Due to some last minute circumstances, I will find myself in Denver, Colorado this weekend (June 14th-16th, 2019).

While there I plan on trying to squeeze in two Summit on the Air activation’s. While I have been to Colorado several times, I never had the chance to activate any summits.

As mentioned in my book, “Portable Operating for Amateur Radio” , whenever you find yourself in a new location, reach out to the locals who operate in that area. In this case, I contacted Steve, WG0AT who is famous for his SOTA adventures and goat companions. Check out his Youtube channel for more info.

Steve gave me a nice list of easy summits and details regarding each. Considering I am leaving DC Friday morning and will be hiking 6 hours later at 6,000 feet plus, easy hikes will be hard enough for me.

Details of the Activation’s







Date: Friday, June 14th 2019

Time: 1:00pm MST

Wx: 80 degrees and partly sunny

Location: North Table Mountain; Golden, CO   W0C/FR-109

This is a short hike (1.7 miles round trip) with 571 feet elevation gain. This will be a good first hike as it is a short drive from Denver.

Date: Saturday, June 15th 2019

Time: 1:00pm MST

Wx: 87 degrees and partly sunny; possible rain showers

Location: As I will have the full day to hike and activate there are several options. Ultimately it will depend on the weather.

Option 1: Pikes Peak W0C/FR-04

This is a drive/shuttle trip to the top. The peak is a little over 14,000 feet and the most visited peak in the US.

Option 2: Mt. Evans  W0C/FR-03

Mt Evans is another peak that sits above 14,000 feet. It is known for the being the highest paved road in the US.

Option 3: Mt Herman  W0C/FR-063

Mt Herman aka the “Hermanator” is a popular SOTA summit and goat approved!


Considering I will be flying to Colorado with a carry on, the equipment list will be super ultralight,

I plan on taking the following radio gear:

  • LNR Precision Mountain Topper (how aptly named) and a couple of 9V batteries
  • Packtenna end fed antenna for 20m
  • Yaesu FT1DR with Jpole
  • Small collapsible mast

For my hiking gear I will be taking a abbreviated list of gear. I will have my InReach and as always you can follow me in real time and watch me struggle up the summits.

I plan on operating 20 meters and some 2m (146.520 Mhz) as well. I will be spotting myself via my InReach and cell (if available). I will also try to update my Twitter account as the weekend goes on.

Since I was a young lad I have always had a watch. Recently my Casio watch died and it was time to get a new watch. The Apple smart watches had been out for a while however it wasn’t until recently I decided to buy one. Among the various features, the one thing that stood out was the ability to run GaiaGPS on the watch itself, reducing the need to pull out my cell phone while hiking.

While I always carry paper maps of the area I am in, having digital maps and GPS tracking is super helpful. I have been using GaiGPS for several years now and find it is well worth the money to download on to my phone.