W2/GA (Adirondack) SOTA Party 2018?

Anyone in the W1/W2/W3 or beyond interested in a SOTA party in the Adirondacks at some point in 2018? I’m currently in talks with 2 other hams about the idea of doing a weekend long trip to at least 5 summits. It appears that quite a few of the 46 high peaks remain unactivated. The beauty in terms of SOTA up there is the close proximity of the high peaks to each other, meaning if there are multiple activations VHF is a real possibility even with just an HT, as is plenty of glorious 10 point S2S action.

At this point I’m looking for interested parties, with the goal of divvying up the high peaks on a weekend to be named in 2018. Imagine filling your log with 10 point S2S contacts from the top of Marcy, Algonquin, Colden, Cascade, or Big Slide. If enough people are interested, camping for the weekend could be organized at a state campground to allow for a greater sense of camaraderie and some eyeball QSOs.

The Adirondack High Peaks vary in difficulty from moderate to very difficult, but there are a few easier options. Obviously W2/GA is not exclusive to the high peaks and there are many other summits in the association with easier hikes that still afford a view of the high peaks, and therefor VHF opportunities.

So if you have any interest, please let me know via a reply here or to my private email.

Evan - N3TWM


The still-unactivated high peaks do present at least a bit of a healthy challenge to activate. Possible though if you’re an experienced hiker in good shape. I’m speaking of HF activation. I’m clueless on VHF-only activation.

I can’t help but be a bit skeptical that you’re going to find a group that will simultaneously individually summit Marcy, Algonquin, and Colden. THAT would be impressive.

September is generally the best month for hiking in the Adirondacks.

FYI, a few of the high peaks have severe restrictions on disturbing the environment (can’t stray from designated paths, can’t drive anything into the ground, etc - Algonquin was restricted and I really had to improvise with my antenna).

Barry N1EU


It is true that most of the remaining peaks that need activated require a commitment to get to, however, many have trails. I find it interesting that Marcy and Haystack have been done, but Skylight hasn’t.

Barry I know you’ve spent some time activating up there. If you are interested in participating let me know.

The great thing about everyone being there at the same time, and the proximity of the peaks, is simply grabbing an HT gives you the quick and easy capability to contact others in the high peaks with little effort. I’m not saying this will be VHF only, I just think it would be nice if we tried to include it. The “West Coast” SOTA crews have a lot of fun doing VHF S2S and it would be nice to have that in the east for once.

Comment on timing. Spring is MUDDY quickly followed by black flies, summer is crowded and can be buggy, September and early October are best. The regular rains probably start by mid-October. You’re also starting to lose day length for the longer hikes.

Skylight is a 19-mile round-trip hike. But it’s there for you to snag!

Skylight is as long as Marcy is to get to, a long day hike for sure. If we do this, the idea would be to do a weekend, so the high peaks guys can get in and about, and to allow for multiple targets.

I will probably start emailing guys who list high on the W1/W2/W3 activator rolls of honor in an attempt to get guys interested.

And on the time of year, I was thinking August or September of 2018.

The reason for the advance timing is if we want to camp out as a group, many of the ADK sites book up early, so having interested parties involved by springtime is ideal.

W2/GA is my home court! Not many activators, I’m glad you’re drawing attention to it. Count me in.


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Hello Evan, Barry and Kevin.
An ADK week / weekend would be fun. I’ve been to the Adirondacks several times and one time I made several S2S Q’s on both VHF and HF with Jim KK1W, Frandy N1FJ and Doug W1DMH, who were on ADK summits.

I agree with Barry, late September early October is the best time, less rain, bugs and mud.

Dennis - WA2USA

I’m out of the woods after two weeks of hiking and can kick in a few more brief comments.

  • Barry’s advice is wise and true.
  • Bagging the unactivated peaks is a different objective than getting many people on peaks simultaneously. They really aren’t day hikes. For those that want to try the more inaccessable peaks, they would benefit from having other people on peaks nearby. I’ve had issues getting spotted in the Adirondacks at times. This includes APRS and cell phones.
  • September or October for timing, hands down. That said I’d probably miss it this year due to scheduled obligations.

If you can put up with a little mud, put April 8, 2024 on your calendar: total eclipse with 3-1/2 minutes of totality makes a bulls-eye in the Adirondacks :sunglasses:

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I worked in the scout camp, Camp Massawepie, for two summers back in 2002/2003 on the climbing wall, in the Adirondacks, near Tupper lake. I loved the place. its an awesome area of America that not many visitors seem to go to. As I was there for 8 weeks at a time for each of the summers I really got to love the place. unfortunately I wasn’t a full UK licensee in those days and SOTA had only just begun in the UK. But the views from a couple of the small ish hills with fire towers on where awesome.
I’d love to go back to that area of American again if i got the chance.
Hopefully I’ll have my home antenna set back up by then and can catch some of these activations.

The thirsty Moose pub (childswold) was a 5 minute drive away from the camp. We had some great nights in there. They do good fish and chips too.

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The problem with an April eclipse is the chance of sky cover is always rather high :frowning:

Thanks for all the responses. I will be doing some planning and then this winter I’ll probably start sending out some feeler emails with the W1/W2/W3/W8 folks high on their respective honor rolls. My aim right now is either late August or early September. Much later than that and the high peaks region will be getting chilly at night to the point of requiring extra gear. The ARRL September VHF party weekend might be one to aim for.

I ordered the ADK guidebook, the ADK maps, and the Nat Geo Maps and will be looking at the high peaks for a weekend plan of my own. Hopefully some others can join in.

It’s already on my calendar, I expect to be on Catamount. After yesterday, I just bumped my cloud-free eclipse views to 4 for 4. My expectations for 2024 are that I’ll be 4 for 5.

This might be another option for those of you who like your creature comforts, shower and a bed to sleep in. The Prescott House owned and operated by Steve Hilbert has dormitory like rooms and a community kitchen and laundry room. The last I was there it had Internet, which comes in handy for Alerts!
See link below.
Kevin, this place isn’t that far from Baker Mountain where you gave me a SOTA complete. TKS.


The peak of color for fall leaves is almost here. If anyone is going to be activating in the Adirondacks in the next week, I plan on being in the region from 30 Sep - 9 Oct. I’ll mostly be spending time with my family, however if someone is going to be activating I’ll try to talk my wife into activating at the same time.

With that said, I’ll try another multi-peak activation on the Great Range on either 2 or 3 October. The last time my knees swelled up and I only did one peak. To do this, we’ll hike into the valley of Johns Brook the night before and camp, get up early for a day of hiking, then return to camp for another night of camping.

My knees swell up just reading that you will do a one-day multi-peak Great Range activation. :open_mouth:

Barry N1EU

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Sounds like a cool idea! Put me on your possible list. I’ll have to get off work, that will depend on timing. I prefer sept / oct timing. I have climbed Mt Marcy without a radio - it’s a long day hike, but it’s doable. I stayed at the Adirondack Loj near Heart Lake.

Jill N3ICE

I don’t have an internet connection at my camp, although I can check it roughly once a day at the neighbor’s. If you or anyone else is in town from this weekend to Columbus day, send a text to me to coordinate simulaneous summit activations:


The leaves are near peak, the trip would be worth taking. Very nice forecast for Sunday and Monday, with Tuesday coming into view. I’ll likely go in Sunday and do the Great Range on Monday. It depends on what work I have to do around our camp.

Here’s a numerical weather model output for the summits:


Looks like you sure got the timing right weather and leaf wise!!!

Great idea.
I probably wouldn’t make it up to the Daks, but i could plan some S2S activations from some Catskill peaks at the same time.

Can I come, I’d like to activate the Adirondack Mountains one more time before Father time catches up! I hiked in the Adirondacks many years ago and became a 46er in the mid '80’s. There are several peaks I’d like to do which aren’t part of the 46’er High Peaks, but nevertheless a challenge. However, Mt. McIntrye or Algonquin is appealing since long ago (1970’s) I helped to reseed the summit. It would be nice to see what the place looks like today.

Best 72/73 de Dennis - WA2USA