Skunked: 0/3 summits activated
Greetings everyone! I managed to activate zero summits this weekend... I had planned to activate Dolores Peak, and possibly Middle Peak (SM-007 & SM-006) on Saturday, and Lone Cone (SM-012) on Sunday. Friday night, I arrived at the Fish Creek trailhead later than I expected to, so I camped at the trailhead (which is to say, I slept in my truck). I woke up at around 6. I left at 7, thinking I had plenty of time to travel the 2 miles to the summit (with 3,000 elevation gain). Unfortunately, there wasn't actually a trail to speak of, and I spent about 90 minutes trying to get through the swampy forest with so much deadfall. At about the 90 minute mark, when I hadn't made it to treeline, I decided to go back to the truck and try a peak I know I can get to, Lone Cone.
Lone Cone is a peak that I have submitted before, and I know the route. On the way to that trailhead, I heard Eric KF0AUK on Antero on my truck radio. Looks like your J-pole worked great! Anyway, I made it over to the Lone Cone trailhead, and made the summit at 1PM. Once I got there, I called CQ on both 146.58 and 146.52, but I got no response. I used my rollup J-Pole attached to a hiking pole, and my arrow 2m yagi. I also identified on a local repeater to make sure that the signal was making it out. Since conditions at the summit were fairly pleasant, I was going to attempt to activate on HF, but when I went to set up, I found that I needed a male to male BNC adaptor that I had left in the truck. SO, I took a short nap, then headed back down.
With the smoke, and so many other things going wrong for me that day, I decided to head back to Grand Junction and get a good night's sleep in my own bed.
Lesson learned for me: Choose summits where I know the route is established, because carrying and setting up radio equipment on a summit can be complicated enough. I have enjoyed myself in events in the past when I don't have to worry about how to get to the summit! I'll save those route-finding and scouting trips for when I am not trying to meet a deadline to get to the summit.
Anyway, I hope that most had a successful weekend, and have fun with the 10-10-10. Sadly, I won't have enough spare time to make it to any more summits this month.