Cerro Grande

Cassie KG6MMZR and her old friend David make their way up the upper slopes of Cerro Grande. The magnificent Valle Grande and the rest of the Valles Caldera in the background, including the never-activated Redondo Peak (11,253 – W5N/SE-002)

12 JUNE 2021 W5N/SE-011

Satellite image of the Valles Caldera. The arrow points to Cerro Grande

Cerro Grande is part of the massive Valles Caldera – one of the largest young calderas on Earth. It was formed by a series of super-volcano eruptions about a million years ago. I have never been up in this area above Los Alamos and was looking forward to exploring this interesting region. Cassie (KG6MZR) and her old friend David Cunningham joined me on this fun activation.

The hike is about 2 miles to the summit on a well-graded trail with an elevation gain of just over 1,000′. This is one of the few peaks in New Mexico that you can park the car just off paved road at the trailhead. The summit is over 10,000′ high and the thin air was noticeable on the ascent

The activation was wildly successful with 18 contacts including 5 summit-to-summit contacts in North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, California and New Mexico. I even managed to eke out a contact with Jon K6LDQ from Torrance. I heard Brian WA6JFK but unfortunately he could not hear me.

On the hike up with David
David taking in Vallis Grande. Redondo Peak is the large mountain on the other side
Cassie KG6MZR and David on the summit. Monsoon clouds building over Trucas Peak and the Sangre de Christo mountains to the east
The happy trio as Cassie KG6MZS takes the selfe
From the far distance the alpine meadows look colorless but up close they were blooming with wildflowers
Lilies everywhere
Cassie and David on the descent
Of course we had to stop by El Parasol in Española for their excellent tacos and pisole!

Published by wringmaster

I'm a graphic artist in the movie business. When I was a kid I got interested in astronomy. When it would get too cloudy to observe the heavens, my buddy and I would sit at the VFO of his Hallicrafters S 38c like safe crackers trying to coax faraway signals out of that humble radio. My love of astronomy and radio survive to this day fifty+ years later.

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