Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Estes Park Colorado: Prospect Mountain and Lily Mountain (W0C/FR-069 and W0C/FR-050)

I realized late Saturday that Lynn and I both had Monday off so we went to Estes Park Colorado on Sunday thinking that the 4th of July crowds would be gone or leaving. We ran into the usual flatlanders having trouble on highway 36 into Estes Park but we made it there in time to do at least one and maybe two summits.

Estes Park and Lyons Colorado were devastated by flooding last year. Lynn and I were shocked at the level of the devastation and also impressed at the rebound these two towns have taken in the last few months. There is still some road construction but traffic moved right along. In contrast, Colorado Springs has yet to open the area from the Waldo Canyon fire two years ago and the Old Stage area remains closed with a new estimated opening date of Sep 2014. That is almost a year and a half to repair ten miles of dirt roads!

The flooding in our area washed out parts of Fort Carson (near to us) and was called Lake Carson for a while. Fort Carson, like Estes Park and Lyons Colorado have bounced back and in my opinion, better than ever. Our hearts go out to the people that lost so much.

We took the tram up Prospect Mountain. Lynn loves these things and they are a lot of fun but cost money (12 dollars a person with military or senior discount). As always there is a lot of wildlife in the area around Prospect Mountain and we spotted a few deer and chipmunks which is always fun.

I was able to self spot although our activation time was pretty close according to the alert I posted. Even if my activation time is spot on I still like to self spot Lynn on SSB just to let the chaser know where she is. It is just common courtesy when people are looking for you and highly encouraged.

With CW it is easy as the Reverse Beacon Network will pick me up automatically as long as I am within 1 hour before and 4 hours after the posted activation time.

When packing up I chatted with Bryan, N0BCB on 2 meters and he was coming down from another summit. We were both trying to beat the storms!

After Prospect we checked into our hotel room and walked downtown for lunch. When we returned to the room around 1500 and Lynn said; "hey, lets do another summit" so off we went to Lily Mountain.

I have done Lily Mountain before and it kicked my butt. It is a 4 pointer but do not let that fool you, the last mile is brutal with a lot of elevation gain (I cannot remember if it was 1000 or 2000 feet total).

We made it based on pure determination. Since we were pretty late we passed everyone that was parked at the TH coming down. When we summited there was one family still on the summit but they left after a few minutes and we had the summit and the views to ourselves.

Since there is limited space on this summit it is a natural for the Buddipole Vertical and it worked like gangbusters. I have it pre-tuned for 10 through 20 meters by marking the counterpoise with colored beads that correspond to the coil tap colors on the mini-coil. It makes it fast and easy to setup.

We were beat on this summit because we knew we had a long hike, also uphill, to get to the TH. Seriously, the first part of the hike is downhill so you have to go uphill to get out. We went through all our water near the end but still had a grand time. The views from this summit are fantastic and the rock scrambling at the top is a lot of fun.

My video did not turn out how I wanted it and I have been having a lot of trouble with iMovie screwing up the frames. I actually had to totally delete the first draft and start over with no format. I think the format function was what is screwing it up. This stuff is memory intensive but my iMac has 12 GIG of RAM so maybe a faster processor may help. I just do not want to spend the money on a new machine, yet!

Here is the video:

73 from
Frank K0JQZ and Lynn, KC0 Y oung Q uick F ox.....


  1. Frank, nice video. I wish I could set up and operate as quick as you two do! :-) 73s Jonathan VK6PTU

    1. Thanks Jonathan, the time lapse function is cool but it is big on processor power. I wanted to do at least one video in fast mode just to get used to manipulating the data. Thanks for watching, 73, Frank K0JQZ