Mt Whitney W6/SN-001 - 14,500'

Mt Whitney W6/SN-001 - 14,500’
8/26/17 @ 130pm

I borrowed a KX2 a few months ago for this trip. Have used it a TON taking it with me and throwing up antennas at the beach, hiking, camping, etc. Great radio. For this trip I did basically no SOTA planning and put my focus into getting to the top and staying safe. I had no idea if and when I would even summit. Luckily I was almost full quiet into my home repeater system in Los Angeles 160mi away on my handheld and got spotted that way. I made 8 contacts on my 40m EFHW strung up to the stone building from 1908 and my bamboo walking pole. Operated prob 10mins max- broke down- clouds kept forming in the west. 6 hrs to go hiking down totaling 20mi on foot for the day. Altitude was a problem climbing but not descending. I am very fond of mono band antennas tuned flat right where you are operating. This setup was not ideal as there was no way to get 66’ of wire pointed NE without falling a couple thousand feet first. If I go again I would love to get the word out and operate longer but once you experience getting to Whitney you understand why radio takes a back seat. I did get a summit to summit w CO! Thanks all who responded to the spot.

Trip log:



Whitney up and down in a day is a bigh hike. I did it in 2002 before I was licenced (well and SOTA was only just getting started anyway).

Easy trail, but the altitude gain in a day makes for a bad head!

I went halfway and attempted to sleep for 8hrs but mostly just watched the Milky Way and relaxed. If I go again I will hike/camp/summit/camp/exit. I hate rushing and love taking in scenery and journey. Glad you made it to the top- good job.

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I was only 38 at the time. In my prime for altitude and endurance work. Suspect I’d struggle now. Sue and I got up Kilimanjaro 3 years later, but you get to do that in stages. A few years back we went close to 6000m in Nepal, but had 15 days of slow accimatisation.
The problem with Whitney (and all the non Alaska USA 4000m peaks) is that most get tackled by people coming from close to Sea Level in a day or two. Almost certain you will end up with Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or worse! Make for some uncomfortable days out.
Great to have activated this - hats off to you.

Thank you. Those summits you made sound epic. I am 45- but one of the pinnacles near Whitney was renamed for a woman who hiked it almost every year between 65 and 91 years of age. Slow and steady…


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That is quite the hike and I imagine quite the view. I don’t think i could do it.
I would like to coordinate with someone sometime to see if a 2 meter FM simplex contact can be made from Table Mountain to Mt. Whitney. Worth a try.

73 K6QCB

Hi Clifford,

Great activation and pics. Huge effort. Respect, man!

You mention not being able to orient your dipole in your preferred direction of NE.

If you were wanting to achieve a specific directivity for your dipole, hence requiring a certain orientation, I suggest looking at any of the published polar plots showing the directivity of low(ish) dipoles.

A 40m dipole at a height of 6m for example, is not very directive and even the “nulls” off the ends are only a few db.

An inverted vee with the same centre height is almost perfectly omnidirectional like a donut.

So I suggest you don’t need to worry about the direction of your dipole legs if it is (a) low in wavelengths and/or (b) in an inverted Vee format.

I orient my 40m dipole to fit best between trees and provide a suitable operating position, I never worry about directionality because it doesnt have any on that band. Higher frequencies are a bit different.

Hope this helps for next time.

73 Andrew VK1DA VK2UH

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I spoke to Mt Disappointment on 5W handheld almost full quiet. Table Mt is an excellent site and I would bet money you would have no prob. I camped at Table Mt campground for field day and activated Table Mt w handheld. I used a jumper between handheld and a dual band mobile antenna (Diamond NR770). You could do it! Slow and steady…

End-fed- I wanted the feed point on the other direction but regardless the highest I could get either side was only about 10ft. I will take your suggestion and do some reading. (but sounds like at low angles in general directionality is not a concern) Thanks!