Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2020-09-20 Pipestem Mtn

Today’s summit of Pipestem is in lue of doing Red Mountain.  Dale and I had planned on doing Red Mountain but the trail was closed.  Pipestem is a good alternate summit and is in the same general area but further south down the Mogollon Rim.  The summit is lower than all of the peaks farther north, it’s about 7,244 feet at the summit.  I met Dale at his cabin in Alpine at about 6AM and we headed out. 

On the drive down we saw several small groups of deer and some baby deer as well.  In addition, we came across some large wild turkey hens and further down the road there were some tom turkey.  We stopped pretty close to the toms and watched them for a moment. Dale was running my camera most of the time.  We got pictures of all the wildlife except for the toms, I think they were too close.

<Click on images for larger>


I had charted a way to the summit the night before and when I stopped the car Dale noticed that the summit was still south of us.  It turns out, the labeled summit on the USFS and other maps is different than the actual high point.  I’ve seen this before.  The lesson here is to always drop a pin on your mapping program that uses the latitude and longitude from the SOTA data reference sites.  I’m using GAIA GPS now and it’s been working pretty well.  If you don’t drop a pin on the SOTA summit, which is almost always the high point, you could end up activating from the wrong summit.


We pretty much followed the charted path that I had made the night before.  It went up a small ridge and climbed up to the top.  What the charts don’t show you are the large lava rocks you have to navigate over or around, so charts are just a small representation of the reality on the mountain.  It’s just a little over a half mile to the summit but the ascent is 504 feet so you’ll definitely feel it. 

It was a pretty hike with varied vegetation. This is an interesting area, basically where the forest meets more desert.  On the north side of the hill there were large pines and oak, and on the south side, junipers and cactus.  It was a pretty hike up with interesting terrain, requiring a bit of a scramble over some lava rock.


The summit is fairly small and the AA7OY and N1CLC antennas were only separated by about 30 feet.  I ensured that my setup would result in me being able to get under a tree for shade.  We decided which RF bands we would work and then started sending cool waves into the air.  It was still fairly early in the day but we both activated the summit on our respective bands and then traded bands. 

I netted four summit-to-summit contacts.  One of the summit-to-summits I had was with N6AN who also contacted me when I called CQ on side-band (voice).  We had a pretty good signal between our radios with David on a northern California summit.  I also had a strong signal with Adam, K6ARK, who was just east of San Diego on another summit.

Once the contacts dried up, we packed up and headed back to my car.  We went a little more south than our trek up, getting into some slippery dirt and scree.  We did a course correction and had no issues the rest of the way down.  I expected it to be a lot hotter on the mountain as the day wore on but in the shade it couldn’t have been over 75.  I ended the day with 22 contacts and I think we hiked 1.1 miles, so it wan’t a huge expedition but it was a lot of fun.

 






Expedition Summary

SOTA summit:W7A/GR-013 (Pipestem Mountain), AZ
Points:10
Activation Date: 2020-Sep-19
Unique: Yes
Activation No: 204
Call sign used: N1CLC
Radios: KX2
Antennas: LNR Endfedz MTR
Band/Modes used: 20m, 40m, CW (morse) SSB (voice)
Cell Data: Verizon
Miles Hiked: 1.12 mi
Hiked Elevation Gain: 503


Contacts:

Date:20/09/2020 | Summit:W7A/GR-013 (Pipestem Mountain) | Call Used:N1CLC | Points: 8 | Bonus: 0 | Delete

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

Notes

16:08

W0MNA

14MHz

CW

 

16:08

W0ERI

14MHz

CW

 

16:09

KI4TN

14MHz

CW

 

16:09

WC0Y

14MHz

CW

 

16:10

K0LAF

14MHz

CW

 

16:16

AB4PP

14MHz

SSB

 

16:33

KN6EZE

7MHz

CW

 

16:37

K6ARK

7MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

16:39

W7HO

7MHz

CW

 

16:40

WD6TED

7MHz

CW

 

16:41

K6QCB

7MHz

CW

 

16:54

W6RWS

7MHz

CW

 

17:16

AG7GP

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

17:33

K7TP

7MHz

CW

 

17:35

W6IYS

7MHz

CW

 

17:38

N6AN

7MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

17:39

K1LB

7MHz

CW

 

17:41

KR7Q

7MHz

CW

 

17:42

K6LDQ

7MHz

CW

 

17:44

NA7C

7MHz

CW

 

17:50

KX0R

7MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

18:01

N6AN

7MHz

SSB

Summit-To-Summit

 

Loadout:

      GoPro Hero8

      Gregory Zulu 40 backpack

      First aid kit.  Make sure it’s a good one... like ability to patch up an impalement wound. 

      Elecraft KX2 10 watt HF Radio

      The K6ARK Spider Thread Antenna

   30’ of coax feed line (not needed

      Slim Jim dual band antenna for my HT.

      3 L of water (8 lb)

      iPhone with All Trails, MotionX GPS and sota goat

      Trekking poles (not today)

     LNR End Fed multi-band antenna

   SOTAbeams Tactical 7000hds Compact Heavy-Duty Telescopic Mast TAC7000HDS

    MFJ MFJ-1714 144 MHz 1/2 Wavelength Antenna for my HT

   AnyTone AT-868UV DMR radio for testing.

   Custom wine bottle cork paddles for CW (crafted by K6ARK)

   American Morse Ultra Porta Paddle for CW

   Delorme Inreach satellite tracker and communicator.

      Jetboil MicroMo cooking system (left at the car this trip)

      Yaesu FT-2DR HT (backup left in the car)

     Packtenna. (did not take)

     CHA MPAS with spike and additional MIL mast (and version 2 of the top section) (left in car)

      Yaesu FT-891D HF Radio at 100 watts  (left this in the car :) )

    Extra LiFePO Battery (not needed)

     Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair.

 

73,

N1CLC

Christian Claborne

(aka chris claborne)


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