Mt Waterman “by the skin of my teeth” – W6-CT-012 activated Sept 3, 2015

Summit: W6-CT-012

ATT Data Coverage: None

ATT Voice coverage: None

Hike stats: 7 miles roundtrip and 1700′ ascent, open and/or shaded trail, semi-exposed summit

Waterman
View from Waterman Peak looking west over greater LA.

This was the second in a trio of peaks I activated in the San Gabriel mountains and I undertook this after my success on Kratka earlier the same day. A couple of options exist to get to the peak and I hiked up the Jeep trail and then back on a prettier, more classic hiking trail just east of the Jeep trail. I recommend an in and out on this and avoid the Jeep trail as it was pretty exposed and hence hot and bright. It eventually leads up to a series of ski lifts, huts etc whence you veer off to the east on smaller trails eventually arriving at the peak.

Jeep trail up to Waterman
Jeep trail up to Waterman

The peak is a mixture of trees, boulders and scrub and you have a wide variety of setup locations depending on your antenna and heat tolerance. I chose under the trees to set up my Buddipole vertical along with my KX3 delivering a whopping 10 watts ready to blanket the US.

The first little glitch was the distinct lack of cell reception. I walked east, I walked north and felt a bit like a water diviner but was very out of luck. I resolved to do this the hard way and started CQ-ing (albeit 1 hr earlier than alerted via SOTAWATCH) all to no avail. Not a sausage…no chasers, no luck. It was at this point I wished I had enabled my Yaesu to work with APRS2SOTA but I hadn’t. Onto the action of last resort….the Globalstar 1700, carried only for dire emergencies. Surely this qualified as a dire emergency of some sort or another?  I managed to reach a friend who was nice enough to spot me and I was then off to the races, well almost….the 20m band wasn’t being very cooperative but I managed to work just 4 chasers before 20m seemed to just disappear.

Thanks to all my 20m chasers;

W0MNA, W0ERI, KC5CW and N4EX

W7RV had rather creatively sent me a message via SOTA Goat to please try 40m which unfortunately I missed but resolved to do better on Islip W6-CT-010 the next day!

Not sure my Hardrock 50 watt amp would have made a difference as I thought I heard W7CN but he was very hard to make out.

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