Just a quick recap of our first SOTA activation of a 14er summit. Got a lot of “lessons learned” from this trip but will save them another time.
We chose Pikes Peak, W0C/FR-004, because it dominates the southern view from our home here in Woodland Park. We also decided that in the spirit of the event we would climb to the peak rather than drive up, so we headed out to the Crag’s trailhead and started our ascent around 5:15am. We had both summited the peak via this route before so we were pretty confident we would make our estimated 9:30am activation time. However, the one thing I didn’t account for was the extra weight all the HF gear added to my day pack, so what I thought would be a simple hike up the mountain turned into a grueling slog that had me sweating bullets before we even broke the tree line.
We ended up summiting at about 9:50am, and decided that since we were hearing other summits extremely well with the HT we would hold off setting up the main transceiver until later and just use the HT with a yagi. We made a number of contacts with other Summits as well as a few locals that were listening for me, and then started to realized that the ascent had totally drained me of energy and I had zero will power to go through the effort of setting up for HF. We made one final contact with N0MTN as he was wrapping up and then headed over to the summit house to warm up with a cup of coffee.
The BOSS (Beth, KN0EOD) had also decided early on that it would be prudent to take the shuttle down to the Devils Playground parking lot and cut off the descent through the boulders and she got no arguments from me. After a quick shuttle ride it took 2 hours to descend back to the parking lot, arriving just moments before the rain started to pour.
Thanks for all the S2S contacts and even the one F2F, and we are definitely looking forward to next year - albeit better prepared.
73 de KN0MAP (Dan) and KN0EOD (Beth)