Lily Mountain, W0C/FR-050, March 8th 2020

I need to start writing trip reports for my Summits On The Air, SOTA, activities again, I have not done much updating since moving to Broomfield, Colorado. This hike on Lily Mountain was my 68th SOTA activation.

March 8th, 2020 I hiked Lily Mountain, SOTA W0C/FR-050, for the first time. I have seen many spots for KX0R, WA6MM, and others on Lily Mountain and have wanted to hike a summit near Estes Park. To get to Lily Mountain, from Broomfield, I drove through Boulder, Lyons, and partly though Estes Park before turning south on Highway 7 and driving to the Lily Mountain Trailhead. I arrived a few minutes after 8:00 AM and I was the third vehicle at the trail head parking. Today, Monday March 9th, part of Highway 36 just closed for a month of maintenance. If I go back to this are for another summit, my route will change.

Lily Mountain trail is a two mile hike to the summit, so a four mile round trip. The first half of the trail is a little strange in that you are descending more than climbing, this means at the end of the hike you will be climbing back to the parking area. I will have to look at the elevation profile. You are climbing a little.

I had my alert on Sotawatch.org/alerts.php set for 1700 UTC or 10:00 AM Mountain time. In the amateur radio world, almost all logging is done in UTC time. I am not a fast hiker and the trip took my over an hour and I arrived about 9:45 AM.

I first pulled out my HT, or handheld VHF, UHF radio. I tried calling out on the national simplex calling frequency of 146.520 MHz. I had a local Estes Park ham come back to me quickly. I then called out on Colorado repeater Association 145.145 repeater. A net had just ended on the repeater and I asked people to change frequency to 146.520 to make SOTA contacts. I could hear a few stations calling me but a nearby mountain, “The Crags” was blocking my VHF path to the Denver area. I could hear N0SFW and my YL, KA0JKZ calling me but they could not hear me. This is not a good VHF summit. I should tried calling on UHF, at 446 MHz. I need to remember to try that frequency more often.

A newer antenna that I have been using for Parks On The Air (POTA), is the Wolf River Coils (WRC) Take It Along (TIA) antenna. The TIA is a small vertical antenna with a loading coil at the bottom. The antenna consists of the coil with a SO-239 UHF connector on the bottom. There is a sliding tuning collar on the coil to electrically shorten or lengthen it. A collapsible whip antenna screws to the top. Three tripod legs screw to the base for some relief to the coax screw to the UHF connector at the bottom. Coax then runs from the base of the antenna to your transceiver at the operating position. Three 33 foot wire radials are included. One of these is screwed to each tripod leg and strung out at 120 degrees from each other. One of the pictures shows the antenna. Using this antenna successfully requires that you have an antenna analyzer with you for tuning. tuning can be a little tedious as it is a combination of adjusting the coil and adjusting the whip length. I use the RigExpert AA-54 analyzer. The weight of this antenna and the analyzer will mean this system is for shorter hikes. I was able to get an acceptable Standing Wave Ratio (SWR) on 20, 30, and 40 meter ham radio bands. Two pictures of the Rig
Expert show the low SWR dip for the frequencies.

I set up the Yaesu 817 radio and battery, tuned the antenna for 40 meters and started calling CQ using CW, or Morse Code. I was spotted quickly by the Reverse Beacon Network. However, soon after I started, someone started interfering by sending a lot of “dits” in CW. Not everyone appreciates the SOTA program. I made four contacts on 40 so I could say the jerk did not ruin my day. I then tuned the antenna to the 30 meter band for contacts, then moved to 20 meters for several more before I decided I was too cold to continue. I finished with 22 contacts for the trip. One VHF and 21 HF CW contacts.

I had my bothy bag, and probably should have climbed into that. My toes were cold enough and going numb and I had to get up and scramble around the rocky summit a little to keep them warm. My fingers were cold and made working the CW paddles difficult. I put on gloves, then had a problem with Velcro and writing in my log. I have my battery attached to the radio and the battery wire secured to the radio with Velcro. The gloves kept sticking to the Velcro. Another issue to find a solution for. One reason I did not deploy my bothy bag is every time I need to change frequencies, I need to walk over to the antenna and adjust it. It take several adjustments to obtain an acceptable SWR. Each time I adjust, I have to move back to my operating position to take the reading. Standing next to the antenna will interfere with and give me a bad SWR measurement, unless I plan to operate from that position. The WRC TIA is not going on very many hikes and will be more of a POTA antenna. I need to build more traps for my SOTA end fed antenna before going out again.

I saw probably a dozen other hikers on the trail and summit this day. I asked another hiker to take my picture. I do not have many pictures of myself on summits.

I am enjoying writing this and need to start documenting my trips again. Last January 5th, 2020, I hiked the 14er Quandary Peak again and was successful in activating it for SOTA. I hope all the 14ers do not require two trips!

73,

Mark, N0MTN

 

 

 

Crosier Mountain W0C/FR-057 December 16th 2018

I have not updated my activations here in quite awhile. I have done quite a few and am up to 47 total activations. This is still a lot less than a lot of other Colorado activators. I moved from Evergreen, Colorado to Broomfield, Colorado earlier this year. When I started this project, I was living above my gun shop and could hang out at a coffee shop and write. Then I was staying in Broomfield with my YL, Annette, KA0JKZ, most nights and driving to Evergreen to run the gun shop. We closed the gun shop earlier this year and I am working in Boulder, Colorado, building antennas for a defense contractor.

I was recently asked to present a talk on Summits On The Air for our Region 1 District 6 Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) group on January 17th, 2019 in Golden, Colorado. Then a week later I was asked to do a presentation on SOTA for the Northern Colorado Amateur Radio Club swap meet in Loveland, Colorado on January 19th 2019. I am working on a PowerPoint presentation on SOTA that I can use for both events.

One of the good activations this past year was Mount Sherman, W0C/SR-061. This is one of Colorado’s 14ers, or, a summit over 14,000 feet. Mount Sherman’s elevation is 14,035′.  We have a 14er event the first weekend of August each year. This has gone on several years, usually coordinated by Bob Witte, K0NR. We have several amateur radio operators climb 14ers that weekend and contact each other for Summit to Summit (S2S), contacts. Most of our contacts are with each other on the 2 meter band, around 146.520 Megahertz. I hiked the mountain and started operating, then was joined by Wayne Hall, AD0KE, for a joint activation. I met Wayne and his wife earlier this year at an annual SOTA dinner. In the summer, Wayne and I worked as net control station for a 24 hour trail running race, the Never Summer 100K, west of Fort Collins, Colorado. My YL, Annette, KA0JKZ, and I, camped in Gould, Colorado for the weekend and helped with the race communications.

I hiked a few smaller summits near Boulder Colorado recently. These were after work activations where I hiked up in the last light, activated into the dark, then hiked down by headlamp.

This past Sunday I activated Crosier Mountain, W0C/FR-057.  I need to thank George Carey Fuller, KX0R for his great trip reports that helped with the logistics of activating Crosier. KX0R writes up reports for most of his activations and they are great help for other activators. His write up helped me to know where to park and how to hike the mountain.

I got a late start as I had a little bit of the flu that started the previous weekend. I was not sure about hiking at all but really wanted to activate. The hike up took me close to two and a half hours. I stopped several times to try and take video that I could use in my SOTA presentations. I am really not happy with the video though. I need to keep trying and learn more about hiking video. There was snow in the shady areas of the trail but there are enough hikers on this trail that the snow was packed down. I had my micro spike crampons in my backpack but I did not need them. I made it the summit of Crosier after two and a half hours. I visited with a couple that had reached the summit and were hanging out enjoying the view. Then I moved off a little and set up for the activation.

I moved several yards east of the summit rocks to get some distance from other hikers. I got out my Spot satellite locator and sent a spot so Annette would know I was on the summit.

For this activation, I brought up my Yaesu 817, my trapped end fed half wave dipole, (EFHW) antenna, as well as an Alpha Delta 20M dipole. For batteries, I brought up a 12 volt sealed lead acid battery (SLAB) and two Hobby King 9.9 volt RC car batteries. I set up the 20 meter dipole first and used the big SLAB battery on 20 meters. I had a weak data connection on my cell phone. It was enough to create a spot for myself with the SMS spotting service that I was activating on 20 meters. I started off with voice on 20. I made 11 SSB contacts and when the chasers stopped calling, I moved to the CW portion of 20. I used the SMS spotting service again to self spot for CW. I worked 6 more stations and the chasers stopped calling. This is where the problems started. I put up my EFHW and hit the CW paddles to see if the radio was unhappy with the SWR. As soon as I keyed the paddles to transmit, the radio shut down. It seemed that the SLAB battery had really discharged itself quickly. The LCD on the front of the 817 radio showed that I had 9.1 volts. I thought that the battery must be old and not holding a charge. I moved to the other batteries. I changed cables and tried one of the 9.9 volt LiFe RC batteries. Then I discovered that the battery cable that connects these to the radio has a break in it somewhere. The radio would not stay powered and would power up, shut down, and power up, as the battery cable was moved around. That pretty much ended my SOTA activation.

I took down both antennas and got everything packed up. It was still daylight when I started hiking but I knew it might get dark on the way down. I was enjoying the hike. I had my GPS on during the hike up but I left it off, in my pocket, on the way down. That was a mistake. I missed a turn on the trail. When I finally realized I had missed something, I got out the GPS and turned it on. I saw that I had missed a turn somewhere back a ways. By the time I realized this, and looking at the distance to the road on my current heading, I decided it was easier to keep going to the road and then walk down the road back to the trail head where I was parked. As I was getting close to the road, it was dark enough that I needed to get the headlamp out of my pocket and put it too use. I had to walk a few miles to the car. It turned out to a long day.

I am thinking about a few activations during the Christmas break form work. still thinking about trying the 14er, Quandary, again and actually using the radio on the summit. It was almost two years ago that I reached the summit in January, but with frostbite and frozen, fingers that would not work. I could not operate my radio that time. A long time ago I climbed Mount Lincoln in the winter and would like to climb it again, this time activating for SOTA. Maybe later towards the end of the month.

Before another activation though, I need to work on the battery issue. The SLAB is too heavy for a 14er trip. I need to get the wire fixed for the LiFe batteries. I need to find a aftermarket part for the Yaesu 817 that will help. It is a 3D printed part that plugs into the power jack in the back of the radio, and screws to the back of the radio and has two Anderson Power Pole power connectors. My EFHW antenna broke on a recent activation and I soldered it together but I need a better repair, or just replace that section.

73,

Mark, N0MTN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joint Activation of W0C/SR-079, East Geissler Mountain – 4078m, 8 Points, July 30th 2017

July 30th 2017 I met up with Brad, WA6MM at 4:30 AM at the parking lot at I-70 and C-470. I loaded my pack into Brad’s truck and we headed out. We drove I-70 to Copper Mountain, then south on 91 through Leadville and turned west on CO 82 and drove over Independence Pass. Shorty on the other side of the summit we parked at the trail head.

Our hike took a little over two hours. We passed Independence Lake and headed for a saddle. WA6MM made 9 CW contacts on 40 meters. I had 8 CW contacts on 40 meters. We each had a Summit to Summit contact with another dual Colorado activation of Bennett Mountain, W0C/FR-087 on 40 meters CW. As I am pretty new to SOTA using CW, Brad came over and gave me some hints on my QSOs. I was keying too much information for a SOTA exchange.

WA6MM and I had the third and fourth activations of this easier SOTA summit. The first activation was by KR7C on 10 Jul 2012.

My rig for the activation wass my Yaesu 817ND with a trapped Half Wave End Fed wire antenna on a fiberglass fishing pole. I had some CW paddles I fashioned with a block of wood and paper clips.

73,

Mark, N0MTN

Grizzly Peak, W0C/SP-004 on 07/16/2017

Life has changed a little bit. I spend a lot of time in Broomfield, Colorado at my girlfriend’s house. The time I used to spend at the Evergreen coffee shop, writing up trip reports, is now spent driving. I have done a couple of SOTA activations that I did not write about.

I hiked Mount Silverheels, W0C/FR-005, 13822′ again on Memorial Day 2017, this time making the summit and activating. On June 24th 2017 I hiked and activated Whale Peak, W0C/SP-032 at 13,078′. Both of these summits were first activated by WA6MM and I was the second activator.

I had been looking at Grizzly Peak for several months. At 13,988 feet, Grizzly is Colorado’s highest 13er. This summit had not been activated for SOTA yet. My girlfriend, KA0JKZ , and I tried hiking it on July 9th. While hiking, I turned uphill and left the valley too soon and ended up on a lot of loose talus with rotten rock to climb. We turned back that day and I returned the following Sunday.

I stayed in Evergreen on Saturday night of the 15th to try and get a little sleep before heading out. I left Evergreen at 4:30 in the morning and drove through Copper Mountain and Leadville and turned west on CO 82 at Twin Lakes. I drove west on 82 and turned off at the La Plata Peak trailhead onto Forest Road 399. I did not record the mileage on this 4×4 road. The previous weekend we took the Subaru Outback up this road. It was a little much for the Subaru. My old 1997 Rav4 did fine though.

I started hiking the route at 7:25 AM. I made pretty good time initially. I downloaded the route onto my GPS from 14ers.com. The previous weekend I did not have the route on my GPS and I went off route. I stayed in the valley longer and passed below the rotten rock and talus and climbed better terrain. There were more larger rocks to climb and I spent a lot of time using my hands for balance and climbing.

The hike was enjoyable. The route goes past an old mine and initially uses the mine road. I saw mountain goats from a distance. I saw a ptarmigan and her chicks. The ptarmigan was trying to scare me away from her chicks. There were a lot of pretty wildflowers on the hike.

I made the summit a few minutes after 10 AM. I started setting up radio gear and another hiker reached the summit after a few minutes. He goes by Alien, on 14ers.com. I asked him to take my picture with my camera.

I set up my Yaesu 817 first with a Elk Antennas 5 element yagi. Trying 446 MHz yielded no contacts. I then went to 146.520 and almost immediately I got Bob, K0NR. Bob was talking to a few other activators on other summits. I was moving the yagi around hoping to contact the other activators but had no luck there. I made a second VHF contact with a mobile operator driving on Highway 285. I kept trying 146.520 for awhile longer with no luck.

I then deployed my trapped end fed half wave wire antenna and the fishing pole. I’d like to write up the making of this antenna. It is (or I thought) tune for 20,30 and 40 meters. It was made from US Army communications wire and the 5 watt pico traps were assembled from kits by SOTABeams. http://www.sotabeams.co.uk/pico-traps-kit-pair/. The traps were wound and tuned for 20 and 30 meters.

It tried SSB on 20 and 40 meters for quite awhile without any luck. I tried CW on 20,30 and 40 meters. My SWR was lousy on 30 meters. I had previously used this antenna with success on 30 meters and I do not yet understand what went wrong on this summit.

I was not having much luck making the 4 contacts I needed for the summit. I was moving my wire around hoping it would help. I tuned around on 20 meters and heard a pile-up of calls on 14.285 MHz. I listened for a bit hoping it was another SOTA activator. It was. It was KG7EJT activating a summit in Washington. Tiffany Mountain, W7W/OK-029. As soon as I transmitted my call and said “summit to summit”, KG7EJT asked his other traffic to stand by and we had a short QSO. KG7EJT was activating for his thousandth SOTA point and his Mountain Goat status. I was happy to be a part of that. Congratulations!

I eventually made one CW contact 14.063 MHz for my fourth contact. I had been on the summit for two hours and the weather held out and I wrapped it up.

Usually the hike down goes at half to two thirds of the time up. There were stretches that I had to descend using my hands and these took longer on the way down than on the way up. I also stopped at a few wildflowers and a small waterfall, and a runoff pool on the way down. The trip down was longer than the trip up.

I made it back to my vehicle about 4:30 PM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attempted Mount Silverheels, W0C/FR-005 February 19th 2017.

 

My last four SOTA activation attempts have been failures. They were failures mostly because I have been trying to activate higher summits in Colorado. I had issues with gear and weather. Last month I spent three Sundays in a row trying to activate Quandary Peak. I made it to the summit on the third try but could not activate it with numb and frozen fingers. I took a picture of Quandary Peak on this climb as it is on the other side of Highway 9 on Hoosier Pass. It is the lower left of the included pictures.

Yesterday, February 19th I attempted Mount Silverheels, W0C/FR-005, 13,822 feet. I turned around at 12,750 feet. The winds and the snows were increasing. Looking at the summit from where I was, I knew it would be miserable and probably impossible to operate my Yaesu 817 on the summit.

As usual on an activation trip, things were learned.

This is the 96th highest mountain in Colorado. It is not nearly as traveled as are Colorado’s fourteeners. I saw no one else until I got back to the parking area at the top of Hoosier Pass.

It started off well. I left the car at 6:00 AM. I hiked through the trees on a trail in the snow. There is apparently a popular area for snowshoeing here at the summit. After timberline, I should have headed straight up the hill to gain a ridge. I started off moving South too much. I crossed over a ridge and started descending. This was a mistake as I had to make up the elevation gain that I lost there.

Much of the mountain was free of snow due to the winds. Some areas had plenty of snow. The snow had different consistencies. Some of the snow was very solid and easy to travel, other places, the snow had a light frozen crust covering several inches of softer snow.

I got into a little trouble crossing one of these snowfields. I believed I could cross the slope by step kicking. The ice crust was too thick. I was losing my footing and was in danger of sliding down the slope. I stabbed my trekking pole into the snow as hard as I could and placed my right foot on it to hold myself in place. I used my other pole and foot to carve out a seat to sit down on. Once I had a place to sit, I was able to put on my micro-spike crampons and finished crossing the slope.  It probably only would have been a 75-100 foot slide with small rocks at the bottom.

After I turned back, I took a route back that was closer to the route I should have taken to begin with. I was lucky to see four bighorn sheep. The sheep saw me but maybe could not figure out what I was. They were taking several steps my way, then stopping to look at me. Then they took several more steps toward me, then stopping to look again. Eventually they figured out I was not a sheep, and started running. Their running actually took them closer to me.

There is a saddle along the route where there are power lines running. I set up my camera on the tower for a selfie.

A friend in Evergreen, Colorado gave me a small thermometer that I attached to my pack so I could keep track of temperatures during my trips.

I stopped briefly and set up my Yaesu 817. I really wanted to try and contact a couple of hams on the Colorado Front Range that were going to try and listen for me. I wanted to tell them I had aborted the trip and was descending. I removed the baskets from my trekking poles so I could push them into the snow and use them as antenna supports. I had a Cabela’s Crappie Rod fishing pole that I used as the center support. On 7.200 Mhz there were two people talking about their amps and I could not get through to tall my friends I was heading back down. My setup with EFW antenna and poles is in one of the pictures.

When, on the way down, I was about an hour from the car, the clouds to the South started getting really dark. The last part of my hike was in quite a blizzard. There was quite a bit of snow on my car at the trail head.

The drive home was interesting as well. Interstate 70 was closed at Silverthorne due to snow and accidents. I drove over Loveland Pass in a blizzard along with a lot of other vehicles that used that route due to the I-70 closure.

I think I may try this mountain again on March 12th. Otherwise I could find some lower summits to activate and have a better chance of success!

 

 

Summitted Quandary but failed in the SOTA activation on 1/22/2017.

On my third trip to Quandary I made the summit at 11:40 AM. I was not able to activate the summit for SOTA. My fingers were too cold and numb to be able to operate my Yaesu 817. I feel somewhat satisfied by the climb in that I did make it to the summit, however, I let my ears get frostbitten on this trip.

This was the third Sunday in a row that I drove to the Quandary Peak trail head and hiked on the mountain. I was feeling a lot stronger today than I had previously. I was also trying to pack a lot less weight. I ditched my GPS and carried a smaller plastic compass. The route on Quandary is pretty straightforward.

A few things to do before my next trip,

  • Think about and enact a way to keep my water from freezing
  • Find a better hat
  • Locate another winter shell jacket
  • Get some mittens that keep all four fingers together for more warmth

I had an older North Face Mountain Jacket that I have had for years. I wore it last Sunday, the 15th of January. When I was packing on the 21st, I could not find that jacket. I have a bad habit of putting things on top of my RAV4 and driving off. I fear I did just that. I am bummed out at losing that. I have contacted places that I remember visiting the previous week hoping I left it somewhere. For this trip I had more of a light rain jacket that I usually keep in a pocket of my hydration pack for mountain biking. I need to do a little research and pick a new mountain jacket.

I have a Mountain Hardware fleece hat that I have been wearing while hiking. It does fit over the ears, a little bit. It rides up and will leave my ear lobes exposed. Normally I would have the help of the hood on my jacket, but I lost that. When I was almost to the summit yesterday I realized my ears were exposed and I pinched my right ear lobe and it was pretty solid. I pulled my hat down again and it thawed pretty quickly. Years ago I had a fleece had with longer ear flaps. I used to wear it ice climbing. I’ll look for a better hat that covers the ears completely. My right ear lobe is swollen today.

I had a hydration reservoir in my pack. I was trying to take a drink every few minutes, so as to keep it from freezing up. After I was hiking awhile, I waited too long and it froze. I removed the frozen hose and put it inside my shirt. a little later I pulled it out and the attachment point for the reservoir was frozen and I was unable to reattach it. I still had a one liter Nalgene bottle, and it was freezing a little as well. I was able to unscrew the cap and drink from that bottle. I was drinking water on the drive from Evergreen so I started out well hydrated. I could have opened the hydration reservoir and utilized that water as well. I am thinking about keeping the water inside my pack and inside of a bag with a small disposable hand warmer to keep the water from freezing.

I have a pair of older Black Diamond Gore Tex gloves that I used for ice climbing a long time ago. They worked okay, had the dexterity for placing ice screws, but were never that warm. Id like to find some mitts and give those a try. My fingers got very cold even with my gloves on. They were numb at the summit and useless for operating my ham radio.

I am thinking about what mountain is next. I will want to activate it for the SOTA program with my ham radio gear. I know playing radio will be a lot easier in the spring and summer months.

Mark,

N0MTN

 

Failed again on Quandary Peak 01/15/17

Failed again! went back to Quandary peak yesterday, January 15th 2017. I turned around at 13,500′ I was exhausted and one of my trekking poles broke. The whole tip came off and it was a great tool for measuring snow depth. Not such a good tool for maintaining balance.

The climb was taking me forever. I would see people below and they would gradually catch up and pass me. I was still working my way up when they were on their way back down. I was a heavy smoker when I was younger. I quit in 2001 but maybe I did lasting damage that slows me down.

With the time it was taking me there was no way I’d be able to get my ham radio gear set up, make contacts, and get back down before dark.

The snowshoes I was using were not designed for the steep climbing or descending and were fairly wide. They were borrowed Atlas 36″ shoes. Maybe I’ll finally buy the better mountaineering snowshoes. I would like the MSR Lightning Ascent 25″ shoes. I’ll have to sell of something to justify buying these snowshoes.

The weather was better than the previous Sunday. Eventually the clouds moved in and visibility went way down.

I brought way too much water and that made my pack heavier. I am still playing with antennas trying to find one fairly good antenna option. As such I had a second antenna and that was a little extra weight.

And being a glutton for punishment, I may try again for a 3rd Sunday in a row on January 22nd. There is a SOTA weekend event as well as a VHF contest that weekend. I will have to leave a lot earlier than I did this Sunday.

I need to return these poles to REI and I may be done with REI. The poles had a sticker that read MSRP $76.95, I did not notice a REI sticker with the price, and at the register they rang up $84.95. That explains the 10% dividend… I’ll have to give these a negative review after I photograph where they broke.
https://www.rei.com/…/atlas-3-piece-lockjaw-snowshoe-poles-…

A short attempt on Quandary Peak, 14,265′ 01/08/2017

On Sunday January 8th, 2017 I drove from Evergreen to the Quandary Peak trail head to climb this fourteener and activate it as a SOTA summit. Quandary has been activated as a SOTA summit three times previously, http://www.sota.org.uk/Summit/W0C/PR-014

I thought I knew where I was going to park by the trail head from looking at the area on Google Maps. when I arrived in the dark that morning, I discovered the road to the trail head was closed and not plowed. There turns out to be a large parking area for the trail head about 50 yards to the east. I did not notice the turn for the parking area in the dark and only found it after seeing it again looking at Google Maps on my phone. I pulled into the lot, parked and added a base layer of polypropylene leggings.

I started hiking at about 6:30 AM. There was snow with a little wind. I did not bring snowshoes as I believed the trail would be fairly well packed from climbers hiking the previous day. I also thought the ridge would be wind swept. The center part of trail was indeed well packed.

As long as I was careful to keep to the center of the track, the snow supported me. If I placed a foot down too far away from the center, my foot would plunge into the snow and I was postholing.

As I climbed closer to treeline, the wind was blowing harder and the trail became more difficult to see. I was eventually postholing way to often and started thinking that the trail would be much harder to find on the way back down, later in the afternoon, and I would be waist deep with every step. I hiked for an hour before I decided to call it off, and return with snowshoes. There is a SOTA weekend event for January 21st and 22nd, 2017. Maybe I will try again on the 22nd, or find another summit for that day.

01_08_2017_quandary_11

I did not get very far in that hour of hiking. I started at the lower right, QUANDARY CAR and turned around at QUIT. The summit is at the upper left.