Sunday, January 3, 2016

Mountain Goat!

I finally achieved Mountain Goat but that is not my goal. When I started in SOTA I wanted to do at least one summit a year. I changed that to trying to get 100 points per year however, after Lynn upgraded to the General License and started activating I thought maybe 250 points a year was good.

At some point, around 800 activator points I kind of lost interest but Lynn was my driving force to get out and hike some summits as she got "SOTA points" fever. Lynn became the driving force for me to get to 1000 activator points and Mountain Goat.

This week has been fantastic. Al KH7AL, Brad WA6MM, Lynn KC0YQF and I met up for a New Years hike up Mount Raspberry unfortunately, wG0AT and the boys were unable to join us. Al, KH7AL as some of you may know, is the SOTA Manager for HI land. Al is also a 1st Sgt in the United States Air Force so his free time is limited. I was glad we got to meet and he was able to join us. I think we will try and drag him and his family out to a few summits this summer.

Mount Raspberry is a relatively easy summit (as far as Colorado summits go) but the temp while driving to the trailhead dropped to -13 degrees. At the TH my Jeep showed -5.


We had the right gear and after everyone arrived at the TH and got suited up we headed up. About 1.5 miles into the hike Lynn had to bail as she was getting too cold. The trail is mostly on the North and West side of the Mountain so there would be little sun to help warm us up until we were on the summit. I was going to walk back with her thinking we would just go to the next summit but she talked me into completing Mount Raspberry. Lynn maintained 2 meter communication with the group as she got warm in the Jeep at the TH.

Brad, WA6MM and Al, KH7AL

If there ever was a reason to get your significant other a Ham License that is it. We both had a piece of mind as she descended alone and I continued on.

Mount Raspberry does not have a big summit but we managed to put up 2 HF stations and KH7AL and WA6MM made several 2 meter contacts.

Brad on 2 meters
Al on HF
Brad on HF
This activation was a lot of fun. It was still very cold but hardly any wind so the solar radiation kept us toasty. My water bottle managed to freeze then my two meter handheld battery went south and my iPhone bit the bullet. My CW skills left something to be desired but I muddled through the QSOs the best I could.

I left Brad and Al on the summit in order to make my way back to Lynn and she met me about a mile from the TH. She was a welcome sight and had an unfrozen bottle of water.

We parted with Al and Brad via two meters and headed to a simple drive up summit near Victor Colorado. I was having a lot of trouble ascending the simple stair system that takes you vertical from the parking lot to a historic mining area/display. Once there, we got setup and Lynn ran a HF SSB pileup and I followed on CW. Lynn also made contact with Brad, via VHF, who apparently had to help someone get unstuck at the Raspberry TH.

Lynn on 10808
After we got done with 10808 we headed home and I was exhausted however, it was an 18 point day so that made up for the exhaustion.

The next day, 2 Jan 2016 was my 54th birthday so I was glad to be setup only 2 points away from Mountain Goat. Lynn and I were joined by our good friend Steve and we headed up Mount Herman to complete the task.

I am not sure if Steve is going to do a video of the Mount Herman ceremony that he and Lynn setup but I will say that I was speechless and blessed to have such a good friend and XYL. I could not have done this without encouragement and guidance from Steve and the participation from Lynn. After a perfect day on Mount Herman we had a very pleasant meal with Pam and Steve at their place. All I can say is thanks to Steve and Pam, for being a part of our lives.





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Frank
K0JQZ