Adirondack plan - need Chaser patience

I’m planning a trip to the Adirondacks (W2) next week. These are much longer &/or steeper hikes than my previous activations (e.g. Mt. Marcy is a 14 mile round trip hike & 3500ft elev gain - that’s going to be a long day) and my ability to predict activation time is questionable. And I’m not sure if I’ll have cell service for updates. I’m hoping for chaser patience & understanding.

Early last year, I switched from carrying FT857 & 100W to a KX2 and 10W. So, I’ll be harder to hear than the previous year, but I can still get heard. I’m SSB only.

At least some of these summits are alpine protected areas, it’s required not to leave the trail or attach anything to any rock, tree, or the ground. I’ve come up with a way to use pool noodles (cylindrical shaped foam) to help brace my antenna support within my pack.

These are the summits on my plan from 26May-02Jun2019, subject to the whims of the weather gods as usual.

W2/GC-010 Bearpen Mountain
W2/GC-002 Hunter Mountain
W2/GC-011 Huntersfield Mountain
W2/GA-005 Giant Mountain
W2/GA-002 Algonquin Peak
W2/GA-001 Marcy; Mount
W2/GA-010 Cascade Mountain

I haven’t been activating as much this year, because I’m trying to build up my fitness. In October 2019, I’m going to Nepal for a 14 day hike to Everest Base Camp (highest elev 18,000ft). Unfortunately, living in Delaware (W3), SOTA involves more driving than hiking, so I can’t activate too many summits and expect to get in better shape. I’m trying to do what I can to improve my probability of success on that hike. (Sorry, not taking a radio - gear weight will be minimized.)

Jill // N3ICE


I’m sorry you’re not taking a radio, if only for an emergency. One pound, and it may be your last resource.
Safely first, and have a wonderful trip.
Victor KI7MMZ

Jill, high altitude hiking is a mental game… a couple of years back I visited CO for the 13’er event and walked up Mt Shavano (14k) a day after arriving from PA (1000ft ASL). It kicked my butt, but mentally I was prepared… I wasn’t going to let the pain of the hike rob me of 10points!!
I’ll look for your spots when you’re in W2 land.

Good Luck.
Richard //N2GBR


Thank you so much for the sweet concern.- At high altitude, they say a pound feels like two. And I’m going with a guided group - the guides have communication methods. I also understand that there’s not much “free” time anyway. But I agree, it would be both safety minded & cool to take a radio, alas not this trip.

I’m doing my best not to get psyched out by the high altitude and I am ready to push through the pain. Though I have to keep in mind that you can die from altitude sickness, so I shouldn’t push through the wrong kind of pain. (Hopefully I can tell the difference)

Thanks in advance for keeping an eye out for me in W2 land - I’ll put alerts up before I go and see if I get cell signal to spot on the summits.

Namaste Jill!

You might consider Kala Patthar in lieu of base camp. It’s about the same elevation as base camp and provides incredible views (if the weather is clear). Kala Patthar is just to the left just before you get to base camp. You won’t be able to see Everest or several other peaks from base camp. Or you could do both!

If you’re going on a guided trip you might not have much flexibility, but if you’re flying in and out of Lukla, it would be nice to hang out at Tengboche or somewhere else along the way to get acclimatized. There’s plenty of exploring you can do while you’re getting used to the altitude. One frustration many of us have had is the crazy deadline to get back to Lukla to make your scheduled flight out. If you’ve already invested so much getting there, why not enjoy your time there and have some flexibility? It just takes time to acclimatize.

I found a couple parts of the route a bit grueling. The long accent to the Tengboche monastery (if your route is that side of the river) from the Dudh Kosi (river) in the Khumbu valley comes at the end of the day. When we finally arrive there, it seems like we’re at the end of our rope. (BTW, dudh means milk and kosi means river in Nepali - a fitting name as the water is so white from glacial runoff.)

The trail from Dingboche up to the Loboche area was pretty rough, not the trail, but the altitude. You just have to get a step/breathe sequence that works for you so you don’t have to stop to catch your breath.

October/November is a great time to go. Monsoon is over and hopefully the haze and pollution isn’t too bad. As you probably know, if you want to operate a radio in Nepal, you have to pay for every couple of bands you might want to use. Crazy expensive, but at least it’s possible unlike the days of Father Moran (9N1MM). As far as safety goes, I hear there are lots of resources along the way now, including cell service. Plus, you’ll probably run into lots of trekkers on the trail; that’s a pretty popular route and season. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as climbing Half Dome in Yosemite. :slightly_frowning_face:

Things have changed a lot in the area since we first went up there in the late 60’s and were treated as honored guests.

Malcolm WB7WUQ

Wow! Thanks for the great info, very helpful. We are going to Kala Patthar & Base Camp, that is a long day - and Kala Patthar is optional. I hope the attitude doesn’t get me too much and I can make that climb, your note makes me want to even more.

The only time I made it to the base of Kala Patthar it was foggy. All you could really see was the glacier over to the right. Even with the heavy cloud cover, you could see the amazing aqua blue color in some spots inside the glacier. There was the seemingly constant thunder of avalanches that you couldn’t see. You just hoped none of it would reach you. As you probably know, one of those avalanches did reach base camp and killed a number people. That was during that earthquake in 2015 that also made the Khumbu Icefall impassible.

Anyway, when our guide (and personal friend) and I ran out of drinking water, we stopped at a little stone hut at the base of Kala Patthar to melt some ice to make some drinking water. I pulled the kerosene primus stove out of my backpack and started to pump it up to get it going. Much to our dismay, the stove started leaking kerosene from the base of the stove. We had never tested the stove before we left Banepa. We suddenly realized we were hosed; we had no way to make water. Dingboche was the closest place we could get it.

Our guide left me immediately and headed down the trail. I followed on slowly stopping to hack and cough. I finally made it down there that night and drank eleven cups of tea (I didn’t trust water that wasn’t boiled).

Needless to say, the next morning dawned bright and clear, but we had to get back to the airport at Lukla. :confounded: When I got back to Tengboche later that morning, I found that the couple that had gone with us up to the base of Loboche and returned early, had gotten pulmonary edema. They had recovered by the time I joined them again. And that’s where I pulled out my secret box of See’s Candy I had been carrying all that time, much to everyone’s joy.

… this note reminded me that at altitude I found the downhill only slightly easier than the uphill !!

Yes, everything seemed hard at those elevations. Even thinking. A British expedition had come barreling into our camp at Loboche the day before after being stuck up on Everest for a month because the jet stream had dropped down below their elevation. They wondered how we could breath the heavy air at 16,000 ft / 4900 m. :open_mouth:

I’m afraid I’ve strayed far from the Adirondack topic. :thinking:

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