SOTA summit: Gold Mountain W6/CT-053
Activation Date: Nov 14, 2016
Portable operation: Yes
Radio: Elecraft KX2 operating at 10 watts
Antenna: Buddipole in vertical configuration
Bands used: 20m and 40m
Furthest QSO: ~6,625 miles with John Shaw, ZL1BYZ in New Zealand
Hike in: Yes, ~7.6 miles roundtrip and 1,400 ft of ascent to ~8,200ft
Solo operation: No, with Dave Coulter
ATT Coverage: Excellent
Photos: Copyright Paul Gacek 2016
Soon after buying my Jeep I found myself on a “training” session with a large number of beefier and more aggressive looking Jeeps. While mine is the best configured stock vehicle (Rubicon Hardrock) it was still just above the minimum bar for entry into the rock crawling session organized by OC Motorsports.
After crawling by Gold Mountain I made a mental note to return with a my radio station and so here I am one pleasant Monday morning hiking slightly under 4 miles and up to -8,300ft. We follow the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), an easy choice for me as its so iconic stretching ~1,500 miles from the Mexican to Canadian borders.
Its hard to believe its winter as the sky is blue, snow is a distant memory and temperatures once the sun rose where quite pleasant.
I’m a dab hand at erecting my Buddipole antenna. Many configurations exists and the one I favor for SOTA work is a full size vertical (no coil) and radial wire that snakes across the rocks. I’ve gotten many of my most distant contacts using a Buddipole and today turned out to be welcome reaffirmation of this.
It was toward the end of the activation and normally I might have packed up at this time. The voice was faint but distinctly New Zealand or Australian. I couldn’t hear the first letter of the call sign but after a couple of tries it was clearly a ZL, New Zealand call sign almost 7,000 miles away.
Awesome, in fact, really awesome. Made my day, made my week!