Saturday, November 2, 2013

SOTA Activation of Three Mile Mountain and 10090 (W0/SP-107 and W0/SP-101) or "Fun with an Old Goat"

It has been a while since Steve, wG0AT, and I have been on a SOTA putting together. This one started early in the week with a call from Steve talking about how great the weather is going to be on Friday and how we should get out and do a SOTA activation. I do not know how Steve gets his weather info, from Rooster maybe. I was in and ready to go. 

We headed out after breakfast to explore part of the South Park Range between Guffey and Hartsel Colorado. Lynn and I have been through this area many times so I know there were some neat summits in the area. 

The first one we tackled was a 4 pointer called Three Mile Mountain (W0/SP-107). It looked like a nice gentle slope up to the summit, it was not!  Moreover, as soon as we got out of the jeep we were adding extra layers as the wind was chilling us to the bone. 

The Plan, hit the saddle and move to the right.
I do not know if it was the excitement of being back in Colorado or if it was the SOTA Gods making me pay for those easy 10 pointers I got in while back East but about half way up I ran out of steam. Man, I was really having trouble getting up this sucker! I was starting to wonder if a second summit was in the cards for me on this day. Regardless, Steve prodded me on to the top and we got setup. 

We used my End Fed and Steve's MTR.

wG0AT working the pileup
Great views
More great views

Almost straight down!!!
The Operating Location
Steve braves the cold without gloves!!
Steve's trusty MTR
We had to take turns as it was just too cold. Our normal method of operating with two operators is this: One operator leads off the activation and when he has exhausted the pileup the second operator takes over on a different band (20 / 30 meter combo works well). This avoids confusion for the chasers however, not so on this day. It was just too cold for one operator to sit there and work the pileup. We took turns as we do not like to leave chasers without a QSO. I did have a few minutes of QRT when Steve's MTR had a momentary lapse of taking input from the paddles. A quick restart settled that but sometimes it is a challenge to get a MTR back to the freq. Thanks for everyones patience.

My log from W0/SP-107 Three Mile Mountain 20 Meter CW:


We discussed the second summit and Steve had researched a few choices. At this point I was not sure if I could do a 1 pointer much less the 6 pointer we had planned. We went with another 4 pointer across the road known as W0/SP-101 or 10090 (un-named summit). As with the first one it looked like a nice walk up a hill. In reality it was very steep after the false summit.

NOTE: In my opinion, the naming an un-named summit on the first activation is a great idea however, I do not think that program has migrated to the other associations yet. Too bad as I think it is a neat incentive to get on more of the unnamed summits like 10090. 

Looking back during our ascent.
Steve found a perfect area to operate from
This old snag provided perfect support for the end fed

Looking down through the bushes, the Jeep is way down there

Also great views
Looking down at Steve running the pileup
The old snag holding the matchbox for us
I write my call, name and phone number (on the back) on most everything
just in case I leave something behind.
The lava flow bed we walked through
It was much warmer by this time and we really enjoyed our time working the pileup and soaking in the sun. These are two summits I will visit again as bonus season is fast approaching and in Jan these two 4 pointers become 7 pointers.

What a great radio shack
(Photo by wG0AT)
My MTR was used on this summit.
(Photo by wG0AT)

My log from 10090 W0/SP-101 20 Meter CW:


Thanks to Rooster for making his special Goat Berry Energy bars that helped me make the second summit. I was feeling it the next morning when I tried to walk. There are very few cheap SOTA points in Colorado. Thanks Chasers!!!!

Link to Steve's pictures is HERE.


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