Canada Day on Mt Sasin
I recently assembled an HF go kit for my back country travels. The kit comprises an IC-7000 with a home built OCF dipole antenna. Since I already had a sectional mast for use in the hills with my VHF gear, I decided it was time to do some HF testing as well. Since the Canada Day contest was only a few days away I decided to work the contest from a back country location, preferably with some elevation and open to the east. So after some review of my past trips I came upon one from August 2005 to Mt Sasin. The spot I remembered had a good elevation, was not too far into the back country and had a nice level area looking down on the Fraser Valley to the south and east.
So the spot was ideal for my plans. It being 5 years ago that I was there, I wasn’t sure the road was still passable so I selected a back-up location on the West Harrison where I had been earlier this year. As I always travel with someone when going into the hills, I asked my third son – Nick – if he would like to come. He doesn’t get many chances to go as he works most Saturdays when I do the bulk of my travels. He agreed. Come Thursday Morning we got the truck ready and set out in a sporadic drizzle. The weather was supposed to worsen as the day progressed but I was hopeful the rain would hold off until we were done.
We arrived at the Chehalis FSR and started up it only to be greeted by a full log carrier. It was the only one we encountered fortunately, but as there was quite a bit of chatter on the road frequency, I kept by ears tuned for any further traffic. A bit past the smallish Elbow Lake we turned off the main line and entered the Pretty Creek FSR . The road started climbing quite quickly and was in surprisingly good shape. I learned later that they were logging at the far end of this side road! After a few kilometers we reached a branch where we took the deactivated side and set off up to Sasin. I checked the track from my earlier trip to confirm our path. The road was rough but quite usable and we were soon at the level area on the flank of the mountain.
Nick and selected a spot where we could stretch the dipole between two trees and use the support mast in the centre to get a bit more height. The ground was a bit damp and slippery so it took longer to set up than planned, around 30 minutes. Once the gear was in place we set up my day tent to keep us dry should the rain hit, it did! I worked 26 stations from our location at 900m coordinates: N 49:16.781, W 121:58.953. It was a lot of fun being up there at 3000 feet even though the clouds obscured most of our view of the valley. I worked a number of Ontario stations, New Brunswick , Alaska, Arizona and many from California. After a couple of hours I was getting quite damp and chilled so we packed up the gear during a lull in the rain and set off back down the road. The gear checked out very nicely and definitely gets out without a tuner. My next experiment will be to try it in a more distant location in an NVIS configuration.