Monday, April 24, 2017

W6/NC-180 Mt Allison

Saturday was a busy day in the QRP/SOTA world. There was the JA/NA summit to summit event and the QRP to the field event. To take advantage of all of the exciting things going on I decided to climb Mt Allison and spend some time at the summit. I hiked up from the Stanford Ave trailhead. There is not enough parking here so you have to park way down the road, which adds up to a mile to the hike. I took the less popular Peak Meadow Trail and Horse Heaven Trail. These trails have some sections which are very steep. Not too bad going up, but the downhill can be unpleasant.
The more popular trail up.
Once I got up to the ridge it was a pleasant walk over to the summit. There is a bench at the highest point, past the towers, where I set up. There is also a benchmark behind the bench. The ground near the bench is very hard packed, so I attached the pole to the bench, and ran my dipole legs parallel to the ridge.
Antenna ready to go.
The cell service on top is spotty and very unreliable, so I hoped that RBNHole would spot me. I started on 20 meters, but only got a response from ae9f in San Francisco. I then moved down to 40 meters where I got enough QSOs to make it a successful activation. After no one had answered my CQs for a while, I got out my HT and tried 2m. There were a lot of stations on 2, including 3 S2S contacts, one of them in the Sierra. At one point there were chasers in the Bay Area calling me, but people in the Central Valley were talking, so I wasn't able to respond immediately. A good problem to have.
Looking East.
I brought my KX3 up, so I decided to try some SSB. I got three contacts, including 2 S2S. I then went up to 17 and 15 meters, and got one or two contacts on each band. Calling CQ in SSB resulted in no further contacts on any bands. By this point the clouds had come in and the wind picked up and I was getting chilly, so I packed up and headed down.

Trailhead: Top of Stanford Avenue in Fremont. Also can start at Ohlone College.
Website: SOTA Site
Maps: KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map
Route: Take the Peak Meadow Trail (right at the fork) and Horse Heaven Trail to the ridge, then follow the fire road (Bay Area Ridge Trail) to the Access Road to the summit. Continue past the towers and structures, and there is a bench looking west.
Red Tape: Parking is limited at the Stanford Ave trailhead - read about it here.

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