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Berlin Mountain

http://www.teresco.org/pics/hike-20060806/

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:
HA I never would have recognized it from what we saw today…we saw almost no earth at all, only snow on the hike.
Will post the pics/video soon. Thanks for the link!

Also I want to thank Gerd-DF9TS, because without learning from him about STABIlicers the hike would not have been possible.

73,
Tom-N2YTF

In reply to N2YTF:
Hi Tom.What superb pictures.I only wish we could have worked you.Lets hope you can drum up some more interest in SOTA over at your side and maybe you could give 20 meters a go some day.Looking forward to more posts from you on this reflector.All the best Geoff G6MZX

In reply to N2YTF:

Tom, are those Kahtoola crampons you’re wearing in the photo of you in the woods? How well do they work and are they easy to keep attached to your boots?

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

Andy,
I’ve got a pair of Kahtoolas and I like 'em. Work well, no complaints, they do exactly what they’re supposed to.
As for keeping attached to boots, I’ve worn them with 3 different pairs and no problems, including what are effectively a pair of gore-tex running shoes.
It pays to fit and adjust them before-hand so you can just bang them on when it’s cold and blowey out on the hill and you can’t feel your fingers, but I guess that’s the same for any crampons.

Iain, M3WJZ

In reply to M3WJZ:

Interesting. Do you have the steel ones or the original aluminium?

Rick.

In reply to M0RCP:

I’ve got the steel ones, Rick. A bit more durable than the aluminium for only a little addition in weight.

Iain

In reply to M3WJZ:

they do exactly what they’re supposed to.

I think I might invest in some then. My boots (Meindl Burma Pro) are not really crampon compatible so the options for winter activities are to either not go where you need crampons or buy some winter boots. Option 2 is rather expensive for the (very) limited use cases.

This year I’ve been a little more adventurous especially with the levels of snow we’ve had. On Creag Gharbh I reached the point where I considered it wasn’t safe to proceed without crampons and this was on a lowly 2point summit. I reckon I could have benefited from some when on Scald Law as the ice on the path was serious. Crampons in The Pentlands sounds melodramatic but I think Ken GM0AXY would agree the path does get to be treacherous after a long cold spell. Luckily my GPS confirmed I was in the AZ on Creag Gharbh but I still felt cheated because I was so close to the trig point.

The Kahtoolas do seem to be ideal for what I need, some occasional spikyness and the price doesn’t seem to be too painful. The fact they fit a variety of footwear is a bonus. The only decision left is whether to by aluminium or steel?

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

I quite agree as to the cost/usage issue.

I’ve also seen the Grivel G10 Classic Crampon suggested as being suitable
for use with normal boots. They also seem to be slightly cheaper.

Rick.

In reply to MM0FMF:
Hi Andy,

Most/all of my pics are of Dave, W2VV who activated Berlin with me, and his log will be posted soon and so will his pics & video. He shot a lot of video and he will work my video & pics into his stuff for a nice SOTA post. I have encouraged him to write an article for the SOTA site as well.

My log is already up, check out the husband & wife team we worked in a mobile. It was the wife’s first ever contact. I also worked a guy in another ham radio group on another peak on 60m.

Unfortunately, although we had talked about it, we forgot to work each other. You see, Berlin’s peak basically straddles the New York State/Massachusetts State border. The inter state border also delinates the edge of the East Hudson section of SOTA, which I think may mean that I could have stepped into Massachusetts and worked Dave back in New York and we could have switched…getting both of us chaser and activator contacts…as long as there is no absolute distance requirement from the peak. In any event, we did not do it…but what do you guys think?

Dave was wearing some chains with reasonably large spikes on them which worked quite well, even on the steep sections of the trail. Just about the entire trail was snow/ice covered, only the peak was clear.

I wore the STABIlicers

http://www.32north.com/prod_stab.htm

which were quite heavy but effective. I did not loose any screws on the hike. This was the first time I used my STABIlicers and I was relieved to find I could use them comfortably with my large insulated snow boots. Dave’s spikes were much lighter then my STABILicers.

I am really excited that Dave has caught the SOTA bug big time, and he is near my fitness level (perhaps he is a bit more fit) and just as crazy about ham radio as I am. We both have the top ham radio licenses so we can use all the bands.

You should expect to see Dave and I together on several more activations.

As far as the first Euro/American SOTA contact…Tuesday (tomorrow) may be the day. I have found a mountain

http://sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W2/GC-020

which is 1.5 hours drive from my house, but only about a 30 min or 45 min hike to the top, making my “home to peak” time a very reasonable 2+ hours. That means that if I can leave here at 9AM local I should be operating at the peak by 15:00UTC or so, which might make an EU contact likely. Also I believe I can carry a 100w setup with me. I may attempt going to the peak with my K3 if it looks like I could carry it up.

What do you EU hams think of propagation to the US East Coast about 15:00 UTC tomorrow? Will any chasers be on at 15:00 UTC?

73,
Tom-N2YTF

I may be able to book a sked with you for about 1615 UTC Tom. I expect 20m will give us the best chance, and preferably CW to maximise that chance.

which I think may mean that I could have stepped into Massachusetts and worked Dave back in New York and we could have switched…getting both of us chaser and activator contacts…as long as there is no absolute distance requirement from the peak

The requirement is that any station you work must be outside of the activation zone - so at least 25m vertically below the summit. For you both to get the chaser and activator points, you would at some point need to swap positions.

Have you any plans yet for International SOTA Weekend, 2/3 May? That would be a great time to try for intercontinental S2S contacts. It would be good if you could motivate some friends so that several of the W2 SOTA summits were active on those days.

Looking forward to some T2T S2S contacts with you.

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to N2YTF:

Tom

Your chances will be significantly improved with a wire dipole several metres up rather than a low Buddipole.

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to M1EYP:

A sked…that would be great! Give me a freq.

Also understand that this is my frist time on this hill, so I may be delayed…I will run the APRS beacon, N2YTF-3 which should be visible at aprs.fi if there is APRS coverage on the hill.

I will email you my cell number as well.

I also want to mention that from Berlin Mtn I received s8 signals from the UK and Ireland on 60m, but I was not heard by the calling stations although the EUs were working other US stations. Unfortunately we were only running 5w on 60m as we had an unforseen problem with the 100w rig on 60m.

In the US we can run up to 1500w input power on 60m, as long as the Effective Radiated Power on 60m is 50w or less (compared to a full wave dipole at 50w). I think my 6 foot vertical is at least 3db but probably much more down from a full sized 60m dipole, so I can run 100w into it on 60m, no
problem. I have worked the EU on 60m before from ground level…

73,
Tom

Hi Tom,

I hope you and your friend Dave W2VV keep the SOTA fever going in W2 because this assoctian has had a very low number of ativations. The people who have contributed to SOTA over their is you, Gerd DF9TS, Dave W2VV and the assoctian manager Andrew KC2EUS who activated W2/GA-082 back in March 2007. Hope you and Dave W2VV try and complete all the summits in W2.

Jimmy M3EYP

Hi Tom,

How about 1615z on 14.013 CW?

Then maybe 14.290 SSB?

If I am on time, and you are late, we might just make the sked!

I won’t be able to monitor your APRS though, so an exchange of cell numbers for texts is probably a good idea. (How much does Vodafone PAYG charge for a text to USA anyone?).

I don’t have 60m available to me.

Tom M1EYP

Hi Dad,

I’ll monitor the aprs for you.

Jimmy M3EYP

Nice one Jim. Right, on me way now, will be on MN in about 15 mins.

In reply to MM0FMF:

I’d go for the steel ones Andy, the aluminium ones are a wee bit lighter but I reckon will get bashed a lot quicker. Given that lots of Scottish lumps have rocky bits, the steel ones will I think be more resilient to getting bashed and bent on rocks now and again, which will invariably happen. That was my theory anyway.
Have you seen a pair in the flesh (or should that be metal)? If you are down at Norbreck I’ll bring them along, assuming I don’t get tempted to go and play on a hill :slight_smile:

STABILicers look interesting (heavy?, not so good!), I haven’t seen anything like that available this side of the pond. Probably the nearest thing is the Petzl Spikey, basically a bit of rubber that fits over your shoe with a few studs in it. I’ve got a pair but haven’t had chance to try them in anger yet although they are dead light.

Not sure about the G10’s and say 3 season boots, but I’d reckon that the best way to find out (if you can) would be to take your boots into a half decent gear shop, see how the crampons fit and how they cope with the flex in the boots. (a lot more shops will stock G10’s than Kahtoolas I think)

Iain, M3WJZ

In reply to M3WJZ:

I’ll be at Blackpool so I’d be very grateful if you could bring them along.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
Andy,
I use a pair of GRIVEL SPIDERS instep crampons which are excellent. No use for serious climbing, and not intended to be, but great for icy paths and slippery slopes. They have 10 points,which can be replaced when worn, will fit any boot, are very easy to fit and best of all, only weigh 180gms. I keep mine in the bottom of my sack, with my emergency kit and have found them to be very secure on glazed paths, and not bad on mixed ground. Made of tough plastic, so rather frowned on by the purists, but a boon to walkers!
You will not ‘front point’ up the Eiger in them, but I don’t think you intend to try that just yet.
Joe Brown stocks them.
73,
Frank