Friday, July 21, 2017

83rd Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park Hamfest

There are Hamfest then there are HAMFEST! If I could only attend one a year this would be the one. The G-W Hamfest has a rich history and is the oldest continuing running Hamfest in the world!

The actual event is at a campground which makes for a family friendly event. Lynn and I were lucky enough to get there early and helped set the campground up for the activities.

Camp area
A few of the tents we setup for demos and talks

We also met a lot of the locals and hung out in the "Helena" Corner with a few famous SOTA activators like Rob and Barb, AE7AP/AE7AQ and Bill N7MSI and later in the event we were joined by Guy, N7UN. There were a couple of other active SOTA guys that stopped in for the day to say hi. We also met a few chasers, of note we met KL7HM, Hugh in all the way from AZ.

AE7AQ Barb, AE7AP Rob, N7MSI Bill, NS0TA/N7UN Guy, KC0YQF Lynn, Frank K0JQZ (note the book Lynn is holding)
Rob and Guy gave an outstanding SOTA talk with slides, equipment examples and a quick demonstration by Bill on how to setup a SOTA station on a Mountain Top.

Guy doing an equipment demo

Bill giving a demo on how to setup a SOTA station

Of note: Lyndel N7LT, gave an outstanding history presentation of Ham Radio in Montana and a history of the Hamfest. There is also a 4 part video series on youtube which can be found here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Lyndel N7LT did a great presentation!

With that many SOTA people together a few SOTA hikes were in order. Guy, Barb and Rob headed up Elk Mountain. Bill took Lynn and I up Blacktail Hill HP.

Barb and Rob in the Bear Grass


The field before the last brutal bushwach up Blacktail Hill HP

White-Tailed Ptarmigan Eggs

Relaxing in the tall grass near the best mountain stream in MT

Unfortunately I do not have a lot of pictures of our hike. It was brutal to say the least. Before we got back on trail we stopped at a mountain stream and enjoyed the cool mountain water. It really makes a difference to have cold water to drink in order to lower the body temperature. The SOTA activators in MT really earn their points. After all, this isn't Texas!


While we were their Lynn and I spent a day in Glacier NP while Barb and Rob did a SOTA activation. The park was fantastic. Here are a few pictures.














The Hamfest has a lot of activities. It is mostly a tailgate event for selling gear and I found a great deal on a dual trace O Scope was too slow to pick it up. Since we were living out of Lynn's car for a week that is probably a good thing. They also have arts and crafts, campfires, a band and some sing alongs. Barb, Rob, Lynn and I enjoyed a spirited game of BINGO and Trivia. All in all it was a lot of fun. We also won our fair share of prizes.

I operated as W7W from a SOTA summit




It was a busy but fun vacation. We are already planning for next year.

73
Frank
K0JQZ