I am glad to report my fourth successful SOTA activation of Taylor Mountain W0C-Fr/61. In this post I will detail my summit up, my activation, and future plans. Lace up and continue reading!
View from the top!
The Summit: Taylor Mountain
Taylor Mountain is a beautiful summit northwest of Boulder near Estes Park, CO in Roosevelt National Forest. It is a 3.5 mile round-trip loop. If you have a good enough car, you can drive almost directly to the peak cutting down the trip to a 1-mile round trip.
After summiting a few peaks, I’ve adjusted my setup slightly:
- An Elecraft KX2 with standard CW paddle
- A 5.2 Ah lithium-ion battery
- An APRS-enabled TH-D72a
- My favorite antenna tuner
- A 19-foot mast
- A linked end-fed
- A topographic Map with compass
- 1L water, warm clothes, and gloves
- A notebook/pen for CW
- Several (40) feet of paracord in different lengths
Total weight - about 12lbs. Notice I added the topographic map and compass - I was getting too lost on some of the peaks. It is a lifechanger.
Equipment scattered at the top
Treetop at nearly 9,000ft!
Once you get to the road the peak is located on, there is a small parking area and a national forest gate. The gate was open for drivers in early June, but my Chevy Spark could not handle those roads. Any car should be able to get to the parking area where you can follow the road almost directly to the mountain. Proceed through various camping sites until you reach a “closed to motor vehicles” sign - the trail continues on foot. If you bushwhack you may be quicker, but follow piles of carefully-stacked rocks up to the summit.
The route was rough suprisingly on the road itself. It was also incredibly easy to get lost. I actually bushwhacked the way back because I couldn’t find the trail - shoot west, find the saddle if possible, and take it back down to the road.
Although it was hot, it was quite beautiful at the top:
View of the End-Fed at the top
I had no trouble getting CW contacts with the end-fed on 40m. With no service or spotting ability, I actually got 6 CW contacts within a half hour. An alligator jumped on to my frequencuy (all mouth and no ears) so I decided to SK.
I did hear a station in Denver on simplex, but could’t call back. What a distance!
I had some visitors at the descent!
Overall this was a great activation and I hope to do many more. It was my last excursion in Boulder and a terrific 9,000ft summit.