Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sept 11 on Mount Bierstadt (14,060 feet) W0C/PR-015

I took Friday off in an effort to burn up some overtime and a group of us decided to hike Mount Bierstadt. Our group quickly became two people with everyone else dropping out for various reasons.  Dave and I met at 0300 and headed to the TH. We arrived at 0545 and waited a few minutes for the sunlight to light the trail. When we hit the trail at 0600 it was a cool 30 degrees out.

I was glad I had my heavier jacket!

On the Trail
Paused a moment for a SELFIE!!
On Trail

K0JQZ making his way up
Time to eat and figure out why the FT1D is not beaconing 
If you read about this mountain and trail you will find out that you drop 200 feet or so in elevation at the beginning. That is really no big deal until your return trip.

Dave and I made our way up the mountain letting faster hikers around us. We made the 3.5 miles and  3,000 feet elevation gain in 4 hours. Not bad for a couple of retired guys!

Dave and Frank on the Summit

Busy summit
Looking toward Mount Evans
Pano shot
Once we took in the views Dave helped me get setup for 20 Meter CW. I promptly broke the end of my fishing pole because I had the wrong connector for the EF on the pole. I tried to rig it up and ended up putting too much weight on it, snap! I was able to rig it up without the tip and Dave helped me deploy the wire.

The radio is the Steve Weber Designed, K0JQZ built, Mountain Toppin Radio with 2 bands (20 and 30 Meters). I only had the 20 meter End Fed along so that was the band I was limited to.

Getting Setup
Fishing for some DX
Deploying the End Fed
MTR powered by 9 volt battery

View from my shack
Trying to get a few QSOs
Radio, battery, log book and iPhone (iPhone is my UTC Clock)
I was not spotted by RBN so I had to send a SMS Spot. I was a little worried that maybe the SMS function or the SOTAWatch web site was down, that has happened before.

Self Spot

The band was very quiet, so much so I thought there could also be a problem with propagation. I called CQ a few times and K6EL filled my headphones. At that point I knew I would not only be spotted but would get my QSOs for a successful activation. Just hearing a familiar callsign calling helps keep spirits up! Thanks Elliott!!!

In short order I worked the following stations with a radio I built in an Altoids Tin, power by a 9 volt battery, with 30 feet of wire and a matching network in a pill bottle, supported by a fishing pole.:

K6EL in California

AE4FZ in North Carolina

VE7OM In BC Canada

WA2USA in Illinois

NE4TN In Tennessee

K4MF in Florida

NG6R in California

NK6A  in California

K0FNR in Colorado

I was starting to chill down and no one else was answering my CQs so I packed up and we headed down the mountain. It took us 2 hours to get back to Dave's truck and I had a great feeling of accomplishment with my second 14er (1st was Pikes Peak from the Crags). Now I just need to get Dave licensed so he can join in on the fun!

It was a perfect day with mild temps and not a lot of wind.

Thanks Chasers and thanks Dave for taking pictures, driving to the TH and the great company!


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