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….
I got a text around lunch time from 6K5ZLH saying he was going to be up on HL/GB-041 금오산 around three-ish. Not wanting to miss the chaser points, which from his neck of the woods are difficult to come by if I’m not also high up somewhere. So, I decided on going to HL/JB-140 천호산 where I’d previously activated from back in September. It’s not such a haul up to the top, it’s close by and it qualifies for winter bonus points.
As you can see from the trail on the right, I have to get through a small pass to get to any of the more convenient trail heads. Funnily enough, as I was putting on the chains to go through, a hiker was coming down my way and informed me it was basically impassible. I tried to get as close as possible–there were tire tracks, but I could only make it so far. Thus I parked at the tunnel construction site and walked the rest of the way up from there. This time I took a different trail up, then descending down the other trail I took previously.
On to the meat: I was primarily trying to have a S2S QSO with 6K5ZLH on his Geumosan activation. It didn’t work–evidently he could hear me but not I him. I was calling with 50 watts and a yagi, he 5 watts and nothing directional or terribly gain-worthy for an antenna…
Alas, I had to move on and get some other contacts. I had some nice DX up into Chungnam making the first contact of the year on DS3LHL’s list and Gyeonggi (Suwon gave me two responses) with also some local contacts. I managed to finish up and break down before sunset, though when I did arrive at the car, it was fully dark. Today I made a better showing than yesterday, though 😉
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…