Piñon Hills

Here’s the station on this first-ever activation of W0C/RG-154 and my first Colorado Summit

12 FEBRUARY 2022 W0C/RG-154

It had snowed the night before in the Taos Valley and the roads in the area were a bit slick before dawn. I left for Colorado across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and headed up Highway 285 as the sun was coming up. There was very little traffic and hardly any snow as I made my way north. I saw a bald eagle in a lone pine tree just after Tres Piedras.

The BLM dirt road off of Colorado Highway 142 is excellent and a passenger vehicle could easily make it to the roadhead. There are markers at this point that motor vehicles are no longer allowed.

The trail follows an old 4×4 track around and up a ravine. There are several places where I chose to avoid elevation loss and contour around to the right. The bushwacking isn’t too bad among the piñon forest that gives this mountain its name.

The hike is over two and a half miles and gains about 1,400 feet. There was over a foot of snow by the time I made the summit ridge. The various odd-shaped volcanic detritus buried in this snow made each step an adventure.

The summit has a spectacular view of the San Luis Valley and the Sangre de Christo Mountains. The register went back to November 10, 2005. The last entry was November 19, 2021.

There was solid service from Verizon

For reference here is roughly the 4×4 route follows

After calling my first CQ I heard my most faithful chaser, Jon K6LDQ. Unfortunately he couldn’t seem to hear me. I did get a call from AE1MS and AE1JS on Marsen Knob in Georgia. I also heard from my home QTH and a POTA caller KD6NFD in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The station looking west toward the San Juan Mountains
Flattop (W0C/RG-1560 and the Sangre de Christo Mountains in the Blanca Peak (W0C/SL-001) area.
The benchmark on the summit in the igneous rock characteristic of the area
I had a lot of fun!

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.

One thought on “Piñon Hills

  1. I enjoyed the report of your SOTA activation. I did my first SOTA activation yesterday and also had AE1MS and AE1JS but on 2m from W4G/NG-023 right next door to them. I only intended to activate on 20m with my TX500 and Tufteln Antenna but I heard them on 2m simplex and what a nice surprise. I was back down before you started calling CQ otherwise it would have been fun to make it in your log. What a great view you had! Thanks for sharing.

    73
    KO4AWH
    Joshua

    Liked by 1 person

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