Sunday, June 2, 2019

2019-05 Six Summits in 3 Days


We went to the summer cabin home for Memorial Day and activated 6 summits during the three days that I hiked.  I was planning on only 1 on a couple of days but I had the time since a couple of them were pretty easy.  I’m been trying to get more summit-to-summit contacts, but this weekend didn’t seem to yield that many.

South Mountain 24-May-2019

For my first activation, I decided to drive up to drive up to South Mountain.  I needed to test an update to my vertical.  I bent the top section of the Chameleon MPAS antenna and decided to pick up their version 2 of just the top section, which is smaller and lighter.   I brought my 20/40 linked dipole just in case and the external antenna tuner. 

The drive up here is pretty and I spotted a single deer as she ran across the road.

Setup was quick, and after fixing a small goof, the antenna was working better than ever.  The band conditions are pretty bad today but I pulled out plenty of contacts to activate this peak.  My first contact was Gary, W0MNA.  It’s always nice to kick off an activation with a friendly voice.

Since I had internet access on my phone, I looked up spot reports on hams on other summits.  I was only able to get one summit to summit via CW.  Unfortunately I found out that there was no contact actually made when I emailed him.  He let me know that he didn’t have me down.  It was very odd since I my call sign is very distinct to me.

With a good activation, and the test of the antenna modification a success, I packed up and headed into the village of Alpine, AZ for a quick lunch and then a drive to the trail head for Escudilla for a hike up to the peak where the lookout is.

Contacts


Date:24/May/2019 Summit:W7A/AP-010 (South Mountain) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 10 Bonus: 0

Time
Call
Band
Mode
Notes
16:17z
W0MNA
14MHz
SSB

16:19z
VE2JCW
14MHz
SSB

16:20z
N6ANM
14MHz
SSB

16:21z
N4EX
14MHz
SSB

16:22z
W0ERI
14MHz
SSB

16:22z
KI4TN
14MHz
SSB

16:24z
N6WT
14MHz
SSB

16:24z
K6EL
14MHz
SSB

16:25z
W5ODS
14MHz
SSB

16:26z
WD4CFN
14MHz
SSB

16:27z
K0LAF
14MHz
SSB

16:27z
K2JB
14MHz
SSB

16:28z
K1LIZ
14MHz
SSB

16:38z
KX0R
10MHz
CW

16:39z
N0MTM
7MHz
CW

17:25z
VE7KPM
14MHz
SSB

17:27z
K7GT
14MHz
SSB

17:31z
W2ACY
14MHz
SSB

17:32z
NS7P
14MHz
SSB

17:34z
K6YK
14MHz
SSB

17:35z
AB4PP
14MHz
SSB


Escudilla Mountain 24-May-2019

This may sound strange but it felt good to put my 35lb pack on and head up the trail, like visiting an old friend.  Although there are days when the pack gets heavy, I’m getting use to it.  I haven’t been able to cycle to work for a couple of weeks now due to weather and illness and no hiking due to travel and rain so I expected to be out of shape for the hike to the top of the mountain which is at 10,800 feet.  I was pleasantly surprised that I really didn’t feel all that out of shape.  I was probably going a little slower but I felt great.  (maybe I was hypoxic)

The area has experienced an unusually wet spring, and at-least an inch of snow fell on Monday.  The ground is dry now but it's already starting to green up and the aspen looked very healthy.  The sky was clear with a visibility of a million miles.

There must have been quite a wind storm recently because the trail was littered with fallen trees, almost all of them dead from the fires in 2012.  Jeanette reported the same thing on her hike this morning as she hiked up toward the saddle behind the house.

Along the way there was a single patch of snow across the trail.  The nights at my cabin have been around 30F so it wasn’t surprising but it was kinda funny to see this one lone patch on the entire trail.... So this is a tough hike, I had to go over snow to get to the summit (all 2 feet and 2 inches deep of it).

Once at the top I setup my rig and an operating position in the shade.  I worked multiple bands, 20, 40, 18, 30.  Most of my contacts were on 20, with W0MNA being my first contact.  Both summits are 10 points (the maximum) so chasers really wanted my points.  There was quite a bit of static up there and I wasn’t sure if it was atmospheric or due to the wind howling through the metal lookout tower.

I decided to try my skills again at CW (morse) and do a little chasing since 99% of the summits that had activity were running CW.  I managed 5 summit to summit contacts, a couple of them were on side band.  It was fun hanging out at the top of the mountain and doing a little “chasing” of other hams on summits.  One of the contacts was a Japanese call sign on a Japan summit.  Since I forgot my battery pack for my phone in San Diego, my cell phone was down to 6% and I didn’t want to desummit in the dark given all the fallen trees (it was really bad at the top which required a lot of climbing over and under to get through). 

After getting back to my dads 1984 Nissan pickup, I headed just up the road to Terry Flat to see if I could catch the Elk grazing in the expansive meadows on the top of this mountain.  I didn’t see any, however, I spotted what looked like a female elk crossing the road and then a group of about 5 very large males about a mile after that.  So mission accomplished.

I enjoyed both summits but Escudilla more.  It felt good to push some exercise into my body and the weather couldn’t have been any nicer.

Contacts


Date:24/May/2019 Summit:W7A/AE-006 (Escudilla Mountain) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 10 Bonus: 0  

Time
Call
Band
Mode
Notes
21:51z
W0MNA
14MHz
SSB

21:53z
K6EL
14MHz
SSB

21:54z
W2USA
14MHz
SSB

21:55z
N9MRH
14MHz
SSB

21:55z
W0ERI
14MHz
SSB

21:56z
N4EX
14MHz
SSB

21:56z
W5ODS
14MHz
SSB

21:56z
AG7KO
14MHz
SSB

21:57z
K0EMT
14MHz
SSB

21:58z
W7JET
14MHz
SSB

21:59z
NJ7V
14MHz
SSB

21:59z
NG6R
14MHz
SSB

22:00z
WB7ULD
14MHz
SSB

22:00z
N0EMU
14MHz
SSB

22:01z
KC0PBR
14MHz
SSB

22:01z
KJ9X
14MHz
SSB

22:02z
N9AMI
14MHz
SSB

22:03z
W2SE
14MHz
SSB

22:04z
WF4I
14MHz
SSB

22:05z
K6LDQ
14MHz
SSB

22:26z
K6ARK
7MHz
CW

22:30z
K6ARK
7MHz
SSB

22:33z
W7USA
7MHz
SSB

22:34z
KD0YOB
7MHz
CW

23:32z
JP3PPL/3
14MHz
CW



Middle Mountain 26-May-2019

The rout that I charted for last year was pretty difficult mainly because I didn’t find that many paths.  About a month ago I was looking at the mountain again but via satellite.  I could clearly see a road going that isn’t charted on any of the topo maps.  I charted it and decided to try that.  There is a jeep trail that goes almost all the way to the top.  I took my Highlander up about a tenth of a mile and decided to walk the rest of the way.  It was very pleasant, and an easy hike. 

Like Escudilla, the area is green There are two high points on the mountain separated by a small dip of maybe 20 feet so I decided to use the peak that is 1 foot lower than the other SOTA designated one.  Given the prominence, I was still in the activation zone.  It’s funny because the US topo maps show the one to the west as being the official peak for middle mtn. 

Setup was easy and I had my four required contacts in minutes.  I was able to get one summit-to-summit to W7W/SK-167, a small peak in Washington state.

Overall this hike as orders of magnitude than my last time up here.  It was a breeze. 

Contacts


Date:26/May/2019 Summit:W7A/GR-002 (Middle Mountain) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 10 Bonus: 0

Time
Call
Band
Mode
Notes
15:49z
KV7DX
14MHz
SSB

16:03z
N6DNM
14MHz
CW

16:04z
KK6UHE
14MHz
SSB

16:05z
NW7E
14MHz
SSB

16:07z
W0MNA
14MHz
SSB

16:08z
N4EX
14MHz
SSB

16:08z
NG6R
14MHz
SSB

16:09z
AB4PP
14MHz
SSB

16:10z
W5ODS
14MHz
SSB

16:11z
K3TCU
14MHz
SSB

16:11z
W6PZA
14MHz
SSB

16:12z
K7MK
14MHz
SSB

16:12z
K9DJT
14MHz
SSB

16:13z
W2SE
14MHz
CW

16:14z
K6YK
14MHz
SSB

16:15z
K5RHD
7MHz
SSB

16:24z
K7MK
7MHz
SSB

16:25z
NS7P
7MHz
SSB

16:27z
W7USA
7MHz
SSB

16:28z
WA6MM
7MHz
SSB

16:29z
N0EMU
7MHz
SSB

16:32z
KC0PBR
7MHz
SSB



Mogollion Rim 26-May-2019

If you drive south on the dirt road from where I parked at Middle Mtn., you hit the highway about 10 miles from another relatively easy SOTA summit on the Mogollion rim.  I needed some more exercise and adventure so I head further south to that one. 

Have also done this one before and remember a lot of fallen trees.  Hiking up there is a tad disorienting.  Once in the activation zone, I setup nerar where I did last time.  The wind was blowing and for some reason the SWR was very high on 40.

My 4 contacts were pretty easy Got very windy and started getting cold, then SNOW.  It wasn’t much but there was corn snow coming down. 

As I was loading up the car it started snowing again and there was thunder.  Pretty wild.

This was a nice hike but was a tad chilly.  I logged quite a few contacts and got two summit-to-summit contacts to Oregon, and North Carolina. 

Contacts

Date:26/May/2019 Summit:W7A/GR-001 (Mogollon Rim) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 10 Bonus: 0

Time
Call
Band
Mode
Notes
18:30z
NS7P
14MHz
SSB

18:34z
W0MNA
14MHz
SSB

18:34z
N4EX
14MHz
SSB

18:35z
W0ERI
14MHz
SSB

18:35z
K3TCU
14MHz
SSB

18:36z
N6DNM
14MHz
SSB

18:36z
AE7AP
14MHz
SSB

18:38z
N0EMU
14MHz
SSB

18:38z
KD1CT
14MHz
SSB

18:39z
KC0PBR
14MHz
SSB

18:40z
K0LAF
14MHz
SSB

18:41z
N5PBP
14MHz
SSB

18:42z
ND0C
14MHz
SSB

18:42z
K5AMT
14MHz
SSB

18:43z
K6YK
14MHz
SSB

18:44z
N7TCO
14MHz
SSB

18:45z
WA5VRE
14MHz
SSB

18:46z
K9WBZ
14MHz
SSB

19:17z
KF7NP
14MHz
SSB



Timber Top 27-May-2019

This was a nice hike this morning.  I knew to stay to the east going up to the summit to avoid the thick groves of oak or aspen. 

The 1984 Nissan just keeps delivering.

I got some Summit-To-Summit contacts to Tennessee and Alabama.

Contacts

Date:27/May/2019 Summit:W7A/AP-015 (Timber Top) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 10 Bonus: 0

Time
Call
Band
Mode
Notes
16:54z
K6YK
14MHz
SSB

16:58z
N6DNM
14MHz
SSB

17:00z
W5WTC
14MHz
SSB

17:01z
K0TRL
14MHz
SSB

17:02z
N4EX
14MHz
SSB

17:06z
NS7P
14MHz
SSB

17:06z
K1LIZ
14MHz
SSB

17:07z
KI4SVM
14MHz
SSB

17:08z
NW7E
14MHz
SSB

17:09z
KI4TN
14MHz
SSB

17:10z
KI5WA
14MHz
SSB

17:10z
KD0MQO
14MHz
SSB

17:10z
W1CAM
14MHz
SSB

17:11z
NG6R
14MHz
SSB

17:11z
WB7ULD
14MHz
SSB

17:12z
W7GJ
14MHz
SSB

17:13z
W4KRN
14MHz
SSB

17:13z
KC3EF
14MHz
SSB

17:14z
KF7UOV
14MHz
SSB

17:15z
W2SE
14MHz
SSB

17:17z
K6LDQ
14MHz
SSB

17:17z
AE0JR
14MHz
SSB

17:18z
K5DNA
14MHz
SSB

17:20z
KE5TJP
14MHz
SSB

17:21z
ND0C
14MHz
SSB

17:22z
KE4JM
18MHz
CW

17:41z
KI4SVM
10MHz
CW



Escudilla Butte 27-May-2019

I’ve done this before so I knew to stay to the east side for a little better access and avoid thick oak areas.

It was very windy this afternoon, but I didn’t really mind.  This is one of my favorite hikes.  There are no tails so it’s a beautiful bushwhack to the summit through open meadows and pine trees.   I’m always careful not to disturb thing and definitely am kind to any green growth, especially the new guys, struggling for a place on the mountain.

The threads on the antenna matching unit are completely stripped, so it’s a good thing this is the last activation of the trip.  I’ll repair it when I get home to San Diego. (which I did and it’s fixed).

With no network access on my phone I used the Inreach satelite device to spot myself.  It was very wind at times making it hard to hear.  No network also meant that I couldn't see any other SOTA spots so a summit-to-summit was out of the queston.   I still wanted to practice some CW so I hunted around for an operator that was sending his call-sign slowly.  If the operator is using a strait key, they run a bit slower.  I found one, it took me a while to get his call sign but was able to secure a QSO.  He wrote me after I dropped off with a pretty funny email.  He wasn’t positive it was me and mentioned that the operator said “MY CW sucks.  Sorry.”.  Well, at least my sending is good.  I can send the phone book but my decoding or “copy”, is going to take some work.  The QSO was made difficult by the band going up and down and at times, the wind was blowing so hard it drown him out.  I loved the trip down and back out on the road toward alpine.

This is the last summit of the long weekend that I took at my cabin.  I had a lot of fun this trip and can’t wait to get back up here.


Contacts

Date:27/May/2019 Summit:W7A/AP-020 (Escudilla Butte) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 10 Bonus: 0
Time
Call
Band
Mode
Notes
20:56z
K0PON
14MHz
SSB

20:57z
N4EX
14MHz
SSB

21:05z
KD0MQO
14MHz
SSB

21:06z
W2ACY
14MHz
SSB

21:06z
KI5WA
14MHz
SSB

21:08z
KI4TN
14MHz
SSB

21:09z
N0MTN
14MHz
SSB

21:10z
VE6AGR
14MHz
SSB

21:12z
K1LIZ
14MHz
SSB

21:12z
N1AW
14MHz
SSB

21:13z
K0LAF
14MHz
SSB

21:14z
K7PAC
14MHz
SSB

21:14z
N1GB
14MHz
SSB

21:15z
KG7JWD
14MHz
SSB

21:15z
K6YK
14MHz
SSB

21:17z
KF7EMB
14MHz
SSB

21:18z
K7AJG
14MHz
SSB

21:18z
KE0NWG
14MHz
SSB

21:20z
AB4PP
14MHz
SSB

21:21z
KF7JQV
14MHz
SSB

21:33z
K5RHD
7MHz
SSB

21:37z
K6ARK
7MHz
SSB

21:38z
N6DNM
7MHz
SSB

21:38z
N0EMU
7MHz
SSB

21:39z
KD6DKC
14MHz
CW


Below shows the phone interface to the Inreach sat comm unit that allowed me to spot myself, and on the right is a shot of SotaGoat SOTA spot page.  

  

Loadout for the multiple summits:

      Yaesu FT-891D HF Radio at 100 watts
   30’ of coax feed line
      Yaesu FT-2DR HT
      3 L of water (8 lb)
      iPhone with All Trails, MotionX GPS and sota goat
      MFJ-939Y auto antenna tuner for 891 used on the last summit.
      Trekking poles
     Packtenna.
   Extra LiFePO Battery
   AnyTone AT-868UV DMR radio for testing.
   Custom wiine bottle cork paddles for CW (crafted by K6ARK)
   Delorme Inreach satellite tracker and communicator.
   JetBoil for the hot tea :)


73,
N1CLC
Christian Claborne
(aka Chris Claborne)

2 comments:

  1. So it looks like during your summit traversal you went from South Mountain (in Phoenix the last time I checked..) to Alpine for lunch, and Alpine is no where near Phoenix... is there another South Mountain in AZ?
    Steve K6AXO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a "South Mountain" just south of Alpine AZ. It's located at 33.827°N   -109.1667°W   2899m / 9510ft
      73

      Delete