On a Scale of 1 to 5
On The Air:
Number of QSO's
Western mountain was #2 on my seven days of SOTA activations. I wanted to do all the SOTA summits on Mount Desert Island before heading off the island.
Access to the site was somewhat limited due to the gravel park roads being closed. I parked at Long pond and tried not to get a contact high from some locals rocking out to Styx and smoking a boatload of pot. Long pond parking lot is an excellent place to access several summits in the area. It’s more local knowledge than anything. Tourists tend to go to the official trailheads on the other side of the mountain.
The hike starts with a nice flat trail and then heads up straight up. Overall it’s a pretty nice hike.
If you research the summit there is some question as to what constitues the summit. There are two peaks within the Western Mountain range: Bernard mountain and Little Notch. Bernard is actually the tallest peak at 1071 feet. There is a false summit prior to Bernard that feels like th summit. There are still metal spikes in the ground, I’m assuming a radio or fire watch tower was once present.
I set up at Bernard mountain with my KX3 and Packtenna random wire antenna. I managed to get my antenna wire all mangeld up in the trees, which was a first.
I quickly got on the air and realized that the band conditions were pretty bad. Still, there were cool RF waves to send; time waits for no SOTA operator.
I managed 6 QSO’s most on 20 meters. I tried 2m simplex again but still had no takers.
In taking everything down I managed to break the tip of my fishing pole which was funny as I was just thinking I should order a spare to have on hand.
The pole is still usuable, however I need to order a spare.