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.


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.


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.


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.


Recovering forest after fires in 2009


Tall old tree

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


Snakes alive

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

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