Montoso Peak

Looking west toward the massive Valles Caldera

22 JANUARY 2022 W5N/SE-040

Energized by hiking up Ortiz Mountain and meeting 8x SOTA Goat Alan NM5S and Eugene AF9O, I hurried back to Whitedog and flipped on the mobile rig. Alan said he would try and wait for me to hike up Montoso for the summit-to-summit. He guided my over that way on roads that were becoming muddier and more rutted by the mile. I was glad to have the 4wd.

I parked where I figured the closest point to the summit was and headed out across the high desert. I had to climb under a barbed-wire fence after a few hundred feet and then headed straight up the slope dodging a lot of cacti and juniper. The hike is .9 miles and has about 500′ of elevation gain.

Alan called me on 146.580 MHz as I neared the summit and said they were getting cold and needed to start down soon. I told him that was fine, no need to get hypothermia for some abstract points. NM5S called me again and said they were just at the edge on the activation zone and I replied that I wasn’t sure if I was in the activation zone of Montoso yet. Alan told me about a neat feature of the app SOTAGoat – the GPS tells you when you are in the activation zone of a given peak. Sure enough, I was and the S2S was made with the venerable NM5S!

Cell service from Verizon was good, as was APRS coverage, as might be expected.

This esteemed S2S kicked off a series of really cool summit-to-summits: including some of my friends David N6AN, Mike K6STR and Lorene W6LOR. The intrepid Lorene and Mike were at about 8,000′ in the White Mountain of eastern California. David was on his beloved “home shack” Flint Peak. I also had S2S contacts with Alberta, Canada, Utah and Washington.

I was somewhat surprised to discover once I got back to the casita that these two summits had a winter bonus considering how easy they are. Very different than the W6 Association.

The station: the Packtenna is deployed between my 20′ Jackite fiberglass pole and the Goture carbon fiber fishing pole.
Caja benchmark
Looking southwest
Looking southeast toward the Sandia Crest and Albuqurque

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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