Continuing with my SOTA exploits. This time my target was W6/NC-150, Black Mountain located in Rancho San Antonio county park near Cupertino, CA. The summit is accessible via 11.2 mile out and back PG&E trail. Elevation gain is 3146 feet. Beware of poison oak, ticks, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and feral software engineers wandering into the park from Silicon Valley.
I have already tried to activate Black Mountain few months ago but was not able to copy call signs fast enough. Was fairly optimistic about the activation this time as I expected quite a few folks to participate in the Field Day contest. Also I can copy a tad better now.
Temperature in summer often reaches 100 F and more. There is some shade in the lower part of a trail and some trees on the very top but most of the time you are fairly exposed - sunscreen and a head cover is a must.
The first section of the trail crosses gently rolling hills.
After crossroads the trail starts to climb more sharply, generally closer to the summit it gets progressively steeper and more rocky but does not turn into a scramble.
As you climb a nice view of Silicon Valley, Moffet field and the Bay opens.
Activating Black Mountain W6/NC-150
Set up my rig in a shade and started calling CQ. Was able to activate quickly - bunch of folks were contesting so getting my four mandatory QSOs took less than five minutes.
|Time UTC||Call sign||RST sent||RST received||Frequency||Mode||Location|
Again not much luck on VHF/UHF - heard a lot of people but they didn’t hear me.
If you feel like it you can bump the difficulty a notch up and do a loop using the trail on the other side of the canyon to get back to the parking.