Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chief and Squaw Mountain SOTA Activation 25 July 2014

Chief and Squaw are two summits I have wanted to get back to since wG0AT took me out there last year. My thinking was that Lynn would really enjoy these two summits. The summit of Chief Mountain is just neat with a lot to explore and Squaw Mountain has a Fire Tower which I thought Lynn would really like. In the past, Steve and I did both summits but not on the same day, mainly because of my abilities not Steve's.  I was cautious about tackling these two in one day.

dedication plaque on Squaw Mountain

K0JQZ on Squaw Mountain
K0JQz and KC0YQF on Chief Mountain
our route in white

The video at the end of this post really tells the story but a few things. I have been doing this blog for a year this month and have had over 20,000 hits. That is not much to some people but a lot for me as most of my post are ramblings and I am not really doing any "DIY" post. I appreciate everyone that stops in and takes a look and leaves comments. I am really appreciative to the youtubers that subscribe to my youtube channel. That is something I did not think I would like doing but it is a lot of fun.

When we got up to Chief Mountain summit we enjoyed the views and setup the End Fed antenna in short order. We chatted with a few other people on the summit. This summit is big and has a lot of places to setup an antenna and station.

When I got the antenna hooked up I heard another station on a different summit so in my excitement I called him to get the Summit to Summit QSO and forgot our summit reference number so I had to dig through my pack to find that and I handed the mic to Lynn so she could get the S2S QSO as well. Summit to Summit QSOs are a special thrill because another ham has hiked a mountain and setup a station just like you did at the same time. What fun. Thanks KY7S for your patience with us.

In my excitment I also forgot to hit the record button on the audio recorder. Not the first or last time that will happen. I think Lynn's new job will be to remind me to hit record.

When we got back to the TH for Chief we had a decision to make. Do we go right and hope to hit the road that goes up Squaw (my GPS and topo map showed that the trail and road did intersected).  Or do we go left back to the Jeep and drive back to the Squaw Mountain trail and up the road a ways. We decided to go right. I am glad we did. It reality shows how much Lynn and I have improved and the fact that we were able to do both summits and 9 miles in one outing really pleased us.

The Fire Tower on Squaw Mountain came be rented and we decided to rent it next year for Lynn's BDay. We will have to haul food, water, bedding etc up to the fire tower a little less than a mile on a steep road but I think we can do it. I scoped out the area thinking about the antennas I can setup and we can do a multi day SOTA outing on Squaw with multiple antennas and shelter. Plus the cool factor of staying up there over night. We are looking forward to it.

We are grateful for the young couple that rented the Fire Tower for letting us setup on the bench and letting us shelter the from the hail and rain in Fire Tower itself.

About a mile from the Jeep the skies opened up and we donned our rain gear and kept going. I talked to Lynn about it and told her that if we had a long way to go or were out overnight that I would have setup a shelter and waited it out. Storms in Colorado come and go quickly and it was not soon after we got to the Jeep that it stopped raining. Rain, Hail, Thunder and Lightning along with great views and no extreme temperatures plus a few Summit to Summit QSOs. A lot of fun was had.

The next day we relaxed and went to the local Hamfest in Colorado Springs. It is not a very big  hamfest and does not offer a lot but I got to run into a few old friends and even my boss from the early 90s when I worked at HQ Air Force Space Command.




  1. Thanks for the summit to summit contact and the mention here! I was using an Elecraft KX3 pushing 10 watts into a 20M half wave dipole. I found your blog and YouTube channel through the link on your QRZ page. QSL cards for you & Lynn are going out today.

    Doug, KY7S

    1. Doug, thanks for the comment and of course the S2S. We both get a thrill from Summit to Summit QSOs but Lynn is always quick to have me check to see if any other activators are on SSB. I am glad you found my blog through my QRZ page. I used to post each entry on the NA SOTA Yahoo group forum but decided to not cause any more noise on an already busy forum. 73, Frank K0JQZ