Monday, June 22, 2015

Ormes Peak 21 June 2015

First things first. If you have never sent Lynn a QSL card she would like to request that you send her one if you had a QSO. She is starting at a new school next year as a special education teacher and plans to display some QSL cards in her classroom and hopefully will be able to demonstrate ham radio  to the kids. Lynn will always return QSL, no need for a SASE. I think most hams will agree that QSL cards have a unique way of kicking starting the imagination of young minds. Imagine a classroom with your QSL card on the wall and Lynn being able to tell the story about how she climbed a mountain and talked to you via ham radio.

Ormes Peak is named after Manley Ormes. Manley Ormes was the father of Robert Ormes, co-author of the Pikes Peak atlas.

Robert Ormes is synonymous with the Colorado Rockies. He was an English teacher at the Fountain Valley School and later as an English Professor at Colorado College, Ormes is most widely known for his contributions to "A Guide to the Colorado Mountains", which was the earliest guidebook to the Colorado Rockies first published in 1959. Ormes was also a member of the famous Pikes Peak  AdAmAn Club.

Lynn wanted to get one more summit in before her trip to WI. I was not sure if we would be able to get access to Ormes Peak due to most of the area still being off limits from the Waldo Canyon fire a few years ago.

Burn Area

Pikes Peak from Rampart Range Road


Parking sign

Nature coming back
If fact, while driving on Rampart Range Road, there were several signs indicating that access to the National Forest was closed and you could only park in designated areas. I told Lynn that this might be a drive in the woods with no activation. As we passed the Boyscout Camp there were signs stated that people could harvest fire wood out of this area.

The road that goes around Ormes had a sign that said "Road Closed." The rains had washed out part of the road. People had put dead trees and had driven around the washout but I did not want to do that (although the Jeep could handle it). I decided to back track to the last approved parking area making sure to give plenty of space to other vehicles in case someone wanted to harvest some of the dead wood. We headed off on foot. Up down all the way until we got to the base of the mountain.

Ormes Peak in the distance

Our Route
Elevation Profile

At the start of the ascent I choose a wash out until I saw a game trail and in fact I saw some game on the trail. A few deer walked past us without giving us much attention. I also took note of some big cat tracks about as well. Lynn and I maneuvered to the East side of the rocks and found a path up to the summit. There was a nice breeze on the summit but it was pretty buggy.

I decided to setup the recorder (recently fixed) and the gopro to get some footage but when I returned home I discovered the gopro has a bad SD card. At least that is what I think it is. I had almost an hour of footage that is now lost. No matter. I did get a lot of pictures.

Lynn on the summit
Lynn, KC0YQF taking a break

View from our radio shack

End Fed going into tree

Other end of the End Fed support

KC0YQF running the 20 meter SSB pileup

View towards Colorado Springs

APRS Beacon

FR 302
Google Earth View of our GPS Track


We drank plenty of water (3 liters) and a quart of gateraide. It seemed to help. I really do not care for gateraide and plan to find something else in the future. I think we should have had one more liter of water. The temps were around 85 degrees so not as bad as the 100 degrees in Fountain but with no wind and in the sun it was brutal.

Lynn 20 meter SSB Log:

My 10 and 15 meter log:

The rig was Lynn's Elecraft KX3 at 5 watts and an End Fed antenna based on the Hawaii Emergency Amateur Radio Club's design. (9 to 1 Balun with about 30 feet of wire). 

This is an easy 4 pointer that has some great views. It is not as easy as driving up Pikes Peak but it offers a little bit of the Colorado mountains close to the city. It might be a good candidate for a visiting SOTA Activator. 


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