Just passed CWOps Intermediate! On to advanced and to attempt a CWOps Number.
My favorite SOTA expeditions are ones to never before activated summits. I particularly enjoy the planning and preparation in the form of reading through peak-bagging books and blogs. Obviously reaching the summit and completing an activation fulfills accomplishment.
Today I was able to activate Clark Mountain - W6/CD-006. I was able to find beta from the book "Rambles & Scrambles" as well as from various climbing blogs.
Overall the hike was somewhat challenging - my GPS logged about 5 miles RT with 1800' elevation gain over mostly Class 2 and some Class 3 obstacles. The most challenging aspect was the heat and distance from my home QTH; however, the views were stunning.
At the summit, I realized I forgot my SOTA pole, although I had everything else. Fortunately, I was able to suspend my SOTA Beams dipole between two rocks at about 2 ft off the ground and I was able to make several contacts including an S2S.
After activating Clark Mountain, I activated Mohawk Hill which had been activated a few times prior, although it was unique for me.
I have my eye on a few other unactivated summits in that area; however, the expedition might have to wait until late fall or early winter after things cool down a bit.
Until next time, 73!
David - KM3Alpha
Awesome activation of both W6/SD-010 and W6/ND-270! Overall 45 QSOs with DX to New Zealand and Sweden.
I was recently contacted by an individual who wished to test for his technician's license. Although I am an accredited Volunteer Examiner with the ARRL, I was unaware of any method in place for remote testing during Covid 19. After some research on the internet, I found the Anchorage ARC VEC were authorized to conduct remote testing, and allowed proctors to become accredited through their VEC. Additionally, the Anchorage ARC VEC transmits results digitally to the FCC which allows for almost instant callsign assignment or upgrade reflection in the Universal Licensing System (ULS). Thankfully the Anchorage VEC allowed me to test and become accredited as a VE for their VEC.
On Thursday evening (4/16) I was feeling especially cramped and decided to load up my Tacoma and head out to the desert. I landed in the area of Silver and Quartzite Mountain near Victorville. Thankfully the weather was stunningly beautiful and I enjoyed listening to “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil Tyson that night while enjoying an unobstructed view of the stars above.
The next morning I was able to activate Quartzite Mountain (W6/ND-241) and landed DX QSOs with EA2IF and SA4BLM. Additionally, I got great signal reports from each station despite my transmitting only 5w from an MTR 5b. After about 12 additional QSOs I activated Silver Mountain (W6/ND-241) and had 23 QSOs that included DX stations EA7GV, SA4BLM.
On my drive home I was realizing how thankful I was for everyone who chases SOTA. Despite operating a low power station, I was the one being chased and working a pileup. DX was looking for my station! How cool is that! Not to mention I can always count on a core group of regular chasers W0MNA, W0ERI, WW7D, WU7H, AC7P, NW7E, W4KRN, N4EX, N0RZ, K0LAF, K3TCU come to mind off the top of my head; however, there are probably about 20 or so that I can count on regularly to chase me no matter the conditions.
In short, the purpose of this post was to share great conditions on 20m and thankfulness to everyone who consistently chases SOTA as well as satisfaction with the program itself. To me, there is nothing better than operating CW from a remote summit and making exchanges with familiar calls and discovering new DX.
I hope to meet you on the bands soon! 73 DE KM3A (David).