Sunday, April 24, 2016

Knights Peak (W0C/FR-144)

It has been a rough week for Lynn and I. We had to put down our beloved 21 year old Calico named Mayv last weekend. She is sorely missed. Lynn and I do not have children so she was very much like our child.



Mayv, 1995 - 2016
This was our first SOTA activation in a while. The weather has not been great and there is still a lot of snow in the high country. We attempted Knights Peak a month or so ago and it did not go so well. We were in 3 feet of snow and decided to forgo the activation. Today was not as bad. The snow was deep but it was frozen so, for the most part, we were able to walk on top of it. Of course we did fall through a few times. I did fall through on the way down and was up to my waist and had a hard time getting out of the white stuff. Snowshoes would have been ideal for this ascent.



Knights Peak W0C FR-144
Old Stage road is the road you take from Colorado Springs to get to the base of the mountain and I have never seen it in worse shape. The standing water is re-freezing every night and making new potholes. Some of the potholes are hard to see due to shadows across the road and coupled with the drivers out here 4 wheeling it makes for an adventure in itself. The road is eroding very badly in spots due to run off. I can see it closing again some time this summer.



Once we summited I found a neat geocach and someone had placed several sheets of paper with instructions to "take just one." Here is what the sheet had on it.






I am not sure of the context save the fact that it is a clue to a "super secret" geocach.

Geocaching is just plain fun!



I setup the antenna between the rock we usually setup on (too windy) and the actual summit (too rocky) and settled on a nice flat spot in-between and out of the wind. After the antenna was in the tree and Lynn was ready to go I tired to spot her via cell phone. No dice as this summit is always problematic with cell phones. I had the Kenwood TH72D with me and was getting ready to use it when Phil, NS7P, came booming in. Phil spotted Lynn and she was off working her SSB pileup. Thanks NS7P!!!



I tried to get her to look up but no dice

Lynn worked the following stations on 20 meter SSB despite the QSB:


NS7P
VA6FUN
N2GBR
N4EX
N8BB
WW7D
W4DOW
K6KNS
KH2TJ
WA2USA
K3JH
WA9HED
NM9O
KI4SVM
K2JB
K4MF
N0PKT
KG3W
NE4TN
KB1HXO
K6EL



While Lynn was working through the pileup I took a few pictures of three nearby SOTA summits.


Cheyenne Mountain
Mount Rosa
Almagre
The reservoir just to the West of Knights Peak is still frozen.





Below is from the SOTA Watch web site and it shows the spots we got today. As you can see NS7P posted a spot for Lynn and Dan, NA6MG, posted a spot for me which is what he said he would do. I did call CQ on 40 meters for several minutes but RBN never picked me up. I am glad chasers like
Phil and Dan were on hand to post a spot for us.

From SOTA Watch
I do not use my APRS much anymore but did on this hike.  I knew the cell phone service sucked on this summit so if anyone was so inclined they could follow us on APRS. 



I may be one of the few that actually watch APRS beacons when activators post their APRS information during summit ascents. 


K0JQZ-7 beacon from the summit
K0JQZ
After Dan spotted me the pileup ensued. Here are my QSOs on 20 meter CW.



NA6MG
KH2TJ
N4EX
ND0C
K6EL
W6JMP
W7RV
WG8Y
W4KRN
W0MNA
WG0AT
W0ERI
N0DA
K4MF
EA2LU
KG3W
N1EU
WB0CJB
NS3C



Knights Peak is a short (less than a mile) hike but it is steep. I forgot my spikes but Lynn remembered hers so she had no problem on the descent. For me it was an exercise in terror. 



Thanks Chasers
72
Frank
K0JQZ













Rest in Peace Mayv

4 comments:

  1. Hi Frank,
    Sorry to hear about Mayv ;-(. I listened for you and Lynn on 20M but couldn't hear you at all. I was hoping you'd try 40M to have any chance at making a contact with you guys. I usually operate on 40M for the locals (and adjacent states).
    73, Brad
    WA6MM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brad, I was calling CQ on 40 meters for about 10 to 15 minutes. Lynn announced that I would be on 40 meters at the end of her pileup on SSB and I posted the freq in our alert. After calling CQ with no takers I went to 20. I thought for sure that someone from Lynn's pileup would go down to 40 to work and spot me but I think we all rely on RBN a little too much at times. Hope to get you next time. 73

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  2. Hi Frank. I'm very sorry for your loss. My wife and I are also without children and we went through a similar loss a couple of years ago. It can be a very tough thing.

    I saw the CW spot that was posted but I was unable to hear you in my HOA-restricted QTH. Typically propagaion from VA to CO is pretty reasonable on 17 and 20 meters, so I'm not sure what happened. Propagation of late has been crummy.

    Anyways, take care and 73.
    Nate N0PCL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nate.

      Propagation was better than it has been but still not up to snuff. Yeah, it is a real challenge to be restricted on your antennas but on the bright side it helps develop operating skills (if the propagation allows). Hope to hear you soon. 73, Frank

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