Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Extreme QRP on 14,100 Humboldt Peak!

What a great QRP adventure! And wG0AT and N7UN made it to the top of 14,100' Humboldt Peak, spent four hours operating as N0B on HF (CW and SSB) and 2m VHF for the Colorado 14ers special event ( http://www.14er.org/ ) in spite of the winds gusting to 40+ mph. Although we never made contact with Brian/N6IZ who was simultaneously climbing 14, 161' Mt. Shasta in northern California nor Mark/AF6AZ on 14,026' Mt. Langley in southern California, N0B had over 60 QSOs from the summit. Our best DX was Kurt/HB9AFI who gave us a solid 55n on 20m CW.

Our adventure began on Friday with a "challenging" 4WD drive into the Sangre de Christo Mountains trailhead for Humboldt, a basecamp move up to 11,700' on Saturday which included a "conditioning" climb to 13,000' for acclimatization. Early Sunday (5:00 am) we started our summit assault with Steve's loyal "sherpas" (pack goats), Rooster and Peanut, carrying our water, batteries, and radio gear. Recent rock slides above 13,000' made our last 1,000' very challenging as we were in places climbing "hand over hand" up refrigerator-sized granite bolders and helping our pack goats choose the safest routes. Fortunately we had a partially-built rock shelter at the top to shield us from the worst of the mountain-top winds and provide a launch-point for our QRP signals with QSOs throughout the US on 20m CW and SSB while Steve manned the VHF 2m station.

After nearly 5 hours at the summit, hypoxia and altitude sickness coerced us to retreat to more oxygen-rich elevations. What a trip and adventure! And before long, we were thinking about next year's 14er event: What QRP adventure are we going on next? Stayed tuned for more information and links to pictures and videos!

Steve had a "goat-cam" on Peanut to record the climb above 13,000' . See Peanut's view of the adventure! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1jDG0tBm90

3 comments:

wa7ncl said...

It was exciting just to QSO you guys. I liked the APRS tracking but noticed it was spotty. I am looking forward to the video from Steve, once you guys recover.

73 Bill, WA7NCL

Jspiker said...

What a great adventure!

I admire you guys transmitting in a 40 mph wind at 14,000 ft. I listened while in New York but didn't hear you. One of these days.....

Switzerland....WOW that's a little over 5,000 miles. Great catch!

John N8ZYA

ed said...

nice video...hope to join you next year...kb1swj new general class ticket

ed