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.
While it was a tough climb up from the Acheron Way is was still a pleasant day out.
After my unsuccessful activation of Mt Ritchie earlier in the month today I went back out and climbed Mt Ritchie again. This time I remembered my radio and the activation was a success. I made 10 QSOs on 40m and two on 20m. All contacts were also made from the Yarra Ranges National Park to assist chasers for VKFF, KRMNPA or WWFF awards.
The equipment was FT817ND and link dipole strung in a gum tree. Logging was via VK port-a-log.
Fire damaged trees – Black Saturday 2009
Continuing to activate parks during the KRMNPA activation weekend I stopped by Morwell National Park on my way home from Errinundra National Park and Snowy River National Park.
Here I made 14 quick QSOs, including 4 Park to Park contacts and a chance face to face meeting with Tim VK3MTB.
Even though I have activated this park 3 times now I still don’t have 44 QSOs to qualify for WWFF award. I’ll try and get back here before the end of the year.
After starting my KRMNPA activation weekend with John VK2AWJ at French Island yesterday I drove out East and activated the Snowy River National Park, VKFF-0455. I camped overnight at Warartah Flat Campground and worked stations on 20, 40 and 80 m finishing with 57 QSOs.
The highlights from this activation were 15 Park to Park contacts and 4 QSOs with Japan.
The radio used was FT450D and the antenna was a linked dipole hanging in a gum tree. Logging was via VK port-a-log.
My third activation for the KRMNPA activation weekend was at Errinundra National Park in East Gippsland. I had previously activated this park in August 2012 and chose to operate from the same location on Pastman Tarck, about 73 km north of Orbost.
I was on air for about 3 1/2 hours and made 51 QSOs across 40 and 80 m bands. This qualified the park for the WWFF award as well as providing 8 Park to Park contacts.
The radio used was FT450D and the antenna was a linked dipole supported by a 9m squid pole. Logging was via VK port-a-log.