Summits on the Air Expeditions in Korea

충남 Chungnam

Making the winter bonus worth it! 효율한 겨울 보너스!

On top of Weolseongbong! HL4ZFA/p3

On top of Weolseongbong! HL4ZFA/p3

Day three of the new winter bonus period, Wednesday afternoon, northern edge of the province, last class at fifth period and more than a couple thousand unactivated summits in HL for 2014, I set off to the east to ascend HL/CN-012 Weolseongbong from the east, well, because everything from the west was closed (fire season until the 15th…).

이번엔 겨울 보너스 기간 3일 되어서, 수욜오후, 이미 전북의 북쪽에 있었고 5교시 끝나고 운용 아직 안되는 산은 몇천개 남아있어서 HL/CN-012 월성봉 목적지로 설치해서 출발 했어요!  이번에는 서쪽있는 산책길대신 동쪽에서 올라갔어요…아무튼 12월 15일까지 산불기간 때문에 반대편에 등산로들 통제상태 였어요. CN-012-dog_shit_bug-small

With the snow more or less steadily falling, and actually sticking quite well once crossing over the border into Chungcheonnam, I drove through Nonsan and to the north of Daedunsan Park, entering via Surak Valley (as far as Bogwangsa temple).  From the ridge trail starting at the public toilet outside the park gate, by a mini-traffic circle, next to an engraved stone steele citing “dog-shit bug,” hiking commenced around 16:00.  It’s actually a colloquial name for “firefly.”  Nothing indicating light with that terminology…must’ve lost the flaming bag in translation.

충천남도로 가면서 눈이 계속 왔어요:  논산시지나 대둔산도빕공원 북쪽 계곡을 경유해서 수락계곡 보광사까지 오라갔어요.  공원출입구전에 능선타는 등산로 로정 했어요…수락2리 마을에서 작은 로타리옆 이쁜 돌표 제작했어요: 개똥벌레.  흠.  왜?  공용화장실땜에?

CN-012-urinal-small

The bathroom was spiffy, not in that music started playing when you walked in, rather that the urinals were all waterless.  I’m not concretely sure if I’ve seen waterless in Korea yet…but it’s about time!  Note about the product name:  when you say “ssh” in Korean, it actually means to perform a number one, and not necessarily to be quiet.  Though, in the “why make simple things more complicated” department, I can see this of use in urban locations, but when you’ve got a slew of thirsty trees a stone’s throw away, especially during the dry/fire season, isn’t the choice of action obvious?  Serious overabundance of white snow this early in the winter season…^^

사실은 여기있는 공용 화장실 참 괜찮아요–그리고 안에 물 사용하지않은 소변기를 볼 수 있어요.  아니, 원하면 직접으로 사용 할 수 있어요!  이같은것 한국에 자주 보이 지않지만 보면 행복 해요.  하지만 시내에 더 잘 사용 할 수 있고 여기서 숲 바로 옆에 산불기간동안 마른 나무가 좀 “레모네이드” 마실 수 있으면 행복 하갰다~

…at the same time, I didn’t see more than two sets of footprints heading up the hill (none descending).  Despite this trail primarily following the ridge, it starts off after crossing the creek along a small gorge, along the way was a pretty serious sink hole, approximately 10m deep, ribboned off.  Quite interesting–even more interesting would be to know where other sink holes are currently in formation!  A bit afterwards and the trail switchbacks a couple of times to leave the gorge to mount the ridge, from then on quite comfortable walking, technically more exposed, but actually the wind wasn’t bad at all there.

이등산로는 먼저 계곡에 시작하고 몇백미터후 능선으로 올라가지만 위에서도 바람 많이 불지않았어요.  그렇지:  이동하면서 따뜻했어요.

After a while, things do get steep, CN-012-Daedun06-3-small before a trail junction and an opening up onto an azelea field, featuring a nice wooden gazebo and a huge boardwalk.  One of the drawbacks about heading out in the early snows is that the trail has yet to be packed down…raised boardwalks will have more snow (cooler than the ground) to shuffle around in and you’ll still be hitting the leaf layer on the ground, unavoidable since spikes are necessary (but so much easier!).

1키로미터후 삼거리 지내서 밭에 도착했어요.  오른쪽에 진달래 많고 왼쪽에….몰라.  안개와 눈이 너무 많아서 잘 못 봤어요!  ㅎ 이쁜 나무에서 만든 정자도 있지만 햇빛 거의 안 남마서 빨리 계속 갔어요.

Being the first time I’ve approached the summit from this direction, I didn’t realize how close this clearing was to the summit–I had reached the junction at the summit (next to the helipad) within an hour of the start of the hike!  Nice!

동쪽에서 왔으니까 얼마나 가까운지 난 확실히 몰랐어요…정상과 헬기장 한시간안에 도착했어요!! 나이스!

Gear this time around included a single-band mobile rig and the good-ol’ 5 segment collinear antenna, with aim to not fail on this weekday activation, and to get back down in short order…in the end the activation lasted through sunset, and I descended a darker trail (still bright from the clouded moon).  In fact, the summit was in the cloud.  I would’ve activated from my normal spot to the south by the cliff, but there was much less wind on the northern edge of the helipad.

평일이어서 이번에 난 모노밴드 투미터 모빌리그와 5단 지피 안텐나 가지고왔어요.  빨리 설치 하고 교신 8건 너무 편리하게 했어요–보통으로 더 오래 걸을 수 있어요…주말이나 맞는 시간 안되면…ㅇㅋ 정상은 구름안에 있었는데 해발 높고 위치 좋고 신호 잘 보낼수 있었어요.

Eight contacts were effortlessly collected, which was a relief–some days it can take forever and a half just to get four!  Pack up, head down…both going up and down it was a nice and quiet, snowy hike, not very cold at all once moving, however it seemed as if the weather was worse at the trailhead, wind and snow-wise.

운용 완료하고 정리 하고 하산 하고….오후동안 눈이 계속 와서 진짜 조용히 한 기쁜이 좋은 춥지않은 산행 했어요.  차에 도착해서 아래쪽에서 날씨가 더 나빠서 다시 집으로 가는 길 오늘의 산행과 운용 더 어려웠지만 전북의 도로는 더 깨끗 했어요.  73!

The drive back was definitely more strenuous than the hike!  Though, as if by magic, crossing back into Jeolla, the roads were simply wet instead of snowy, and the going was much quicker! 73!

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Still no sign of Weolseongbong…


This date was exclusively reserved to do an activation on HL/SL-001 Dobongsan with the 청룡 Scout group 6K0FA. They had been introduced to SOTA the week before after the hamfest at Yonsei University and were intending on doing a hands-on activation immediately the week after (today). Unfortunately there was a curtain of rain everywhere north of Chungnam with a full day of sunshine Pyeongtaek and southwards. That resulted in scratching that little activity off the calendar.

Doesn’t mean I can’t still go out!


It’s about time I’ve returned to this summit, especially now that I have a better clue about how to go about it than last time! Also, it was actually possible to do this one up and down only in the morning, as both Ji-hun and I had to be back in town for lunchtime.


So, on this 17 of July, we made sure to be there not too much after sunrise, park in an actual parking lot that the village has (completely missed that last time), monumented. Since we parked down there, we had a chance to walk through the village to get up to the main trail head, passing by many of the scenes you see below.


It appears that the village has either a bustling artist community, got some money, or was the subject of some art college’s experimentation. Anyway that you might look at it, it certainly makes for an interesting stroll and is quite well done, in a multitude of media.


Whilst the signage throughout the village clearly indicates how to get up to Barangsan (non-SOTA, but on the way to HL/CN-012 월성봉), once you get on the actual trail the situation is severely lacking. Now, when I visited this very place last year, it was in the exact same condition. Naively I must’ve thought it to be a work in progress, evidently it’s still in progress? Still got those nice extruded aluminum sign posts inserted into ground but no actual signs affixed to them to indicate which way to go about ascending on the less than clear trails.


Hmpf. Not impressed. Especially given the proximity to Daedunsan Provincial Park, to which the trails going over Weolseongbong actually serve as one of the many options to get up to Daedunsan. It isn’t like you’ll get lost, but it certainly isn’t convenient to have to try multiple trails when you don’t know…

Like last time, I did a pseudo-loop, ascending via the same route but intending to descend via the pass but turning off earlier when we saw a suitable trail with others coming up from our destination (where upon arrival we saw a bus!).

We didn’t see any human life on the way up the hill, but plenty of arachnids as well as a couple of deer. There was also a patch of mosquitoes that we had to make our way through (when we were not on the ridge, thus no fresh breeze to keep them away).

For the short time available to activate I made a pretty good number of QRP contacts, not only in the 3 call area around Daejeon but also as far south as Gwangju and to the Buan club out activating Wido Island (I should’ve been there before they rescheduled)…

Equipment for the activation was the FT-857, 5단GP, and LiPO battery (wasn’t planning on being up there for that long, anyways). Next time I’d like to make a point to hit HL/CN-002 대둔산 마천대 from that angle, would be nice to take a new path, and maybe see those mountain goats again.


月星峯 CN-012 20100916

The rest is downhill as they say, or is that “downhump?” Going out for this early, cloudless, blue-skyed, morning activation, has put me at the 58% percentile in terms of activator scores (Weolseongbong adding 4 points to my previous 37, giving 41 points). I haven’t calculated it that much, since this has only started a few months ago. My aim is 100 points before Christmas, which should be perfectly doable, and looking at such a time frame, it actually ensures that all the summits contributing to it will be unique (except, of course, for those which I activate without making the requisite 4 QSOs subsequently adding ZERO points to my roster–and that depends on whether or not I go back at a later date to collect…)


Morning view of Mireuksan, from 바량산.
My only real grudge with this particular expedition was the timing: there happen to be many ameliorations in progress on this mountain, including signage upgrades.
Shrooms On The Air
Along 90% of the routes, there are these beautiful, shiny, new aluminum sign posts installed at all the intersections, with no signs on them! Only one on top, and one at the bottom. All of the older signs (except at the summit itself) have already been uprooted, so at a few points it really was an empty slate, and took a few wrong turns on the way up (longer trail than planned, but less of a steep incline).



Things were pretty quiet, and I saw only three other women, hiking together, this morning. More or less I had the place (with its _huge_mama_ helipad) to myself, and took advantage of this to piddle around, changing antennas and whatnot. I tried 20m & 40m to no avail, there weren’t many signals, and on 20 some guy ate up half the band with some kind of broadband data signal–and it was an extremely strong signal (S9+). So, the activation was acheived by 100% 2m QSOs, though on the fourth or fifth contact my SWR, all of a sudden, shot through the roof. With DS4OVT on the line, I had to switch mid-QSO over to HT, and made a few more contacts on that (even to Buan! with just the duckie antenna!).

By noon, I was all packed up, and started down. I took the trail that I wanted to take up down, ending up at 법계사. It was much steeper and rockier, but got me down fast (with the exception of finding the car, once again, at the bottom).



20100904 on CN-005 진악산

It’s September, and what does that mean? It means it’s time for the Ginseng Festival! So, we said we wouldn’t miss it again this year (we haven’t gone yet) and went, not without doing an activation beforehand on Jinaksan, overlooking Geumsan.

After yesterday’s activation on Cheonhosan JB-140, I was wondering what was up with the 40m out on my rig. So I did some tests with DS4QBE and DS4PQV, and turns out there is nothing wrong. Good! I’ll try again on this next activation, I thought.

Up on the summit, I set up, right by the fire services repeater (only place where I could get just a bit of shade right on top, since everything was trimmed well (due to the Helipad). 40m was relatively quiet, noisewise, and the signals were good. I tried calling CQ, even with spots, no takers. I tried responding to other calls, didn’t work either. So, I retuned the antenna for 20m and had at that.



I relatively quickly (after wasting about an hour on 40m) made four contacts, that is there were about only four stations (that could hear me) on 20m. There was an “All Asia” contest going on, so everybody was exchanging their ages ( as per their rules). First contact was to Taiwan, and the other three were all Russian stations. Got good signal reports on all of them. At this point, the XYL wanted to start heading back down the mountain, so as she left, I started to pack up the HF operation. During that time, I made one QRPp 500mW contact with a friend of a friend, who happened to be at the festival, in town. I tried looking for him later on, but he had gone to another part of town when we were at the festival. Afterwards, I couldn’t make any more contacts on 2m, so decided to head down myself.

All in all, a good activation, with a pleasant drive over and through 운일암 반일암 (rocks in a creek).


20100807 CN-002 대둔산

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?)




Looking North…