My Arizona SOTA adventure would not be if it were not for the VERY gracious help from the locals and others who have activated before me. They sent more summits than I could possibly do in the short time I would be here. My route was the 10 Freeway from California to Tucson. One common thread from all the advice was that I should activate very early or very late due to the intense heat at this time of the year. If I could have waited until June I could have gotten bonus points for these 😦
I am surprised that many more folks have not activated this easy one. Guadalupe Mountain W7A/PZ-060 at 774m/2539ft is a very easy drive up of about 3 miles with the last 1/3 of a mile being a moderately steep walk. You turn off the 10 Freeway at mile 26 which is Gold Nugget Road (33.678800, -114.084110). Gold Nugget road is rough old pavement until the turn at 33.674079, -114.052063 where it turns to dirt up the hill. Any car could have made it to the wide parking area at 33.670144, -114.057169. If you have a 4X4 or other vehicle with low gearing there is a paved road the last 1/3 of a mile that you can drive up. My automatic transmission was not made for this kind of task so I walked. It was about 70 when I started the walk and 82 when I returned to the car.
Service on my T-Mobile was intermittent SMS texting, no data service, and no voice service.
APRS2SOTA was probably very good at this site, however, I had an intermittent antenna connector problem that will have to be fixed back home. This radio has seen several years of tough service so this was very acceptable.
My DeLorme InReach Explorer Iridium device was used to post most SPOT’s. Additionally, there were several helpful Chasers who kept me on clearer frequencies and helped SPOT me.
Propagation was hostile to say the least. I got an email from a chaser with colorful solar data, charts and information telling me there was no hope to certain areas today. This confirmed with the reality of actual operations. I work all HF bands 40-10 in the SSB portions for at least 15 minutes. The results can be seen in my log below. My sincere thanks to all the chasers who made this worth doing!!!
Geocaches: Guadalupe Jumpoff GC4Y4T3 http://coord.info/GC4Y4T3 is about 25ft from summit and was found easily at the end of the day. The owner did a creative hide making it worth the find. The logs here also gave me some good hints about the approach to the summit.
Some side notes that I rarely mention. I carry the 10 Essentials with lots of water and snacks. In the event of a significant emergency I will use the “Ham Radio Wilderness Protocol on 146.52 FM”. I monitor that frequency when I have full batteries. On low battery I would follow the protocol. You can Google these things. I hope more SOTA folks pass this information along.
Date: 12/May/2015 Summit: W7A/PZ-060 Guadalupe Mountain Call Used: KB6CIO
|13:56z||W8BHS||144MHz||FM||146.52 59/59 Larry Quartzsite|
|14:11z||W0ERI||14MHz||SSB||14.285 33/– Martha KS|
|14:12z||N7ESI||14MHz||SSB||David 44/44 WA Catching up with my old friend with QSB|
|14:16z||W0MNA||14MHz||SSB||Gary 55/55 KS|
|14:30z||K8TE||7MHz||SSB||Albuquerque area of NM 56/44|
|14:40z||K6CMG||7MHz||SSB||We worked hard for this one from Long Beach, CA 22/55 5watts|
|14:41z||KA5PVB||14MHz||SSB||14.285 44/44 5w West TX|
|14:42z||W4DOW||14MHz||SSB||22/33 VI Tough for both of us and worth it!!|
|14:43z||N7KRN||14MHz||SSB||55/55 NW WA Fred|
|15:07z||NS7P||18MHz||SSB||59/44 Phil OR|
|15:08z||K0LAF||18MHz||SSB||57/33 Helped move and re-spot me to .162|
|15:14z||W6PZA||18MHz||SSB||18.162 59/22 QSB One of my heros who made this summit happen!|
|15:27z||AK4VU||21MHz||SSB||55/55 W KY 25watts|