Monday, September 28, 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park, APRS Tracks & W0C SOTA Activations

I'm finally back from vacation.  I'm not really sure how many miles I covered, as my car battery died in Winter Park, CO.  When I replaced it, all my trip mileage settings were erased.  Thanks to Fraser Automotive in Winter Park for replacing my battery fast and getting me back on the road in about 2 hours.

Other than the battery, this was a great trip.  The Rocky Mountains are amazing.  You don't get a good sense how big and beautiful they are in pictures until you're there.  The aspen trees were turning yellow and gold the week I was there, which was very colorful as they poked out of the evergreens.

Mills Lake in RMNP

Below is my APRS tracks from the vacation.

APRS Track

I attempted 3 SOTA activation, 2 of them were successful.  I'll complete write ups on each of these peaks a little later.

On Tue afternoon, I tried to activate Prospect Mountain, just south of Estes Park but was unsuccessful because of time.  I thought this was going to be an easier hike after some reading on the SOTA watch website, which the hike up and setup took me longer than usual, so I had to make sure there was enough daylight for the hike down, so I called it after only 3 contacts...only if I could get that's 4th.  I called CQ for maybe an hour with no contacts.  http://www.sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W0C/FR-069

My second peak was Pikes Peak on Thursday.  I took the easy way up, driving and then walked down the trail about .25 of a mile, then back up to activate only on 2 meters with my HT.  4 contacts later I decided to head into the gift shop due to weather.  http://www.sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W0C/FR-004

My third peak was Herman Mountain Friday morning just northwest of Colorado Springs.  This summit I have the most video on and will be putting out something on YouTube.  Again, the bands were in crappy shape and after trying to find an open frequency without a scheduled net, I called CQ for about an hour before getting 3 contacts.  Finally one of the nets closed down and calling CQ resulted in 3 more contacts with hams just hanging around on the frequency.  http://www.sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W0C/FR-063

SOTA is a hoot!  I really enjoyed hiking and trying to summit some of these mountains, because no matter what "hill" you want to climb here in Missouri, it just doesn't compare.

...more to come on these SOTA activations.

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