Since I did not keep up with all the blogging for my whole challenge and the year is coming to a finish I wanted to throw up some basic information about how the challenge went.
In re-reading that blog post I left ALL the Desolation peaks off the list, not sure why especially since I decided to do a week long backpacking trip in Desolation to take care of those. Desolation has 13 peaks in total..of which I accomplished 10. Dick’s Peak I was the first to activate. Also managed to activate 9310 during the solar eclipse. The peaks I did not accomplish were 9420, Little Pyramid, and Mount Price all on the western spine of Desolation.
In total I count 36 peaks and I finished 25 of them, that leaves me with 11 peaks.
I also realized now that I have knocked off most of my local peaks that I will have to do a bit of planning and driving now to start getting more.. All part of the fun!
Complete list of peaks:
Little Round Top W6/NS-087 yes
Red Lake Peak W6/NS-062
Stevens Peak W6/NS-375 yes
Freel Peak W6/SN-034 yes
Monument Peak W6/NS-061
Jobs Peak W6/NS-047 yes
9647 W6/NS-084 yes
9614 W6/NS-086 yes
Genoa W7N/TR-007 yes
Duane Bliss W7N/TR-014 yes
Captain Pomin Rock W7N/TR-027 yes
Snow Valley Peak W7N/TR-006 yes
Herlan Peak W7N/WC-008
Slide W7N/WC-004 yes
Tamarack Peak W7N/WC-003
Houghton W7N/WC-002 Yes
Rose Mount W7N/WC-001 yes
Gold Star Peak W6/NS-189 yes
Mount Pluto W6/NS-138 yes
Begin Desolation Wilderness: (some fall outside the trail cooridor)
Been a while since I have posted a SOTA post, and since my last one (Freel peak) I’ve actually knocked out a few different peaks and added three new associations (W7O, W4K, and W4V) and added the W6/CN region with Lassen Peak (was kind of a happy accident as part of a camping trip) . I have done 242 points this year, but what is funny is that i know there are others that have more.. (and we still have 6 weeks to go, and I still have a few more Rim Trail peaks to knock off.
Anyway for the sake of shortness I’ll summarize the highlights..
I went on a camping trip Halloween weekend with the intention of adding W7O, and doing some exploring up the 395 corridor. That was a fun trip, and got my first snow driving of the year heading up to the Crane Mountain (W7O/EC-001) fire tower. Phil (NS7P,) again apologies for not trying harder to pull you in…). One could really get lost on those forest service roads back there, and I will do a dedicated blog post to that so I can share the approach road info that I learned (which does not match very well some of the other trip reports on both Summit Post and SotaData). Plus that one was cool b/c that weekend I think we were still in the Geminid meteor shower, and for the hour that I watched and waited to doze off (at 8200′ elevation) I was seeing some 50-60 meteors per hour. It was an amazing light show. That same weekend while camping I ended up on Lassen Peak (added W6/CN); totally a happy accident.
In September I took a trip to TN to visit my dad and picked up W4K/EC-001 (Black Mountain) and W4V/GC-001 (High Knob) for my first two-fer in a day and those two associations. Man those drive up summits really can spoil you. The cool thing about W4K/EC-001 is I bumped into a fellow SOTA person on the summit. (I had chased him on Clingman’s Dome the day before; yah SOTA complete) DL6AP (Andreas) from Germany who was on a 6 week US SOTA tour. Very funny hearing your own callsign not OTA… He was also doing the W4V/GC-001 and W4K/EC-001 same day double activation..(we did them in reverse order). I had a feeling and should have checked my spots earlier in the day. we could have both totally SOTA completed each other for those two peaks.. That same day I ended up hanging out with a few SOTA folks from Kingsport TN. Damn you do not even need HF if you are near Kingsport. There is quite the SOTA community there in Kingsport. W4K/EC-001 is a challenge to activate with all those antennas, W4V was my first ever real pile up.. and because I was killing time waiting for a 1:1 with my boss, I opted to hang out and S2S chase some folks too.
Anyway, that’s a quick synopsis, I have enough notes and pictures from all these that I will probably do some individual blog posts, but wanted to put something online since it’d been a few weeks.
Ah Big Blue: Looking down at the lake while walking back to the trail. Genoa Peak, this is the 2nd peak of the Nevada half of the TRT that I am working on for the summer challenge.. Although I have enough other fun peaks on the list, I am beginning to wonder if I am going to complete it..oh who knows we have till November. That said, I opted to skip the trail here and head up the road, probably a mistake given the fact that I saw mountain bikes drop into the trail and ended up hiking thru snow.
The snow is plenty firm though given the melt refreeze cycles we go thru.
I am also learning quickly do NOT trust Google maps. GM said it was 2.2 miles to the summit. Even with me taking a short cut (across the snow), it was 4.4 miles to the summit. overall I did 9.8 miles, I guess PhD’s do not know much about mapping and navigation when it comes to non-pavement surfaces. Yet another reason to NOT rely solely upon technology and smart phones.. Soapboxing aside, it took about two and half hours to make the summit. Down below me at the lake the AMBBR was going on so I was listening to the NR7A repeater to the comms as things went on. If you are interested in EMCOMM I highly suggest you go sign up and volunteer for an event like that. While these biking events are not EMCOMM, a lot of the same principles apply. The last two years I’ve done the California Death Ride (Tour of the Cali alps) and this year I’m doing the Pony Express re-ride thru NV as well as the Tour-de-Tahoe in Sept. On the summit there are a lot of radio structures, so do get a tad off peak to setup. Since I was not in a hurry to get off the top I decided to play around w/ some different antenna setups. I managed three QSO’s in like 2 minutes, then things slowed down, and I shifted over to 2m. So my first antenna setup was my typical straight wire in a N/S orientation so I could throw E-2-W. After a bit I shifted direction slightly. On 2m, I could hear a local guy operating another SOTA activator that I could not hear etc. Reached out to him, got him some chaser points, and then got the details on KE6MT who was working a peak about 30 miles crowfly south of me (On Leviathon Peak W6/SN-039). We could not hit each other on 2m, but we did manage a contact on 40m. By then I’d shifted my antenna to an NVIS setup b/c I was also trying to reach activator W6SAE who was working a peak down towards San Francisco. I could hear him buried deep, but he was unable to pull me out. Oddly enough with an NVIS setup, I managed to snag W0ERI and W0MNA out in Oklahoma. They could hear me using an NVIS setup, but could not hear me when I was pointed specifically in their direction. I think I noted this in my previous post, but damn the bands have been acting funky so far this year.
All in all I made 10 contacts, and added one “SOTA Complete” thanks to the S2S with Leviathon peak. Funny too, Monitor pass only recently opened, and last I heard the road to the antenna towers still had a fair amount of snow on it. Break out your snowshoes!