Maybe I can get by by simply calling this Thursday morning outing to Yonghwasan a “scouting expedition” or something, but that might not be possible to cover up since the big antenna was carried up the hill (and it wasn’t even me who did it!). So there were witnesses, too. Yep, Yu-mi and Ji-hun came out with me, after hearing about SOTA for months (they actually gave their proofreading services when the Korean ARM was being made in the spring).
So, the weather started out OK enough (and it was supposed to be), however, not sooner than when I had fully assembled and mounted the yagi, did we hear the first clap of thunder. Thanks, Murphy! Not wanting any activator 튀김 I promptly broke it down, and tried to make some last minute HT contacts. Didn’t get a single one. We started to head down, it started to rain. No problem (that’s why the gear is in waterproof bags). About 1km away from the parking lot (on a 3km trail) it really started to come down in buckets. We all got thouroughly soaked, but had fun, just the same.
Of course, the minute we got into our cars, the rain stopped (and there wasn’t another drop for the rest of the day).
Eh, next time, then!
Here’s the view of Mireuksan from the helipad on Yonghwasan.
Left Iksan at 3am to meet Taek (who we met on the boat coming back from Dandong, China, at the beginning of the month) and climb Songnisan. 1058m. 8 points. An HT. An antenna I can’t use. A hat forgotten in the car. Likewise an antenna mast left in the back seat, too. A full LiPO battery. No camera battery. One low cell phone battery. One presumably full cell phone battery (actually 100% dead). One person of the three in the party who split off and took the wrong trail. 2L of Pocari Sweat. The smell of stale Makeoli wafting off the rocks. I think you get the idea…
The interesting aspect of this activation was the two activation zones (4km apart from each other) as well as the (to be verified) impressive distances made via a simple HT running at 5W with no special antennas (apart from the non-stock Diamond-6dB-better-than-a-duckie). I made a few (4!) S2S with GW-004 (x2), GW-206 and GG-015. Now, none of these people were operating “SOTA” so I’m not sure of their access or precise locations on the summits (in the AZ, etc) but from taking a quick look at some of their web pages, these might be legit activations. We’ll see….(if so, that’ll make 22 chaser points for just one day!)
***EDIT***Verified some of those S2S potentials, SHC is in, GRP/GFM unfortunately not. While they were operating portable using a 50W mobile rig that they dragged up top, they were on the helipad of Hambaeksan which is at ~1530m, out of the AZ by about 20m (they were trying to get out of the way of the big antenna signals on the very top…) Next time!
This last week has been nuts as far as the weather, thunderstorms almost twice daily…thunderstorms are a rarity in ROK and now this year we have them in spades! Yesterday’s activation was started late, as well as today’s (from being cancelled on CB-014, moved to Byeonsanbando National Park‘s Oknyeobong JB-166, then delayed). Once I was fully operational on the summit with only two QSOs logged through the big rig and antenna, the thunder came back…well, sitting cross legged next to a metal tower on top of a mountain in an electrical storm isn’t my idea of a calm Sunday, so, I broke down the setup and switched back to the HT to get a few more QSOs to save the activation… I got off the summit in time for…nothing. Whatever it was, it had blown past, but it was already 5:30 or so, so I headed back home.
This summit choice was brought about by a QSO w/DS4PXG yesterday on JB-204, inviting me out to JB-166. The Buan KARL Branch has a U/V repeater on a fire camera tower on that summit, and since the camera only has power during fire season (spring/fall) other sources are needed throughout the year. There was already a 50W solar panel and 100W mini-wind turbine, and today they were carrying up and installing a 100W solar panel to add to the charging array. So I got to climb the tower and make my first QSO of the day from up there via HT down to Gwangju (55km south). After the install was finished, everybody headed back home and I stayed on the summit to install my setup and make some more QSOs…but that didn’t turn out so favorably, as you know.
Images and video forthcoming…
Took the new bike that just arrived today for a mini-activation on nearby 망해산…only took the HT so didn’t have many bites (only 3) subsequently not getting the single point for this summit… …maybe I’ll be back to collect later. It was almost nightfall when I left, so decided on having some 순두부 찌개 with DS3FOV once back in Iksan.
I could ride the logging roads almost up to the summit (200 of the 230m) where there were not one, not two, but three helipads! (as well as a few tombs….with a view…)
Had a nice leisurely stroll (!) up Daedunsan early this morning (before the cable car was open) to find this modern monolith on the summit….
Squirrels On The Air? (yeah, I know it’s not a squirrel, but how could I resist?)