Apologies for not pre-announcing my intention to activate this peak.
Many firsts today for SOTA Association VE6 Alberta Canada
* 1st SOTA activation for VE6/HC035, * 1st SOTA flag flying in VE6 Alberta * 1st VE6 SOTA QSO on 20m
At the last minute I decided to take a drive to Banff and walk up Tunnel Mountain. It was a gorgeous morning (-9 Celsius warming to +2 Celsius) blue skies, perfect day.
Tunnel Mountain is a short easy 40 minute walk from the centre of Banff. At this time of year the trail is usually covered in refrozen snow, so proper foot wear and hiking poles are recommended. I met a NY Julliard Cello student on the trail (I had to lend him my treking poles as his shoe had no traction) so this trail is definitely accessible year round as long as temperatures are not too low.
Tunnel Mountain is a popular year round trail for runners, even when snow covered. This peak is significantly lower than the surrounding ranges (1690m 5550 ft), so 2m handheld are of limited use (repeaters VE6WRO [D-Star], VE6RMT [soon to have linking with Calgary] are both easily accessed), unless you might catch someone on simplex in Banff.
Due to the sudden decision to do this peak i did not have time to fully charge my batteries or give advance notice of my intentions. The low battery charge meant I was limited to 5watts.
Despite this my plan was to sit on 14.285 and 14.340 until I rustled up the requisite QSOs. This proved very successful, after a short time, thanks to spotting done by N6JZT and AC0A I had 15 activations,
I was using an Elecraft KX3 with a 1/4 wave 5m vertical, 24x counterpoise mounted 1.5m approx above ground. SWR= 2.0 due to casual distribution of radials & snow cover.
Many thanks to everybody’s patience with my weak SSB signal:
WA1VKO (3419 Km)
N3APA (1503 Km)
VE1WT (3762 Km)
KB1HY (3358 Km)
VE3XN (2686 Km)
AC0A (2097 Km)
W0MNA (2047 Km)
W4ZV (3287 Km)
AJ5C (2413 Km)
N7SP (1903 Km)
N1EU (3246 Km)
N7CNH (974 Km)
N6JZT (1937 Km)
K3JFD (2003 Km)