Trying SOTA on Mount Zoa
Eric (VA7NX) and his wife Carolyn (VA7CDA) hiked Mount Zoa near the Coquihalla summit on the highway. This is a pleasant alpine hike that travels along the Zoa ridge as one hike westward. Not overly difficult but is can get quite hot in the heat as it has little tree cover. Eric took his 2m yagi and his KX2 with his home built OCF dipole antenna. The hike proceeded smoothly and in reasonable time even though it was Carolyn's first summit hike. Once at the terminus of the trail and the spot where I was setting up the radios, we stopped for a rest and lunch. I tried to reach the Sumas Mountain repeater with my handheld but it didn't make it. So I assembled my 2m yagi and strapped to my hiking pole and pointed to the SW. The repeater came up immediately with a strong clear signal. I then started to string up the HF antenna. It took a few throws to get a line in the tree but I soon had the Balan in the tree and the two elements stretched out.
I called the club members on the repeater and soon had then on the air and coordinating the HF contact. I could hear then calling on 20m but it was a very weak signal and they were not able to hear me. We tried 15m and 40m I was able to hear them on all three bands but they couldn't hear my qrp signal. On 40m there was the noon-time net taking place and their stations were coming in fairly strong, I tried calling in but kept getting walked on. Eventually near the end of th net one realy station could barely make me out and so I had a contact. In the end it was the only official contact for SOTA. So I successfully activated tyhe summit but didn't make enough contacts get earn any points. But that was fine as the beauty of the views is the main reason for going.
Additional photos and story can be found here: http://www.scenicart.ca/content/sota-zoa-cara