Mount Manuel Quimper VE7/CL-051

This is my 5th activation this year (4th unique summit) and one I’ve never been up before. It’s been on my short list for a while though because it has an old fire lookout at the top which is open and you can go in. Sounds very cool!

I started SOTA last January and have been exclusively HF until this past year when I got a Yaesu FT5DR. I have used it on the last couple of activations and it has been great so decided not to bring any HF gear at all this trip. It felt a bit risky because it’s stepping outside my comfort zone but I figured the worst that could happen is I get 0 QSOs but still have a great hike, big deal.

I was in the area and had a day to kill so decided to go for it. The weather was probably perfect hiking weather: Overcast, about 12C but still fairly sunny. Not too hot and not too cold.

Took about 1.5 hours to the top from the parking lot. The trail is well marked with a lot of official local government signs. There is a weird spot near the start which threw me off but it is obvious after you go down it a bit.

Only ran into people 1 time on the way up. When I got to the top there was a couple inside the lookout having lunch. They came out while I was setting up and the guy had a few questions about Amateur Radio and said he was visiting with his 78 year old friend the day before and he was a ham and he was amazed at how far you could talk with people.

I got the portable Yagi all setup and then realised I had not brought my coax! So this would be a bit more challenging than I thought. I do have a nice Signal Stick antenna on the HT which has done well so this would put it to the test.

Spotted myself, sat down and ate my lunch while calling CQ on 2m. Was a good 10 minutes until I got my first contact. Then another 10 for contact number 2. Uh oh. I was wondering if this wasn’t going to work.

I went over to UHF and tried calling CQ for a bit but no luck.

Back to VHF and still nothing. Hit a couple of the local repeaters asking if anyone would mind coming over to simplex. I think this worked and got a couple more contacts which was a relief. One was a guy across the water in Washington State. Something cool about a VHF QSO in another country.

Tried calling CQ for about 10-15 more minutes while slowly packing up but nothing.

Checked out the fire lookout for a bit and it is pretty cool. Would be a lot of fun setting up in there for an activation.

Definitely will be back. Awesome hike, great view and the lookout as a bonus. Also not bringing HF gear made for a much lighter backpack.