I finally got a to a peak I could activate. The last peak I was going to attempt, W6/NS-357 Pine Hill, turns out to be in a protected wild life area. I’m still going to try and get permission to go up there, but that weekend I ended up just going to Sly Park and setting up there for a few hours.
This past Friday, I had to work a store in Jackson, CA. I looked at the summit database and found that W6/NS-355, Jackson Buute, was only a couple miles away. I decided to go out a few hours early and see if I could activate it.
When I started going up the hill, I saw a couple of no trespassing signs. I remembered seeing a house in the Google maps satellite view, so I decided to keep going up anyway. I figured I would just knock on the door, introduce myself, and ask for permission to be there for an hour or two.
My plan worked better than I thought. It turns out the house was owned by a fellow ham, Dennis N6KD. Not only did he give me permission to go the rest of the way up, but he showed me his station as well and invited me back to work a contest with him sometime. He had never heard of SOTA, so I gave him the web address. Maybe we’ll see him activating his own hill soon. He did say he loves QRP and showed me his KX3.
After talking with Dennis, and parking my truck next to his driveway, I walked the rest of the way up NS-355. I got set up and on the air by about 1930z. Only thirty minutes later than the alert time I had posted!
I put out a CQ SOTA on 10m and immediately got a response back from Gary W0MNA in Leavenworth, KS. The next contact came from a ham that turns out to be a neighbor of mine back at the home QTH, that I hadn’t met before, Rich NU6T. He was having trouble copying me and gave me a 25 signal report, but we managed to get everything exchanged for a valid contact. We’ll be getting together for coffee soon and possibly planning an activation.
I made a couple more contacts on 10m, Randy ND0C in Minnesota, and another KS contact, Martha W0ERI. After a few more CQ calls, and hearing nothing, I announced I’d QSY to 20m.
Being new to HF, I didn’t realize there is a maritime mobile net on 14.300, which is the frequency I put out on the alert for 20m. I went up and down the band a bit form there, but didn’t find a nearby open frequency so I decided to keep on going to 40m.
I made one contact on 40m, Dennis back in his house. Right after that, the rain started coming down, so I did a quick pack up and started heading back down to the truck.
Not counting Dennis on 40m, I got four contacts on 10m and was able to activate the summit.
I had a great time activating the summit, made a couple new friends, and I’m looking forward to my next activation.