2009 FYBO Field Operation on 'America's Mountain'.
Date: 7 Feb. 2009
Type of Operation: "Freeze Your Boots Off" Pedestrian Mobile,
Call Sign: w0rw/pm,
CW operation -1700z (1200 EST) to 1900z (1400 EST), 14062.2 kHz,
(Alternate: 14064.4 kHz).
SSB operation - 14342.5 kHz at 1900z (1400EST).
Location: North side of Pikes Peak;
Katharine Lee Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" while visiting
Pikes Peak. The 'Purple Mountain Majesties' are all white
with snow today.
Nearest City: Glen Cove,
Elevation: 12,000 Feet,
(The temperature drops about 3.6F for every 1000 feet of elevation
gain, Called the 'Lapse Rate'. The higher i get, the
higher my multiplier),
Line of Sight to Kansas and Wyoming
You can see the summit (14,110 ft.) weather station (here).
Trail Name: Elk Park Trail, TR652.
WebCam Link: (link) or (link)
Google Map: (link)
Additional site info: The Elk Park Trail is at the top of the ski runs
at treeline and curves southeast along an alpine bowl. (Being
at tree line is nice because my backpack whip doesn't hit any trees).
The trail runs a mile to cross a steep bowl, then dips down into a stand of
evergreens on the rim of the next basin. Then it makes a tricky turn to
the right and drops into the north fork of French Creek. At the bottom of the
valley, the trail starts to gradually climb for a half-mile to an abandoned
mine. It passes a batch of old cabin logs built in the 1899, in winter they are
hidden by waist-deep snow. The trail ends in steep granite faces where the most
curious detail of the ruins, called the Oil Creek Tunnel or the Cincinnati Mine,
lies. Miners blasted this passage into the heart of Pikes Peak hoping to strike
precious metals. The endeavor killed two miners, but never hit pay dirt and
eventually was abandoned. The 1700 foot tunnel remains open, with water pouring
out even on the iciest days. Colorado Springs trail runner Matt Carpenter has a
great story and pictures of it on his Web site here.
The beauty of the soaring granite cirque, the quiet snow bent trees and the shock of
finding a place that is so remote and yet so close to town, is the real pay dirt.
i was up there in the 2008 FYBO.
Equipment: PRC319 Military Backpack Radio, There is more information
about Military Radios in April 2006 QST, Page 57. See more pictures
This is a fixed frequency radio, so i can't QSY when it is
on my back. It weighs about 20 pounds with the battery
pack. It is operational down to -31C, It has all Mil Spec parts that are
rated to -55C.
Antenna: 10 foot center loaded foot whip, with drag wire counterpoise.
Power source: 28V, 6AH, LiIon battery.
Propagation Beacons: Check WWV on 15 MHz for propagation to CO. I will be 6 'S' units weaker.
Band Activity: Lots of activity; BC, DE, MN, NM and VT State QSO Parties, plus XE RTTY.
Base Camp Intercom: 146.52
Picture: (See November QST, 2008),
Degree of Difficulty: If this was easy, we wouldn't do it.
QRM, QRN, QSB, QSA1, QRP, Contests, QLF etc.
Awards: If you work 6 Pedestrian Mobile or Human Powered Mobile stations you are
eligible for the HF Pack Six Pack award. See this (link) for details.
Hazards: Sunburn, Frostbite, Hypothermia, Avalanche, Icy Trails, Crevasse, Caissons
disease, Precipation Static, Snow covered roads with 1000 foot dropoffs and
no guard rails, Possible Salmonilla in trail mix granola bars, but no snakes
above timber line.
It doesn't get any better than this.
Special 'Pikes Peak' QSL Card available.
Paul w0rw, Box 6069, Colorado Springs, CO 80934