Activation Date: October 20, 2015
ATT Data Coverage: Excellent
ATT Voice coverage: Not sure but presumed to be excellent
APRS Coverage: Not sure
Access: Drive Watson Rd (paved) ~1.5 miles from 267 or about 4 mile from Mt Pluto (W6/NS-138). Park/trail head at N39 15’01 W120 05’17
Hike stats: 2.3 miles roundtrip and 400′ of ascent up to 7,740′, walk on dirt road and semi-exposed treed summit.
I’m ahead of schedule. This is great as I’ve previously planned three summits in a day, I’ve come close to a activating three summits in a day but a lack of day light and a lack of energy have meant I have only ever activated two of the planned three. So this looks promising and getting up at zero dark thirty has some benefits!
As I am sure you can imagine a fair amount of preparation goes into planning activations. The first challenge in California is deciding which of seven trillion peaks you want to activate. I know it sounds easy but it isn’t as one eight pointer can involve a hike from hell, bushwhacking your way from nowhere to desolation while another involves an easy drive, a wander up a pristine trail for a mile or so to the most beautiful view around. Eric KU6J takes a ton of credit for helping me select these five peaks as he has activated extensively in this area and readily offered up ideas and suggestions. Eric described W6/NS-189 as an “ugly duckling” compared to Pluto and Watson.
And so it was that I set off in search of this ugly duckling. The search starts along a logging road that is really easy to follow until it abruptly vanishes into a veritable obstacle course of fallen trees, stumps, pot holes, gopher holes and just tons of stuff placed explicitly to trip me up. My eyes dart back and forth from the GPS in hand to the ground below my feet. My gait is an odd mixture of a giant’s stride and a dance across the last third of a mile of this hike on this rather awkward terrain.
I’m beginning to sense why Eric described this as an ugly duckling as the peak is simply more of the obstacle course with very limited views. I plant my antenna mast and string the end fed out along the line of an enormous fallen tree. It’s hard to find a place to sit without impaling myself on something and finally I squeeze onto a patch of ground wondering what creepy crawlies might wander out and see who is disturbing their peace.
|20:36z||W6JMP||7MHz||SSB||58 tx 44 rx|
|20:39z||KJ6NHF||7MHz||SSB||57 tx 57 rx|
|20:39z||KG5EIU||7MHz||SSB||56 tx 55 rx|
|20:40z||NG6R||7MHz||SSB||57 tx 53 rx|
|20:40z||WA7SB||7MHz||SSB||57 tx 55 rx|
|20:41z||KD6AGW||7MHz||SSB||57 tx 49 rx|
|20:42z||KC5CW||7MHz||SSB||57 rx 57 tx|
|20:44z||W0MNA||14MHz||SSB||45 tx 45 rx|
|20:46z||K7HLN||14MHz||SSB||57 tx 42 rx|
|20:47z||W7RV||14MHz||SSB||34 tx 52 rx|
|20:47z||N4EX||14MHz||SSB||55 tx 34 rx|
|20:48z||W0ERI||14MHz||SSB||45 tx 45 rx|
|20:50z||K7HLN||14MHz||SSB||55 rx 55 tx|
I hiked 9.5 miles round trip with 2,300 ft of ascent to activate these three peaks for a total of 24 points. All in all this has been a great day and my first hat trick of activations.
Part of my success today has to be due to the meal I had the night before in Truckee….