We drove to Ormes via Garden of the Gods and about an hour later we were hiking towards the summit. This is not a hard hike but you cannot take a direct approach. You approach from the West and find the saddle and then start a North East approach that takes you up a trail to the summit. In the summer this summit is filled with bugs however, there was still snow on the ground and the temps were mild so no bugs!
Lynn and I both had good pileups with the regular SOTA chasers and a few new ones as well.
|America's Mountain from the trail|
|America's Mountain from the summit of Ormes Peak|
|KC0YQF on SSB|
|K0JQZ on 20 meter CW|
The next day, Saturday, we were joined by Al, KH7AL, and his son Coen. We had a nice breakfast and started towards Signal Butte, W0C/FR-165. This is one of my favorites for testing new SOTA gear but our first two attempts this year proved to be futile. There was just too much snow to get us close to the mountain. Today was no problem on the road but the trail on this mountain goes around the North West and sure enough, there was still a good amount of snow.
I did not have any goats with us to plow a trail up to the summit so we transversed the steep, snow free, North East facing side of the mountain. We summited but not without Lynn, KC0YQF, taking a pretty good fall. Nothing was broke and she wanted to keep going so we did.
After Lynn worked a pileup on 20 Meters Al worked 17 and 20 meter CW. I wanted to work a little PSK31 but the clouds were moving in and we decided to descend after I made a few CW QSOs. We took a more direct approach than we did ascending but got to the TH and our vehicles just as the sky opened up with rain and hail. Perfect SOTA timing.
Notable QSOs were with WA6MM Summit to Summit, Brad is a SOTA animal on a 8 pointer. I was pleasantly surprised to hear my friend Ken, WA8REI, calling me. I yelled; "its Ken" realizing only I understood what was going on.
|Coen ready to hit the trail!|
|Al, KH7AL on the summit|
|Coen on the summit|
|Al spots Lynn on 20 meters|