Activation of Hunter Mountain, W2/GC-002

Tom, N2YTF, and myself will activate Hunter Mountain in the Catskills on Wednesday, Jul 15. This is a 10-pointer not activated so far.

We want to use the cablecar for part of the ascent. This results in a very tight schedule. The first skyride starts at 12.00 (local), the last ride down is at 16.00. We estimate that it will be still a 1h20min hike from the top of the cablecar to the firetower at the summit.

We expect to be on the air from 1730 to 1830Z. On Monday’s activation we found out that we can operate on 20m simultaneously without causing each other desensitation. This is what we plan to do, because 20m brought us the most contacts. Tom will start 20m SSB with 100W, I will go for 20m CW with 5W, preferred frequency is 14.057, moving up if this is occupied. If 20m does not work I will QSY to 30m/10.118MHz. We might do 2m FM and SSB while setting up. Tom will also run his APRS beacon.

We look very much forward to European Chasers giving us the needed contacts…

73, Heinz, W2/OE5EEP

Leaving the hotel now, on time, weather is fine, let’s go…

73, Heinz, W2/OE5EEP

On the lift as scheduled. APRS on air in a few minutes.

73, Heinz

In reply to OE5EEP:
It looks like they’re on the summit now. Isn’t APRS amazing? Good luck SOTA people.
David 2E0DAI

Neither heard on the western frontier. Thanks to the spotters.

In reply to OE5EEP:
Alas, all the spotting was not enough for me to net 4 contacts…the time constraingts and poor band conditions were too much…but Heinz did hit the mark!


Tom has said it all: Our activation was only partial success, with my 5W-CW rig bagging 5 contacts, but Tom failing the mark.

I have learned that it is much different to activate SOTA in the USA then back home. There are no local chasers, no established SOTA activity frequencies and hence no pile-ups when you call cq sota. If you want to activate a US-summit you have to either rely on band openings to Europe or to spend more then an hour on the summit. All US stations that I have worked were unaware of the SOTA program and were random catch.

On the other hand I had a very positive experience today when a group of boys aged 8 - 10 participating in a summer camp showed up on the summit. We immediately had an audience of very interested youngsters asking all kinds of questions as to amateur radio. While packing up I found myself explaining the idea of Amateur Radio and SOTA in particular to a group of at least 10 including their supervisors. The boys were obviously impressed that one could work Europe with a radio the size of a box of chocolates. Tom drew an even bigger audience with his SSB operation. I was just a little disappointed that some of the boys had absolutely no idea what Morse code is. Tom handed out the web address of ARRL and I am sure some of the boys will indeed follow up to get further information. I have never experienced a similar attentive audience in Europe. It is good to see that there is generation growing up, still thrilled by simple portable radio, although mobile phones are common place today.

I will follow-up with a longer write-up of Hunter Mountain once I find time. We will move westwards to Niagara Falls and I do not expect any further activations this week or on the weekend. I might activate a summit in the Adirondacks on our way back sometime next week and will announce.

73 Heinz, W2/OE5EEP

In reply to OE5EEP:

I was intending to activate Shining Tor G/SP-004 to coincide with Tom / Heinz activity. However, when I got home from work I checked the 20m band. It was very quiet with only a few Southern Eu stations heard. I then had a change of plan - to watch rugby on tv with a bottle of wine. Well done on another first activation, just a pity the band (20m) was so poor.

Hi Tom,

Are you thinking about activating Hunter Mountain W2/GC-002 again to get the points?

Jimmy M3EYP

In reply to M3EYP:
You better believe it! Already talking with the XYL about 2 days in the Catskills to activate Hunter and something else…

I will enter my log from Hunter as I did work 2 stations, a W1 and F.

Actually it would be great to hit Hunter for 10 points and then hit Black Dome for another 10 which would mean that I have completed all 10 pointers in the Catskills.

Also have to work on my morse…


Hi Tom,

Good luck with activating the 10 pointers in the Greater Catskills.

I’m sure if you work on your morse you get good at it. My Dad M1EYP learnt morse all by himself and he is good at it.

The name Hunter is a coincidence because I have an American friend who was from Texas called Hunter who now lives near Manchester in England. He walked up Shining Tor G/SP-004 on the expedition I led recently and the photographs can be viewed on

Persuade your XYL KC2JOS to get involved in the SOTA activating, it would bring W2 another activator.

Jimmy M3EYP