Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elden Mountain, SOTA W7 / AE-017

Elden Mountain Trailhead
I exchanged emails with Steve-wG0AT about hiking with him & Fred-KT5X and Steve's famous goats Rooster & Peanut.  We planned on activating Elden Mountain for SOTA on Friday just before the Cactus Con gathering in Flagstaff, AZ.  We ended up picking up another ham to go with us on Friday morning, Mark-K5LXP.  Steve & Fred followed us to the trailhead.  Steve got the goats out of his truck and the fun began.

Fred-KT5X was anxious to get going.  Fred starts doing a running in place and Mark and I look at each other and Mark remarks "he's going to run up it" and sure enough, Fred made it up the mountain in 55 minutes!  It took Mark & I right at 2 hours to summit.  Steve and the goats were way ahead of Mark & I by a considerable amount.  We had kept in contact on 2m simplex.

Mini-break, L-R, Mark-K5LXP, Steve-wG0AT, Rooster, Peanut, Awed hikers.

Until half way up the mountain we were given several mini-breaks from all the people coming down that wanted to pet & talk about the goats.  I swear every girl we met, no matter the age commented on how cute the goats were.  Steve carried peanuts that he would hand out so hikers could hand feed the goats.  Many videos of the goats are available here  wG0AT

At the top Fred-KT5X already had 20M setup (his whole station, radio & antenna weighs in just a smidge over 2lbs), Fred & Steve operated on the north side of the mountain on HF, while Mark & I went just below the fire lookout tower on the south side.  We had a direct line of sight to all the Cactus Con  hams that were camping at Ft Tuthill.  Mark & I easily made out 4 contacts on 2M simplex.

Fred & Steve/R&P headed back down after making many HF Q's.  Mark & I weren't half way down when they let us know they were at the TH, goats packed up and was headed back to the campground.  Say what!!  Fred and Steve are retirement age, those two guys are in great shape!

I can't wait until I hike with these guys again, little did I know it would be real soon.

73 de Jon N7AZ

1 comment:

  1. Great write up, Jon! Makes me want to revisit Woody Mtn!

    Cheers, from us goats ...wGOAT