Monthly Archives: August 2013

W0/WE-001 Castle Peak 14er 8/4/2013

This year I decided to combine the Colorado 14er Event with Summits on the Air for a weekend of fun in the Colorado High Country!  Our hike up Castle on Sunday, August 4th was the final day of a 5-day camping/hiking trip starting in Fort Collins.  We spent Saturday night at site #2 along the road up to Castle Peak, and got a 5am start on the trail.  Since we were driving all the way to just below the Pearl Pass Rd split, we got to sleep in a little.
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The trail to the summit follows an old mining road all the way to ~ 12,800′, where it becomes a scramble up a boulder field.  We decided to take a harder route up the summit, which goes to the extreme left when viewing the summit from the 12,800′ area.  This was probably a class III scramble, and was very difficult at times.  For the route down, we came down the “normal” route.  You can see the road we hiked in the background:

About 45 minutes from the summit, I began hearing 14er stations on 146.52 and 147.42.  I talked with Alan NM5S and told him we’d be on the summit soon.  I’ve started using a Smiley 2m 1/2 wave antenna for summit activations, and have found that it works really well.  I routinely make contacts to 100 miles with this antenna, and the biggest benefit over the Arrow Yagi which I also use is that it’s available during the hike up.

Once on the summit, I worked a decent pile of guys, both on 2m to other 14er summits, and on 20m-ssb for SOTA.  Here’s my log from the day:
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The remaining pictures from Castle Peak can be seen at W0/WE-001 Castle

Posted in N0BCB, SOTA Tagged , , , |

W0/SR-079 Geissler Mountain East 08/02/2013

Erin and I spent 5 days on a big, fun Colorado camping loop.  We started off in Fort Collins, and camped our first night on Guenella Pass.  Thursday morning we drove over the pass, then headed for Buena Vista.  On our way into BV, I grabbed W0/SP-112, Castle Rock.  After that quick summit, we were on our way to Mt Princeton Hot Springs for a leisurely afternoon in the river.  We had dinner with the SOTA Goat expedition guys Thursday night at Eddyline Brewery, then headed to Twin Lakes to camp.

Friday morning after driving over Independence Pass, we hiked up the Lost Lake Trail to attach Geissler Mountain East, W0SR-079.  This was a beautiful hike, with the Colorado wildflowers in full bloom.

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A view of the approach to the summit:

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My SOTA log from this activation:

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The rest of the pictures from this activation can be seen at:

SOTA Gallery W0/SR-079

Posted in N0BCB, SOTA Tagged |

New ham shack / office!

Well, we decided it’s finally time for my to have my own space, so down to the basement I go. I’m building a 12′ x 14′ office space that should provide plenty of space for my “stuff.”




Posted in N0BCB Tagged |

2013 North American Summits on the Air Weekend

September 7th & 8th is the annual SOTA Activity Weekend

North America SOTA Activity Weekend is a casual event involving tiny battery-powered radios on mountain summits.  It is not a contest but is intended to introduce “Summits on the Air” to newcomers with home stations who try to work summit operators during one or two days. There are no rules regarding power levels, modes or number of bands worked, but please be courteous when more than one station is trying to talk to a SOTA operator on a summit.  The SOTA operators have just climbed mountains as high as 14,000 feet; they use low power; and they don’t receive on split frequencies.

Check to spot who is on which mountain.  Summits are numbered, and you can hover your cursor over the number to see the name and point value for each summit.  Expect that website to show activity near 7.032, 7.185, 10.110, 14.342, 18.095, 18.155, 21.350, 24.905, 24.155, 28.420, 146.52, 446.00, and 61 Khz up from the bottom of 20, 15 and 10 meters CW.  Participants are invited to collect points toward certificates and trophies offered by the eleven-year-old international SOTA group (  As we learned in past years, this is a barrel of fun for both hill climbers and home operators.  See you then.

Posted in B's Blog, N0BCB, SOTA Tagged |