still a pleasant day out.

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