I got a quick activation of W7A-MN-125 Union Hill as my fifth activation zone. It was also my first trail-run activation, and my first 40m activation.

Title Image Fun Operating

The Summit: Union Hill

Union Hill is a 2-point summit in the Sonoran Desert, close to Dixie Benchmark. Union hill is reachable via many trails, but we used the Cactus Wren Loop.

Honestly, as long as you can see the summit, you won’t have a problem finding a trail or navigating to the top.


This activation was the first time I actually ran up to the summit. I have to pack my bag a little better to minimize shifting mid-flight but it makes for a quick activation!

Summit Operating N2WU at the Summit of Union Hill

  1. The N2WU Case-X2
  2. N2WU Key
  3. N2WU EFHW
  4. N2WU Mast
  5. CW Notebook and pen
  6. APRS-Enabled TM-D72A
  7. Every warm layer I could possibly find

Total weight - 4 lbs. Instead of a rock cairn to hold my antenna, I just had a friend hold it. I gave him a warning about RF exposure and he seemed fine with it.

Mast Operating again



I put an early SOTA Alert for about 20 mins up and was pretty close - we ran 8.30 min/mile to the top.

I originally put the alert for 20m as I’m used to activating near 1300 UTC, but with the 2300 UTC activation I had to switch to 40m. Thankfully the EFHW traps worked and I switch bands without tuning!

Contact List

Callsign Band Time Location
AE9Q 40M CW 2325 Tucson
N4LAG 40M CW 2326 North Carolina
W7RV 40M CW 2327 Phoenix
K6QCB 40M CW 2331 Los Angeles
K6HPX 40M CW 2332 Tucson

Here’s the Google Earth. Lots of chasers in the area - either ground wave or a well-placed NVIS shot. Contacts