Hey Reversed Peak, what’s going on here? (W6/SS-276)

Summit: W6/SS-276

Activation Date: September 11, 2015

ATT Data Coverage: Very good

ATT Voice coverage: Not sure but presumed to be OK

APRS Coverage: Good

Hike stats: 5-6 miles roundtrip and ~1600′ ascent, exposed trail and summit (last 200 ft of elevation is class 3)

This is turning into a little bit of a comedy of errors. I tried Reversed Peak back in early August when I was foiled by a wonky BNC connector and my second attempt didn’t start out too well. After driving 300+ miles from Greater LA to the Mammoth area in the eastern Sierra I swapped cars with my hiking buddy. Once we arrived at June Lake I realized I had left my antenna back in the Jeep. The word “doozy” came into the conversation and seemed to be directed at me….hey, I was up at 4am. After scooting back 30 miles we grabbed my Buddipole antenna and then darted north once again toward June Lake with a beady eye out for the nice chaps that hand out tickets you don’t want. Clearly we were behind schedule and really didn’t want to get stuck on the peak in the dark. I have grown very fond of a bed at night and we so we literally flew up ~1,600ft via the shorter return trail we used last time. 60 minutes later I’m on the peak, feeling good. The peak is definitely class 3 and a jumble of boulders that you wind your way through to a stunning view of Long Valley Caldera.

Peak is reached by going through the tunnel toward the sky under the boulders
Peak is reached by going through the tunnel toward the sky under the boulders

I knew propagation could be tough based on the latest space weather reports and I had lugged along the Hardrock 50 watt amp that I had slaved to build from a kit designed by the award winning, Jim Veatch  (WA2EUJ). I looked at it with the same degree of pleasure as Gollum does towards “Precious”.

I’m on the air by 4:15pm, which all things considered is really good, and started with 40m to give the “locals” a chance. I had the Hardrock configured for VOX with my KX3 and it seems a little too hair triggered for my liking almost dropping TX between words.

I worked; W7RV, KF7FME and K6HPX all on 40m but it was tough.

In my transition to 20m I think I toasted the Hardrock, possibly with a little too much power from the KX3 but I’m not entirely sure how. I’m thinking I’m entirely screwed; 20m, 12 watts and current propagation aren’t going to net me much. Somehow in all of this I had paid my dues and propagation notwithstanding I am rewarded with two more contacts on 20m with N4EX and WA2USA…….. PEAK ACTIVATED!

View from operating location on Reversed Peak
View from operating location on Reversed Peak

Sadly California has a few too many forrest fires right now and the Rough fire on the west side of the Sierras is spewing smoke to the east and air quality leaves a lot to be desired.

The sky is tinged brown from the Rough fire near Fresno
The sky is tinged brown from the Rough fire near Fresno

So why the determination around Reversed Peak? Maybe part of it is I wasn’t thrilled with failure but some of it was the vainness of being the first activator, my call sign will be on the summit page for ever….Reversed Peak, I own you!!!

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