They always say a journey of 1,000 summits starts with a single misstep… I’m glad to share mine!

Today I’d like to share my first in a series of posts detailing my Summits-On-The-Air (SOTA) adventures. I call it “excursion 0” since I didn’t make any actual contacts

Lace up, strap in, and continue reading!

Title Image View from the (almost) top!

The Summit: Green Mountain

I planned on traveling to Green Mountain, one of the tallest and easiest visible peaks in Boulder, CO. I parked at the bottom and prepared for the 2.5 mile summit up to W0C/FR-085 but never actually made it up!

Green Mountain on SOTA


I will detail all of my SOTA gear in a future post. Just know that I brought water, a handheld TH-D72, my HF linked dipole, and an Elecraft KX2 (an excellent piece of equipment may I add) all shoved into a 12lb backpack. There was one notable piece I forgot, however.

I forgot my coax cable. I only realized that once I was at the top of the mountain. Even further, I was at the top of the wrong mountain…

Excursion to Flatiron / 2nd Peak

I took a route you could only describe as “straight up” and got completely lost. There’s no place better than the top, so I kept traveling up on my hands and knees. This image basically displays my route:

Route Dead-reckoned way up

From the top of the Flatiron, I realized I was at the wrong summit and shot for the closest higher peak - a nearby unnammed peak lower than Green Mountain. I got here and connected with the trail I should have been on, then trekked down back to my car determined to try again.

Here’s the choice of routes I took. I came down on EM Greenman trail.

Consolation Prize and Park Operating

Just to verify my equipment should have worked, I went to a nearby park for some informal POTA operating. I used a linked end-fed (blog post soon) strung up in a tree. What a view of what should have been!

Park View from the park

It turns out everything did, but I didn’t make any contacts. Too much SNR at dusk with the shopping mall right next door… PSK Reception via PSKReporter

Next Steps

I re-summitted Green mountain the following day and had great success! I will make several posts soon on my successful summit, my antennas, and my equipment. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!