Three members of the club (Brett, Ralph and Eric) activated Hale Peak in the SOTA program on Saturday May 9th. The adventure began with everyone meeting at Eric’s and loading up the gear into his truck. We were on the road by 8:10AM and making good time to the nearest Starbucks where we loaded up on essentials for the arduous adventure ahead. We made good time to the start of the gravel logging road and then along it for 26kms. The road was not busy which was fortunate as the surface was dry and kicked up a lot of dust.
We arrived at the trailhead a bit before 11am and quickly got ourselves geared up for the hike. The initial part of the trail follows an old road bed but soon veers off for a steep ascent of the slope to the peak. The trail wasn’t overly difficult as it had steep sections spread out between gentler patches and most of it was shaded from the sun. After two hours the bedraggled team achieved the summit and we climbed into the abandoned forestry lookout. The building was in decent shape and offered a nice spot to rest and eat lunch.
Done with lunch, Ralph set up his portable vertical antenna and proceeded to make a few CW contacts. Meanwhile Eric was enjoying a nice chat with club members Jim and his wife Carolyn through the Cheam Repeater. Brett next strung is end-fed wire antenna between the lookout and a distant tree. It wasn’t long before he also had made a few contacts. Ralph finished 4 contacts fairly early but Brett was stuck at three for quite some time. Then finally he made a contact with a local ham - Jan - who is also a SOTA operator – a fitting end for the activation.
Now that both Ralph and Brett had achieved the minimum to qualify for the activation, we were ready to depart. The descent took only half the time of the climb but we were still quite worn out as we reached the truck. The return drive went without incident and we were soon recovering in our homes having enjoyed a great day in the outdoors. Plans for the next hike were already on our minds.