ARRL winter field day! Time to get out to the Nature and work portable! Which is how I do it all the time duh.
My initial plan for the field day was to drive to the Tahoe area and try activating Mt. Tallac. Weather made corrections - Northern California had been pummeled by rain and snow that week and I decided to wait for snow to set before making an attempt.
Due to the fact that the mountain had been closed to visitors until recently it is not featured in popular culture as frequently as other prominent Bay Area peaks.
A wee bit of trivia
Ohlone people call the mountain ‘the resting place of the hummingbird’. ‘Umunhum’ is an onomatopoeia of the hum a hummingbird produces. I would assume there should be quite a few of them around but I am yet to see one.
As usual with most high peaks around the San Francisco bay the summit hosted a military installation during the Cold War years. Concrete cubic base of the decommissioned radar tower can be seen from almost any point in San Jose and across the valley.
Military had left quite a lot of hazardous trash behind and it took until 2017 to clean and reopen the summit to the public.
If you have time and are inclined to hike before an activation I recommend this trail. You drive to the lower parking lot, hike up to the summit and back. On weekends it is hard to find a parking spot there after 0900 so plan accordingly.
If you don’t have much time or desire to walk you can park almost on the summit. This lot usually has some free spots almost all day. Exercise extreme caution driving between lower and upper parking lots - there are many bicyclists on the road.
There is also a parking lot for people with disabilities on the very top.
Wach out for a wild life.
If the weather is right you can probably see both the ocean and South Bay Area.
Visitor shed near the radar tower has nice infographic plaques with area history, geography and biology.
Mount Umunhum SOTA activation
What’s nice about the parking lot is railing you can attach your mast to.
I first put my foldable chair next to the antenna mast but the ranger patrolling the summit asked me to move to the side so I don’t block the sidewalk.
Stations worked from W6/CC-052
Thanks to the winter field day the ether had been quite lively. Heard from local folks - cheers John K6YK, few gentlemen in Colorado, couple of our northern neighbors in Canada, W5ODS from Oklahoma and even from W4KRN who is across the continent in Virginia - one of the longest shots for me so far! Really appreciate your help in activation.
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See you next time! 73 K0SSK out.