Earlier this month I visited family in Southern California for a wedding. I was interested in activating another mountain range as an attempt to make progress for unique ranges activated; of course, I was looking forward to getting out on a hike and ham radio is a great excuse to get some time away from the family.
I decided on a VHF activation of Indio Mountain, W6/CT-211, just a few miles from my hotel. I read some pointers for this hike on summitpost and decided this was the hike for me. I drove out to the trailhead (I parked at the corner of Avenida Monezuma and Calle Colima) and starting making my way to the base of the mountain.
I decided to start climbing up the closest mountain to the road, thinking I could retrace the steps in the opposite direction of the summitpost reference I was using. Unfortunately, the batteries on my new GPS can’t hold a charge, which is a drag, because I was just starting to get the hang of how to use it. I was able to navigate using my cell phone, but at the expense of no cell battery on the way down (notice a trend, heh?).
The entire hike took a bit longer than expected, but the views were worth it. It just so happens that my only VHF contact was another operator sporting a 0 in his call, also activating a peak (NØOI on CT-007). Though I was a bit bummed I didn’t get the minimum 4 contacts to qualify for the points for the activation, I enjoyed the exercise and time outdoors. As always, I will take this experience and make improvements for my next climb.