Saturday, August 31, 2019

2019-08-31 Wishbone & Cerro Gordon

Today’s expedition takes me to a couple of summits in Arizona, Wishbone Mountain (W7A/AP-027) and Cerro Gordo (W7A/AE-021) on the Apache India Reservation (permit required).  Getting to my plained ingress onto the summit via my dad’s truck was an adventure.  I had mapped out a route, followed it and then sorta got lost trying to figure out why the road was angling off the wrong way.  I back tracked and found a turn, wrong one, back tracked and found the correct turn.  Unfortunately 50 feet from that correct turn was a fence blocking the continuation of the road with no gate.  I have a feeling this was done at the request of the Apache Indian Tribe as I may have been at the border. 
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Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019-08-25 Hill 1715

Today’s expedition took me to Hill 1715 for lack of a name, SOTA designator W6/SC-445.  It’s right next to Monserate so I may have to do a double next year. I was looking forward to getting on the trail and exercising my legs in preparations for a few over the 3 day weekend coming up as well as seeing how my leg performed.  I had the stitches pulled out Monday and they said, “Hmmm, you’ve got a nice infection going on here.”, so I’ve been on antibiotics.  It’s still tender but fully operational. (See this article to see what happened)
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Thursday, August 22, 2019

SOTA Presentation Schedule

I've been asked to present my SOTA story 3 times in September and at Hamfest in October.   Either the clubs are getting desperate for speakers or people actually like hearing about Summits On The Air.  I hope it’s the latter.

The following is my current SOTA presentation schedule. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

2019-08-10 New Mexico & Arizona Double

I’ve been going a little crazy this week nursing my punctured leg wound and couldn’t wait to get back on the trail.  (I write about the injury trip HERE).  I worked on my summer villa all day yesterday hanging from a ladder.  My leg felt fine so I thought I would take advantage of my last day up here and do a little SOTA. 

I headed out early this morning into Luna, New Mexico for a “drive up” and then over to Springerville, Arizona for a short hike to a summit there (1 mi round trip).  I got on the road about 0630 local and I stopped in Alpine for breakfast at the Bear Wallow and then headed over to Luna, about 20 minutes away.  FS 35 was about 5 or 10 miles past Luna and it was an easy trip to the summit where there was an array of various RF repeaters and other gear.  The country here is heavily wooded, lush and greeen, much like Alpine.  Setup was fairly easy.  It’s overcast with low clouds and about 57 degrees F.  Just beautiful.
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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

My Survival Prep for Hiking

I really enjoy doing SOTA, (Summits On The Air).  It gets me outside and I can setup my “ham shack” on places that have a fantastic view and that are optimal for ham radio.  Since I don’t live on a summit, this hobby involves a lot of hiking, something that I really enjoy. I decided to produce this article on hiking safety for my fellow SOTA operators after my small incident on Turner Peak (which I wrote about here).  Since I give presentations on SOTA and people ask me about hiking loadout and safety, I can now point them to this post (Here is a link to the slides ).

The “incident” was really just a boo boo while hiking, not a massive injury, but it serves as a good example of a simple boo boo that you should be prepared for when doing SOTA.  It was a stop the bleeding kinda thing, and then go to doctor to get it sutured up to fully repair.  I’ve asked a few SAR (Search And Rescue)  members to chime in with their thoughts and suggestions as well.  This isn’t going to be an in-depth survival guide that plays the “what if” game.  Although the article is long, it’s keeping things pretty basic.  At-least, I think so.  Also, I've been updating this article when I've experienced something else that I didn't think of, or tips from my SOTA & SAR friends.  (Updated 6/22/2021)

Monday, August 5, 2019

2019-08-04 Turner Peak & A Bonus

Today’s adventure takes me to Turner Peak, W5N/AP-004.  This peak is in New Mexico but it’s just feet from the AZ border.  Another interesting fact is that it’s never been activated before.  I attempted to do a little peak near Springerville yesterday but just before I got to the trailhead I noticed the black clouds looming over the area.  Given the thunderstorms we have up here, I wasn’t going to chance putting up my lightning rod.  I was kinda bummed because I was going to do a lot of chasing.  So since I couldn’t do the peak, I decided to recon the road to today’s peak.  I was planning on being out of the house by 6AM so the weather wouldn’t skunk me and I wanted to ensure the planned roads were open.  If they weren’t, I’d have to drive further into New Mexico to gain access from the west side.  With the recon complete and my gear packed, I was locked and loaded for today’s mission.
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Friday, August 2, 2019

2019-08-02 Antelope Mountain

Today’s expedition was to Antelope Mountain, aka W7A/AE-022.  I wanted to be setup by 1000 so that I could catch Adam, K6ARK while he was on a summit in California.  I’ve been up here before and knew not to try to get to the top of the mountain via the road.  Last time I almost got stuck up there by becoming high-centered on large rocks.  It was a pain because the only way down is to back down to a place that is wide enough to turn around.  Not a problem hiking up though.  It’s a bit steep but only a half mile from where I parked.  See Greens Peak SOTA chart.
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Thursday, August 1, 2019

2019-08-01 Wolf & Lake Mtn Summits

There are a set of three peaks in close proximity, Wolf Mountain, Lake Mountain, and Wishbone Mountain.  I was hoping to do all three today but the weather wasn’t having it... If I had left a couple hours earlier I could have probably done it.  My planned trail head was about an 1.5 hours from the villa.  I decided to do sort of a loop through the area going from Vernon, AZ, down to Mc. Nary.  The summits would be between the two towns. (click on pictures for larger)
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