Ketcherside Mountain Activation Report

First Person Activation Report from Ketcherside Mountain (W0M-SF-003)

KETCHERSIDE MTN. ACTIVATION

W0M/SF-003

FEB 09 2013

 On Saturday I accomplished my first SOTA activation. Overall it was a great success for me and went fairly well.  There are no real trails up to Ketcherside Mtn.  There  is an overgrown and barley marked Ozark Trail that followed roughly the same route I took which was to come in from the north-west. Bill W4RK had given me information that the going was rough but I thought I would be using a different route.  The route I chose worked out to be about a 2.5 mile hike. The problem is downed trees from severe  storms a few years ago. Well, I was surprised by the scope of the damage.  The whole area was completely damaged with nearly every tree on the whole mountain side knocked down. It was a rough climb but I managed to get to the top with enough time to get on the air at my scheduled time. The peak is totally overgrown with  no nice open areas that you usually find on these peaks in Missouri. At least the storms spared the very top.

 I must say that I also carried way too much stuff with me. Being my first activation I wanted to make sure I had everything I would need. I had everything I need plus a lot of extra weight. Next time will be very different.

 When I got to the top I had just enough time to toss a rope over a branch and install a 60 foot doublet at about a 30 foot  peak. It was fed  with 300 ohm twinlead and a 4:1 balun to my KX3. It worked out to be a good performer. As soon as I called CQ I was deluged with calls. This was quite a shock for me as I have never experienced anything like this before. I tried my best to copy whoever I could and ask for repeats when needed.  I started on 40M and when that slowed up I went to 20M ending up with 30 contacts in the logbook. At this time I was beginning to get really cold and knowing I would have a rough hike back to the truck I packed it up.

 The return hike was much easier, going downhill plus I took a little clearer route back. I had a good time regardless of the rough hike up to the top. I learned a lot and I am already planning my next activation.

 I want to give a big thanks to Bill Gerth W4RK for all his hard work in getting Missouri involved in SOTA. Bill was also a very big help all along the way in getting my activation up and going. Thanks Bill W4RK

Larry Naumann, N0SA

© Bill Gerth 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016