To get in on the last of the winter hiking, I went on a dual activation of Black Dome and Blackhead mountains.
Great Winter Views!
The Summits: Black Dome and Blackhead
Blackhead is another 10-point mountain less than a mile away from Black Dome and only 12m shorter. It seems less popular than Black Dome but with a name like blackhead…
From here on, to conserve expensive letters I will refer to the two as “Dome” and “Head”. I realize this may still be confusing. Remember the “head” is below the “dome,” if that makes sense.
NOTE: These summits have good views close to the top, but the summits are rather disappointing. You can see “Head” from “Dome” too: Head from Dome
I tested out my new end-fed at the top, and had great success. I chucked it as far as it could possibly go and still needed some more length. I’m wondering if a SOTA slingshot would be helpful in the future.
N2WU at the Summmit of Dome
- The N2WU Case-X2
- N2WU Key
- N2WU EFHW
- CW Notebook and pen
- APRS-Enabled TM-D72A
- Kahtoola Microspikes
- Every warm layer I could possibly find
Total weight - 10-15 lbs. I was pretty warm, considering it was 20-30 degrees warmer than I’m used to (0 degrees -> 22 degrees).
Operating on Head
Start of hiking
The hike, like I said before, was pretty self-explanatory and thankfully safe. I recommend the microspikes, snowshoes, or anything to help with the uphill 8% grade. You get sweeping views the Northern Catskills area at the top:
The actual trail can be shown here:
And its elevation:
The backside of the mountain is surprisingly steep and clear enough for some body glissading. Once again, a feature film from N2WU youtube:
I put an early SOTA Alert for about 1hr 30 mins up. I was actually only about 10 minutes late to the contact.
I don’t know if it was the new EFHW antenna, but I had a great time operating. I only spent maybe 15 minutes total operating after a combined 5 minutes of setup and teardown.
Whenever anyone asks what SOTA is like, I will always direct them to the video below. It’s such a peaceful, serene, beautiful environment. And then you can hear CW oscillating nonstop.
Contact List - Dome
|KU4R||20M CW||1541||North Carolina|
|K2JB||20M CW||1542||North Carolina|
|W5GDW||20M CW||1543||North Carolina|
|K4ML||20M CW||1546||North Carolina|
Contact List - Head
Oddly enough, I got my 4 contacts and the band went completely dead. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I got a S2S and two activations so I packed up without complaint.
|WB2FUV||20M CW||1650||S2S in the Catskills!|
Here’s the Google Earth (missing France). North Carolina loved me!
The Catskills is one of the best places to hike period. In the winter, you have build-in slides to use at the cost of a harder trudge uphill. The serenity granted by the mountains makes it a great dual-point activation with a winter bonus.