Every direction you turn these days, there’s a wedding…’tis the season! Gotta get’em all done before next [lunar] month–or else…
요즘 어디든지보면 결혼식이 있다…윤달전 빨리 빨리 해야지!
Yesterday, Se-heui tied the knot, so Saturday was out of the picture, thus Sunday really had to count. Problem these days is that it’s technically still fire season, and so many of the possible “double activations” have one of the two summits cordonned off. Luckily enough, down south, just to the east of Suncheon, a nice trio of summits was 100% open: HL/JN–005 Dosolbong, HL/JN-004 Ddalibong and HL/JN-002 Baekunsan. I’ve been to this Baekunsan before, back in December of 2011 with DS4GKA (based in Yeosu), but only that one summit, not visiting/activating the other two.
어제 세희는 결혼 해서 토요일오후동안 거기서 있어 산으로 못 가서 일요일에 가면 진짜 잘 해야 됐어요! 산불기간 아직 못지내서 너무 많은 “더블 운용” 산에 두개중에 하나는 통제이다. 그렇지만 남쪽에, 순천보다 동쪽에 3까지 같이 산 다 진입가능 해요: HL/JN-005 도솔봉, HL/JN-004 따리봉과 HL/JN-002 백운산. 예전에 2011년 12월에 그 백운산에 여수의 DS4GKA같이랑 갔은데 그때에 나머진 따리봉과 도솔봉으로 방문 할 수 없었어요.
To make it all work, I left Iksan at 4AM and 6K5ZLH left Daegu even earlier, to converge at the trail head just before dawn. We made sure to travel extremely light, since we’d have to be climbing into three different activation zones today (minimum 150m x 3, but actually more!), starting towards the west to knock off the shorter summits, first, then descend down one of the eastern valleys after Baekunsan.
어떻게 했나? 먼저 새벽 4시에 익산에서 출발 하고 (ZLH OM은 대구에서 더 일찍 출발 했음!) 산입구에서 (어떤 송어회집앞) 일출저네 만났어요. 오늘은 운용지역 3까지 (150미터이상 오라가기 3번) 예정 있었으니까 침을 가볍게 준비 해야됐어요. 먼저 서쪽으로 올라 가고 제일 작은산 맞이고 계속 동쪽으로 이동하고 마지막백운산의 운용을 완료하고 거기서 계곡으로 하산 함.
Having started just as the sun was rising the going was easy, along a gently sloping forest road before that ended and turned into a real trail, zig-zagging through the creek bed. Reaching the ridge line between Ddalibong and Dosolbong then continuing up to Dosolbong we summitted just before nine o’clock, quickly set up and proceeded to activate in good time, despite the earliness (for 2m, it was early, anyway). Seeing as we still had two more mountains to activate, we couldn’t stick around calling CQ all day, so having completed the bare essentials, quickly packed up and moved along.
일출 뽀면서 우린 편안한 임도로 시작 했지만 도로 끝나서 진짜 산길 달랐어요. 능선까지 계곡으로 (개단도 추가있음) 올라 가서 도솔봉정산에 9시전 이쁜 햇볕 만진 남해 보고 있었다. 장비 빠르게 설치하고 운용을 바로 시작 했음–2미터에게 시가이 좀 일찍인데 운용 문제없이 편리하게 끝났어요. 산 2개 남아서 여기서 하루종일 놀 수없어서 교신 많이 못 했어요.
The timely descent from Dosolbong and picturesque ascent to Ddalibong found us at our next goal around 11. I say the ridge walk on the way over was picturesque because along the way we could catch regular glimpses of HL/JN-/JB-/GN-001 and JB-003 as well as a precariously positioned tree, growing atop a cubically shaped boulder and jutting out horizontally into space (the tree, that is). I had to stop and take it in from all angles.
따리봉해로 도솔봉에서 하산 빨리 했고 능선따라가면서 양쪽으로 보면 완전 멋있는 배경들 볼수있었어요…북쪽을 보면서 지리산 종주를 전제 있었다: 노고단에서 반야봉과 토끼봉 쭈~욱 천왕봉까지 깨끗하게 새로운눈에서 나왔어요! 그리고 중길에서 큰 사각형바위에서 가로의 나무가 기울고 있었어요! 정말 난 모든 방향에서 확인 해야댔어요! 암튼–따리봉에 11시정도에 도착했어요.
Whereas Dosolbong we had all to ourselves, Ddalibong was definitely bustling–especially since lunchtime was approaching, the smell of ramen was in the air! Potentially sacrificing our signal just a wee bit (that portion which would be projected north, that is) we decided to set up on the wooden porch for the convenience of the level/vertical posts with which to use to set up the antenna. Just to the north of this porch and the summit marker was some earth/rock rising up about 3m…thought it wouldn’t matter much, but it did make a difference in the end, as was evidenced in signal reports from Jeonbuk.
우리는 도솔봉 스슬로 지낼수 있었는데 따리봉에서 인간수 더 많아서 점심시간되니까 라면향이 났어요. 정상에서 남쪽방향에서 나무로만든 베란다가 있었어서 저기서 안테나 편리하게 설치 할수 있어서 운용위치 선택했음…그렇지만 바로북쪽에 (마커표나서 땅 아마 3미터 오라왔어 우리 전북 신호가 좀 먹었어요.
Taking into account, reduced signal (just a little), lunchtime lull as well as some snacking of our own (when will I learn not to bring my own food up mountains??? We got all kinds of stuff: more tangerines (I already brought a dozen with me), a huge sweet potato (why not?), etc. Really–the day I plan a through-hike of the country, if I play my cards right, I could really travel light!) this activation took a bit longer to complete. Though, it did work. Then down again, onwards then upwards to the third and final summit, Baekunsan.
모든것을 개산하면: 줄림 신호를 (조금만), 점심시간 주파수의 진정을 그리고 자기간식하기를 (정말–난 생각 잘 하면 밥없음 백두대간 전체 가능해요…오늘은 뭐…감귤 (더!), 왕고구마, 초코, 등) 때문에 이 2번째 운용은 더 오래 걸였는데 합격 됐어요! 그다음: 하산하고 또는 오늘의 3번째와 마지막의 꼭대기 백운산 오라갑니다!
At the bottom of the dip in this last section of ridge lies another forest road, the same which I ascended with DS4GKA back in 2011, and I had half the mind to descend via this route, especially if it were snowy (which it was) having brought a sled to allow the going to go a bit faster…however with our route choices this time around, it was not to be. Either way, it proved an opportune time to crack open and share a nice dark Czech doppelbock that ZLH had lugged up and down the first two summits~!
아래쪽에 있는 고개에서 임도가 하나도 있어요: 2011년에 DS4GKA OM님이랑 오랐어요…이번에 설매를 거의 가지고 왔어요–그대로 하산 정말 빨리 할수 있는생각 했지만 이번엔 산길선택 떼문에 못 했어요. 아무튼 거기서 ZLH의 배낭에 나온 체코 또펠보크 흙맥주를 나누서 조금동안 쉬었어요!
The final ascent on up to Baekunsan was definitely the longest, which is why we saved it for last, to not burn out before hitting the other two peaks! With plenty of chances to take a rest, the view back to today’s previous peaks was quite nice!
우리의 마지막 등반 확실히 오늘의 제일 길은 것, 그래서 마지막으로 예정했어요. 휴개위치들이 많아서 우리 벌써 지난꼭대기의 배경을 자주 볼 수 있었어요!
Baekunsan consistently gives good views of Jirisan, probably since it’s to the south thus the lighting is better…always from other summits such as Deogyusan, etc to the north, most of the time all we get is a silhouette in the distance.
백운산에서 지리산의 보기를 항상 잘 나와요…아마 이 방향에서 빛은 항상 더 좋으니까요. 다른 북쪽있는산에서 (덕유산처럼) 지라산에 보면 그림자 그림만 나와요.
Endlich! Finally arriving at Baekunsan’s summit, snap off a couple photos then set up….only finding a good supporting signpost where I activated in 2011, we weren’t quite satisfied with the signals (or lack of people responding leading to perceived bad sigs), so moved up from the south face up to the crest of the summit, taking turns to hold up the antenna while the other was activating, all to ensure transmission of the best signal possible.
마침내 백운산정상에서 도착하고 사진 몇장을 찍! 찍! 찍고 설치 하고…아이…저번 2011년에 사용한 마커표나무대밖에 좋은때 못찾았지만 (거기서 신호가 그렇게 좋지않았음) 꼭대기바위바로옆으로 이동했고 한명은 교신하면서 다른사람은 폴대를 잡고 제일 좋은 신호 송신 했어요.
However, still it seemed to be difficult, to the point which I was fishing for contacts on the local Echolink node (not successful, but an OM in Pohang was eager to chat) as well as 6K5CSL over in Sacheon (by Jinju) was also trying to rile up chasers for us!
아직도 4국까지 힘들어서 에코링크에서 낚시를 해보고 사천엔 6K5CSL은 우리위에 씨큐 불고 있었어요!
In the end, we did manage to squeak by, wrapping up the whole affair by 16:30, not without observing a helicopter rescue just to the east of where we were. Always some excitement on top of the world!
마지막으로 운용 되였어요–16시반까지 완료, 바로 동쪽엔 헬기구조도 봤어요! 세상위에 우린 심심하지 않아요!
You may remember last year when I mentioned how much of a ______ going up the east side to get to HL/JB-058 만덕산 was….sliding up shale, etc, etc….well, though I technically took the better trail up this time, I actually didn’t, having taken the wrong fork not very high up. The result of which was going through an open field trail infested with spiders (you know, by the time August hits, the mommas’ bellies full’o’babies are larger than your thumb), then another shale-y scramble up a deer trail, until finally hitting a decent ridgeline trail.
This time also, I took the 857 since it was a weekday….need the extra push, sometimes. It was worth it, getting some contacts farther out to the south and northeast. Getting up to the summit, it looked like someone had been doing some trimming up there, and signage needs a slight upgrade…. Using the 5s GP, quick work was made for the activation, it was after all, a school day, no time to fool around.
Descent was accomplished via the correct trail, which will be remembered for next time. Maybe next time will be fall or winter, when a machete wouldn’t be necessary…
A Wednesday morning. No class. First day of June. Sounds like an opportune situation to get a head start on some good figures in the stats!
Technically, this should’ve been a double activation, first a quickie at HL/JB-199 계화산 then a quick scuttle over to HL/JB-196 석불산 not more than 4km away and just as short. However, the more that I try to operate in Buan or Gunsan, the more I’m starting to believe the Saemangeum might have an effect similar to the Bermuda Triangle…you’d think being way out in the open and away from everything there’d be nothing between me and those QSOs!
Well, I must’ve spent the first three hours of the activation draining my battery calling CQ on 20m, likewise on 40, a little bit on 17, and also on 2m. No love. The wind took down the buddistick twice, maybe, and keeping the big collinear up, well, let’s just say I was kept on my feet. Also, the tuning was knocked out as my phasing spacers were tugged this way and that.
Of course, when I was packing up the antennas and ready to bag the whole activation all together (not a single QSO!) I hear someone calling on the highway from across the summit where I was…quick-like get over there to answer!
There was then the rush of a half dozen contacts, running continuously (everybody on lunch break?), everybody asking if I had had lunch yet (nope, but was meaning to ASAP). In the end, the activation was saved, but I had nowhere near enough time to even consider heading over to Seokbulsan! It’ll be next time, then perhaps I can hit the filming studio they’ve got over there, too.
On the theme of getting out when there’s a chance (we’re not speaking of skipping class or anything, here), I went out tonight (20110516) at 6 PM local time for a bit of 야간산행 action at good ol’Mireuksan JB-168 (well, it wouldn’t be quite so brilliant to wander about at night on a trail I’ve never broken before, eh?).
I took a bit of everything, gear-wise, to the top to play around with in the moonlight. This means the newly built 5 segment collinear for 2 meters, as well as the buddistick kit for HF to take advantage of the evening hours. While setting up the HF kit, I checked into the local Jeonbuk net (every Monday night at 8), easy with the HT from a height like that (can’t do it from the 10th floor at home, have to go up to the 15th or 16th floors to get above the HAAT created by all the flats so ubiquitously arranged about).
To stretch out after finding a frequency and spotting myself (data charges, here we come!), I used 20 meters, with the buddistick grounded through a nearby tree, and as my second contact just barely heard a GW call through the noise, though after working it this way and that we managed to get the bare details through, GW4BVE in Wales who could evidently hear me quite well (54) is quite the accomplished chaser. Immediately after I had another rough QSO with an Austrian station. When BVE later came back his signal greatly improved to 57, but couldn’t catch any more European calls on my end.
To wrap up on 20m I had a couple of contacts in the more usual circles of Taiwan and Russia, in Taiwan being another 100th anniversary station (just chatted with one on Saturday) and in Russia up far north above Japan.
Back onto 2m with the 5단GP and made some pretty decent contacts up into Cheonan, Seoul, Daejeon and locally. The contact with the Seoul station reminded my why I picked up the book for the Korean license test on Saturday–I must’ve been involved in a ten minute conversation with this station (not a new station, either, holding an HL call!) and not once during the whole time could he grasp my call (not an issue of signal quality, either, to hold a QSO talking of the hike, weather, with all copy on everything else, etc). All the more reason to study!
Things started calming down after ten o’clock, and then this threesome arrives rather noisily at the summit–college aged, out for some exercise, but no water! Sure, you can have some…in the end when I had packed up we made the descent in parallel meeting up at some points where the paths crossed on the way down.
Not bad for a Monday night on the C course!
Today we had some business to take care of in Jeonju, me picking up a book, my XYL learning some hanji techniques. What a perfect opportunity to tackle a nice short summit nearby…I can be in and out in just the afternoon. HL/JB-155, a no-namer with no precise altitude known was a prime candidate, to find out some answers.
Mistake number one: just because it’s a lowly no-name one pointer doesn’t mean it’s going to be a nice, quick outing! Getting out there was easy enough, it’s not even a five minute drive from the Hanok Village in Jeonju, where turning off the 17 before it meets the 21 to go up a small valley I stopped to ask some locals that were hanging out just what is that there hill called? Ggitdaebong was the answer. Big help that is, as it’s one of the generic hill names that one can often encounter in Korea. Whatever, I’ll find out better, perhaps, if there’s a marker on the summit or something. (none of this info is on any maps I could find, and the summit height isn’t marked, but some other arbitrary summit height is marked, etc)
I continued up the road past the smallish reservoir as far as I could go, ending up at one of a few grave sites. Normally there are trails in these areas, and there in fact were. I took one that led to one of the other sites, trying to go up as quickly as possible and avoiding detours, as I had gotten pretty close (~700m lateral distance) to where the summit was. (Mistake #2, the closest start point isn’t necessarily the easiest or quickest).
Heading upwards on the trail which was, in fact, going in the complete opposite direction of my goal, I turned off onto another track leading directly up. Just barely a track. Luckily the undergrowth hadn’t started in quite yet, but the ground wasn’t terribly firm. After some ways, I did hit what looked to be a main trail, especially since it ran along the ridge line. This kind of trail would’ve been more convenient to have found at the bottom (wherever that may be, still being unknown at this present time).
Progress now was much more quickly paced, until I got within 50m altitude of the AZ and a junction, the choice to go towards the highest summit (and descend to get there) or up to this particular summit. I chose the former, though now I wonder if the trail would’ve been better if I had gone by way of the latter….the trail itself wasn’t an incline rather ran along a steep incline so it was a foot track barely one body wide, easily eroded, and not very clear. To make a long story short, at some point I had to scramble up to the ridge to get back on top of things, displacing more topsoil than I really felt was appropriate.
Afterwards, I was back on the fast track, walking along something definitely more worn, even passing a junction that I believe goes down to the temple on the north side of the hill. Then I found the summit, even going to the next mini-bong to make sure that it was the real summit. Surprise, surprise, the actual height of the summit is higher than our original estimate that went into the database, clocking in at around 502-504m ASL. Following that nasty-ish hike up, it was a rather pleasing discovery as I feel if someone were to make all that effort to get to the top and only claim one point it would be wrong. So, when the next ARM update comes out, the scoring, name, as well as lat & long for HL/JB-155 will be adjusted accordingly.
Seeing as one of the goals of this particular trip was also to test out my newly built 5 segment collinear antenna (5단GP) for 2m designed by M0GIA (ex. M3FVB). His design was originally for a 4 segment antenna, but figuring I had a ten-meter pole with which to raise it I could lengthen it by one segment, also as I wanted to construct it from one single wire and the length I could get my hands on was 10m long, it was just long enough for five radiating elements and four phasing segments.
As the wire wasn’t very stiff, I formed the phasing elements with plastic from some cat litter containers (the green portions in the photo above of the antenna). The matching section is made of two segments of threaded stainless stock to allow for easily fixing the contacts after tuning. The wire itself is .75mm2 stranded copper (~20 gauge?).
I set up the 5 segment antenna alongside the 2 segment Diamond NL22 (8dB gain, no ground plane mobile whip), for comparison (additionally I had an extra HT for reference.) Like I said, I was expecting an easy hike and for the testing wanted to put forth all possible conditions, otherwise I wouldn’t have brought three rigs! ㅋㅋㅋ
At first CQ I started swapping things around while talking with DS4OVT in Gimje, though honestly he wasn’t paying too much attention to my outgoing signal and was more distracted by the differences in how the different rigs’ mics sounded (once again, the VX-170 gets dissed 😦 though that was in comparison to the FT-857’s stock mic (just wait until I set up the base station with an SM57!) however in some of the operating conditions it sees I’m not going to mod that mic and decrease its water-proofed-ness). I’ll have to have somebody on the receiving end record throughout testing next time to see with my own eyes what’s going on.
Post Script Edit:
The following Monday (May 16) I took the 5단 GP to HL/JB-168 for a spin, with only 5W DS3OMA was receiving me 52 (and I he 55 with his 10W) in Daejeon, 45km away. However, just the other week, June 15, using the Diamond 2 segment mobile whip, I was receiving him 51 (no changes in his system), and he I at 52, yes, still the same report for my signal but I was putting 50W into that antenna! In the first case, I did stretch my legs in testing with him up to 50W which he says did peak at 59, so that must indicate something done correctly with that antenna!
Anyways, between making some more QSOs on 2m, and then some on 20m (with a 100-anny Taiwan station, not my first, not my last!) and back on 2m again, I made a contact to remember with DS4GOD on HL/GJ-001 무등산. The kicker is this: normally the top 200m or so is closed off, being a military installation and all, so unless you’ve got connections, activating is out of the question. Well, today, for the first time in 46 years, during a six-hour window, the general public was allowed to reach the summit and it was at this time that I had a contact with DS4GOD as he was on top of this mountain. I’m so jealous–had I known ahead of time, I would’ve gone down there myself to activate! Either way, I caught some “SOTA DX” thanks to him!
I packed everything up while waiting for DS1SED/p4 to reach the summit of HL/JB-017 운장산 (I had already heard from him on his way up) to make a S2S before heading down on my own. We had our final contact, agreeing to meet later on in the evening as he’d scooter on back to Jeonju quickly enough after he activated (a last minute affair, on his part).
Playing it safe, I decided to take the beaten path down (knowing there are cliffs if I were to attempt a “direct descent” bee-lining to the car. Heading east, around the rim, it wasn’t too bad, nor was I worried with the adequate lighting I had on hand. It was more a matter of not taking too much time to be back in town to, like, eat, and stuff. Well, after making my way down, going under the newly constructed 27 expressway (Wanju-Suncheon) I arrived at the village just to the south of where I originally drove through to get to the trail head. As chance would have it, there was an old guy walking out of his house, heading right on over to that next village to have dinner at his son’s house. Well, ahem, he just couldn’t keep his hands to himself–groping towards my privvy-parts and asking me if all “Americans” were this “well endowed.” I dealt with this for about the five minutes it took to get back up to the other road with which I was familiar, discreetly fanning him away, listening to him explain how his son studied abroad, how he’s the same age as me (not the old guy!), etc. I did make it back to the car, and headed back into Jeonju to a schnitzel joint to dine with my XYL and some Parisians she met at the hanji shop.
2차 was meeting DS1SED to hang in a 휴게실 out in 효자동 for some beers and squid (outside of which was that tree converted lamp post you see up and to the left). It had been a while since last meeting, so was enjoyable. Going back home we took the 나티 대리운전 service which was more comfortable than the normal joe’s you call to grind your gears and get speeding tickets for you.
Literally “Five Peaks Mountain,” was our destination on Saturday for this joint activation. HL4GKR made the summit selection a few weeks back and we were accompanied by HL4GHT as well as HL4/DK4YO and his XYL to HL/JB-139. GKR was already familiar with the area around this specific mountain, and was actually activating last month on the fifth from here, giving us both S2S chaser points between the two.
(in the shot above, left to right: VLA / GHT / GKR / XYL / YO)
This peak falls right into the bottom of the two point bracket with a little over 510 meters in height. There literally are five different peaks, each accessible along the trail which runs down the Honam range. Due to this, there was actually a fair amount of traffic coming through. At the bottom we passed two tour coaches and on our way back down another one.
We took the most direct route up to the highest peak not passing by the others, which was about 3km long each way. With the exception of a few icy patches on north facing slopes the trail was in good condition after last weekend’s rains and the dry week following.
The first contact of the day was between HL4GKR on his HT and DS4OVT over in Gimje. We then started to set up the antennas (two: I brought both the 6 element yagi for VHF as well as the Buddistick for HF so we could have multiple OPs on at the same time) and boil the water for the ramen.
After eating lunch we were immediately on the air, GKR on 2m and I on 20m, me making the first four contacts in quick order (there was a contest going on) all from Japan, which is rather odd as I normally don’t hear Japanese stations on 20. I then gave up my post for others to play HF–many stations were heard, Colorado, Guam, Philippines, Australia and China, amongst others.
In the meantime, the others were chilling out on the summit in the warm sun and light breeze–the weather was better and warmer than down in the valley. GHT did a little bit of operating on 2m as well but didn’t activate.
After 3 hours on the summit and a couple of hours of operation at full power the batteries weren’t dead but we were thinking of descending before we were. I brought up a brand new 12Ah SLAB which supplied a good lot of time running HF at 100W.
At 3:30 we started heading down to find another bus load of people in the parking lot where we started: with three or four tables set up drinking makeoli and eating pork and raw manta ray. We were invited over for a cup and a bite to discover a bunch of them were also over here from Iksan, one guy even from Yeong Deung-dong. Actually, on the way up we met many Iksanites on the trail.
To conclude, everybody made it up and down, two of us activated and everybody had a pleasant time. We all piled into the car and headed back to Jeonju where we split off. There is talk of a summertime overnight activation in the air, though….
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.
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).