A BNC Connector and “Jinxed” (W6-SS-276) Reversed Peak August 7, 2015

Consulting numerous map sources including Google, Garmin Topo 24K and De Lorme a somewhat confusing picture emerges as to the existence or not of a trail to the top of this peak just north of June Lake. Reversed is credited with stopping/slowing a glacier ages ago and resulting in it gouging out June Lake, thanks as June Lake is very attractive. Under 10,000ft its easily visible from high 395.

The day before I had studied the Topo 24K and Google satellite images and constructed a possible bushwhacking route up to the peak. The morning of, we parked at my jump off point only to discover shinny new trail signs announcing Reverse Peak Loop. Something is better than nothing and heading along this we seemed to veer off toward the west and I’m convinced this is a non starter. Patience has us back heading toward the peak and eventually we find a spur trail marked Reserved Peak which we head up.

W6-SS-276 1

The last 200ft or so is definitely class 3 climbing both over and under boulders. Its here that I realize my 32″ Rigid Shock once set in my pack easily catches on branches and boulders and I should consider the 22″ on future outings.

View from the peak looking east. Mono Lake is 2nd from left
View from the peak looking east. Mono Lake is 2nd from left

The view from the peak is stunning and despite being on a jumble of boulders with what appears to be steep drop offs, I get my 40m/20m Buddipole vertical set up. Radio is out, amp is deployed and my final check of the SWR reveals numbers in excess of 20. Clearly that ain’t going to work. I shorten the radial, I length the radial, I deploy the radial, I fiddle with the vertical length, it goes up, it comes down but the SWR is stubbornly stuck at 20 and above. My mind begins to wonder why this peak is called Reversed, I start thinking of the Aussie movie “Picnic at Hanging Rick” and decided maybe the location is jinxed. No one else has activated this little peak. Maybe I need a new QTH and retreat down 30 ft in elevation and find a less than optimal spot and set up again. Same results and I knew it wasn’t the rig etc but rather the antenna. Upon closer inspection is appears the central pin on one of my coax BNC connectors has ignominiously disappeared into the center of rear of the connector offering no electrical contact with the balun box.

No way….this can’t be happening especially on top of my “Gilbert, where art thou” adventure the day before. Boo hoo, no activation today!!

A spare coax cable is clearly what I would love to have had but at present my gear goal is to lose weight and not add to it. The hike in and out was really nice and very picturesque.

1/2 way to peak looking west into Sierra
1/2 way to peak looking west into Sierra

Unfortunately I didn’t have any spare cable or way to repair the one I had and so a number of other planned activation went by the way side over the rest of the weekend. Definitely a bummer as I drove 300 miles to get to this area! This aside valuable lessons here in terms of redundancy and at a minimum I need a backup of stuff where feasible in the car.

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