Double SOTA Activation in VE6

My first double Activation SOTA day.
Deer Peak VE6/JF-086, 1875 m 5650 feet (just below 4 Point Band = 2 points) are located in Kananaskis Country, Alberta Canada.

These SOTA Peaks are less than 5km apart by a straight line but as most of us know straight lines don’t work when it comes to hiking in winter. Between these peaks is the summer campground and recreational area Sibald Creek Campground. This would make a great weekend camping for a family, Calgary is only an hour away.

In the summer Deer Peak would make an easy short hike, Ole Buck will always be a frustrating bushwhack summer or winter. there is an easy trail that takes you to the Ole Buck view point, but there is still a 1.4 Km trackless struggle though densely packed trees to a 2 point summit. This was my second ascent of Ole Buck and for some unknown reason I had forgotten how frustrating; staggering around in snow, climbing over deadfall and being repeatedly poked by tree branches in the most uncomfortable places. The Summit of Ole Buck does not offer any views, just a small clearing to push up an antenna. Deer Peak in strong contrast is a pleasant ridge walk in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies with great view in all directions at the summit.

My day started with the usual debate, -12ºC outside not too cold to justify staying in bed but cold enough to spend and extra hour faffing around with my gear, further delays were caused by missing my turn off up the gravel logging road (4 inches of fresh snow did not help). The gravel road (68) is well tended in the winter to help the logging trucks that access this area in the winter and before I reached the Sibald Creek Campground I passed a snow plough coming in the opposite direction.

Fortunately the ascent of Deer Peek was far faster than expected, despite the initial deep snow.

I was able to quickly make 13 QSO thanks to K0YO spotting me. I did manage to access an APRS Digipeater with my Kenwood 72A, but it was not till getting home that I realized that my SOTA comment string was not being sent…

K0YO,Txs Michael 45-56 1450 Km
W0MNA,Txs Gary 33-33 2017 Km
AI0Q,Txs Alan 44-56 1390 Km
VE1WT,Txs Phillip 33-56 3730 Km
NS7P,Txs Phillip 56-56 1005 Km
N4EX,Txs Richard 34-56 3325 Km
N7AMA,Txs Thomas 59-58 1977 Km
WA6RIC,Txs Richard 55-58 1733 Km
W7RV,Txs Thomas 53-57 1970 Km
W7CNL,Txs John 55-56 831 Km
NA6MG,Txs Daniel 55-55 1903 Km
K6TUY,Txs Robert 34-44 1891 Km
AE9F,Txs Daniel 33-44 1620 Km

Packing up I raced back to my car then up the other side of the valley to approach Ole Buck, a slightly lower but physically harder trackless peak. I did manage to get on station slightly ahead of schedule but only stayed to make 7 QSO before reversing my track.

KT0A,Txs Gary 57-57 1206Km
WA6RIC,Txs Richard 53-56 1733Km
W0MNA,Txs Gary 55-56 2017Km
N4EX,Txs Richard 44-56 3325Km
AE9F,Txs Daniel 33-33 1620Km
W0ERI,Txs Martha 55-58 2017Km
NS7P,Txs Phillip 57-58 1005Km

As a first two SOTA activations on the same day, it was a great success.
I had a great day, if a little tiring.

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