Monday, March 3, 2014

Pt. 970 (W6/NC-422) SOTA Activation

On Sunday 3 March 2014 Peyton and I decided to head out for a hike and a SOTA to try out his new backpack. Peyton decided that he wanted to go do Pt. 970 W6/NC-422. Peyton particularly wanted to go to this summit because we had never completely made it to the summit and also because there was a rope tied to a Eucalyptus tree that he wanted to try to climb. It has been raining a lot in the bay area so we were splitting rain clouds to try and get to the summit. We were good with the rain until we made it to the summit and then it started to come down pretty good. We put up the poncho to protect us and the equipment and then started to put up the antennas. I decided that Peyton would start out on 20 SSB so I set up the EFHW wire through the SOTA tuner. The tuner did not want to tune the wire so I through out the counter poise and it tuned it 1:1 no problem. I quickly remembered that there was a contest going on when I started to look for a clear frequency. We wedged our way in between two stations and hoped that we would be able to get through the contest traffic with our little 10w. Peyton managed to work 10 stations on 20 SSB even with the contest! I would say that is not to bad. I then went to 30 and then 20 CW on the PFR3. In between we also made some lunch. The rain let up just as we were leaving the summit and we did some geocaching on the way down. Just as we were getting to the truck the rain started to pick up again...perfect timing.

Peyton and his new bag at the grove of Eucalyptus trees
The map with the Geo Caches that we found out on the trip.
Cell Signal: 
Full digital signal. Was able to send and receive SOTA goat spots.

 Radio working conditions: 
No issues besides all the contest traffic.

Trail Conditions
There are good trails all the way to the top but very muddy. The cows had also trampled the trail down pretty good with made it even more muddy.

Rainy and about 50 degrees

$5 for parking at the Trailhead.

Here is an opportunity to share a online tool that I use to check trail length and elevation. This is from  A very handy website!
Everytrail Route
Here is the link to my everytrail route that I used last time -  We went the opposite way this time as it is more scenic. The app was not tracking right so I gave up.

FT857d with 7.5 a/h slab
SOTA tuner with 20m HW wire -
PFR3 with 1800 m/ah LiPo -

Under the dome of trees at the summit

Climbing around on the trees

Looking at Sulphur Springs Mountain W6/NC-406

Looking back towards the summit

Can you spot the Geo Cache. This was a tough one to get to. Easy to see but tough to grab.
Thanks to all of the chasers!! See you all on the next one.


  1. Great report and pictures Matt. I love the shelter you setup on the summit. Sounds like Peyton is doing great on the airwaves. I hope I get a chance to work him soon.

  2. Frank, It was a great learning opportunity and Peyton thought it was neat. The good part is that right when we got it put up it started raining pretty hard and it saved our butts. Peyton and I are planning a backpack trip 14-16 March just before we leave CA. There is the possibility for 3 summits where we are going. I don't think that 3 will happen more likely 2 of them. Weather dependent of course!