Monday, August 25, 2014

Planning to attack Mount Rosa, AGAIN!!!! (and some ramblings)

I was thinking about a few summits for this Friday since I have off from work and I keep coming back to Mount Rosa. Lynn and I started up that trail twice, the first time we were not committed to a summit attempt and the second time Lynn got sick and it turned out to be the beginning of a week long illness that had us in the Emergency Room. I am just glad she was able to make it back to the car. She did 6 miles, sick!!!!!

Well, Lynn does not want much to do with that summit again. At least not from the East side approach. The West side approach is relatively easy, a couple of miles and maybe 1,500 foot legation gain. Not so from the East, it is 12 to 13 miles round trip and 4,000 elevation gain. I need to know if I can do it so I will attempt it on Friday.

I hope to have my APRS beacon on (K0JQZ-7) so I can be tracked and hopefully I will be able to talk to a few locals on 146.520 on the way up. Weather is a factor so we will see how it goes. If I make it I have the reward of every SOTA hike with a view to kill for and if not I hope I am only turned back due to weather and not something else. I am figuring 5 to 6 hours to summit and hope to be at the Trail Head at 0600.

Lynn and I have been busy doing some SOTA summits and I have not done any videos and have not taken many pictures. I was just in one of those moods where I did not feel like coming home and spending hours trying to make another movie. I do think it is important to make those videos to promote SOTA and SOTA in Colorado but it is somewhat liberating to come home, upload the logbook and just chill. Do not get me wrong, I like making the videos but I am just taking a break.

Lynn has taken a few pictures and I found a few from summits past and I might as well share these with you all.

Here is a pic of our older cat Mayv who is wanting attention before another SOTA hike.

Not sure where this was from but that was a good size bee on my backpack. He was not aggressive, just checking things out.


This is a bird of prey (hawk maybe) and I watched this bird circle and hunt for about 20 minutes and tried to get several shots thinking that I did not get one until I got home. This was one of the few times that he was actually above me at over 10,000 feet.

Bird of Prey
I have been using my Buddipole Vertical almost exclusively and this is what happens on windy summits in 25 degree windchill. Stuff starts to come apart. I think I have it fixed now.

Buddipole parts
A few pictures from Monarch Ridge.

Buddipole and walking stick counterpoise support ready for work
The views from our ham shack
Lynn operating
I think my antenna is bigger, er closer....
Lynn enjoying the tram ride up rather than the grueling hike.

All smiles
Not sure where this one was taken but Lynn's radio, the KX3 and some other equipment. The Elecraft KX3 is such a great radio. It far surpasses anything out there in performance, power consumption, weight to capability ratio and the most important thing, functionality/ergonomics. I am a fan and am glad Lynn lets me use hers from time to time.

Here I am on a summit trying to figure out how to fix a broke antenna.... there is a little Macgyver in all of us.

These next photos are from Mount Evans today, 25 Aug 2014. I watched the weather move in as Lynn activated and it was not soon after my turn began that the skies opened up. Of course at over 14K feet you seldom get rain so we got a snow hail mix and I kept going as long as I could. It did start to get very cold (it was in the high 30s when we drove up). We had the perfect spot just North of the parking lot in-between a few rocks out of the wind. If we had been exposed this would have been a no-go activation. No electrical component to this storm or that would had been a no-go as well.

Trying to think above 14K feet and send code
Todays activation on Mount Evans went well. When I checked the SSB freqs, the 20 meter band seemed crowded so I had Lynn move to 14.343 and Phil NS7P was right there and spotted her. That really helped. There are a few operators that really make an activation go well and seem to understand what is going on with the activator as he or she battles weather, high altitude impairment, curious on-lookers and the other things that distract an activator while trying to keep the pileup under control. I would like to say thanks to:

There are others but these are the stations to come to mind as I type this. No awards just thanks.

Back to Mount Rosa. I will try to go light weight and will take a newly constructed MTR II (powered by a 9 volt battery, pico paddles, speaker), a linked EFHW, 200hz audio filter, recorder, go pro, 3 liters of water, food, warm gear and rain gear. I will also have a 2 meter radio, cell phone, topo map and compass and my GPS. There are other things I will take but I may or may not post a complete inventory. I am real excited about this adventure!



  1. Wow, what a post. I just got done watching your latest video of you and wG0AT hiking Mount Rosa. Another great one and I learn something new on every video. I understand coming home and just wanting to chill, but hope the break from video making last a short time! I'd love to see your inventory you take on a summit hike.

    What is the clock you use in the picture with the KX3, Zoom recorder and black/white tarp?

    Hope to work you and Lynn sometime!



  2. Kyle, the watch is a Dakota (brand name) they have several. It was a present but all I really need it to do is show date and time in GMT which it does. It is one of those fancy watches that clips to a belt but I just clip it to the KX3 case or backpack. I did a video today from Observatory Rock and may do one again tomorrow but we will see. It takes me about an hour per minute of video to make something post worthy. Good idea on pack inventory. I did a post on that same subject but maybe I will do one in the field one day. It is a great idea, thanks.

    Thanks for viewing my videos and reading my blog Kyle. 73, Frank K0JQZ