Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

W5/SI-001 Sandia Crest; Success at last!


We started off our SOTA adventure by trying to activate Sandia Crest. Sadly this was a bust as was our second attempt. Sandia Mountain is a primary communication and transmission site for a large portion of the South West United States. High power Television stations, Military, and commercial stations all base their repeaters on this Mountain. When visit the peak you can see why. The field of fire on Sandia Peak stretches almost 400 miles from horizon to horizon in some places. The intermodulation, mixing and de-sensing is horrible. In fact there is a sign at the trail head parking lot that warns car owners that keyless car locks will not work up there. You should see what it does to a home brew qrp rig.
We are locals so we knew this. We endeavored to stick as close to the mountain peak as possible. No joy. We finally found a good location called Kiwanis Cabin. This is just down the trail about 1km to the south. It has a low ridge that acted as a shield from the RF storm. We strongly recommend this location to any future activators. It is in the Sandia Mountain Wilderness yet is accessible via the Tramway or trail heads on the east side of the mountain. We see that two DX stations from the UK have visited our mountain. If you are in Albuquerque It is a easy hike from the tramway, which starts in the 5000 feet below. I think tram tickets are about 15 dollars round trip, just don’t miss the last flight out or you will find yourself sleeping with the bears. If you are in ABQ and need a guide, just send me an email. My address is in QRZ.com I will gladly guide you for a cup of tea.
Scott NM5SW