This wasn’t much of a hike, in fact it was a drive up peak on private property. I was lucky to have been given vehicle access and once on the peak I walked about 150 yards or so to the activation zone. In the spirit of Summits On The Air, or SOTA, which entails being on your own power to the summit, to include battery power for your ham radios (not vehicle battery power either) the short walk and easy activation made this a fun family outing.
I’m lucky to have been spotted on APRS by Charles KM6CEM and I was able to spot via cell phone on the SOTA Goat application. Made some quick contacts before jumping on a local repeater I frequent to pull a few of the guys over to the National simplex frequency for the full activation. Thanks to those who found me on 520 and for taking time to help me make it a successful activation. With help like that it’s very possible to use VHF HT only to make it work. A simple technician class ham radio license can open the SOTA doors so get out there and hike around.
Here’s my five-point trail report:
1- Parking and Road Conditions – If you can get access to the private property then it’s a drive up on a dirt road that is passable via a high-clearance vehicle. 4WD is not necessary but if there happened to be rain then the road may get slick. YMMV
2- Trail Conditions – It’s a drive up and then the walk is super easy to the summit under the power lines. I opted to activate just to the side of the power lines and not under them, still well within the activation zone.
3- VHF/HF – I worked all my contacts on VHF with a little help from Charles KM6CEM who spotted me and from people on my favorite repeater that I brought over to simplex. HF is possible as there is plenty of room for whatever contraption you’d like to setup. Be mindful of the power lines of course.
4- APRS & Cell Service – Both worked just fine.
5- Extra Info – It’s all about getting access to the private property.