Woke up at 4 A.M. to climb Quandary Peak, Colorado. The standard route ascends from the East, and with all the recent wind I expected a lot of powdery snow to contend with. Instead, we found a hard packed trail below treeline, and wind-scoured snow above treeline, so we felt more than a little silly with snow shoes. We ditched the snow shoes about half-way up, and piled rocks on top of them so they wouldn’t blow away. We summited at 18:07 UTC, and made contact with KT5E (who was not aware of SOTA beforehand, does this count as a QSO?) and he mentioned a “MOS” station trying to call me, and that said station would try again on his summit. KT5E was in Parker, CO and could hear my 4 watts, cool! I tried calling twice every 10 minutes, and could hear a lot of non-responsive stations. At 18:53, my fingers and my QSO logger’s fingers were frozen so we bailed–ten minutes too soon to hear from K0MOS!
Pictures from my camera phone: https://picasaweb.google.com/TeePegg/QuandaryPeakSOTAAttempt?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ-Vp-6zxrfyxgE
Notes on Operating:
I was a little anxious and haven’t operated my HT in years. I could use a refresher on etiquette.
I’m not sure what to do about stations I can hear, who can’t hear me. Directional antenna? Amplification?
VHF is probably a poor choice for Quandary Peak; no line-of-sight to any large cities.
Notes on Conditions:
Snow shoes were not necessary at all, but stiff-soled boots were very nice. Yak-Trax or crampons would have made the icy sections very easy, but they weren’t a necessity.
The summit was windy and cold. Fingers froze inside mittens with liners.
The snow was in prime condition for avalanches, but the standard route has little to no danger of avalanche; stay sharp and out of, or out from under, anything steep.
Edit: Fixed the link to the pictures.