October 26, 2023 - Central Okanagan, British Columbia Canada

Austin VE7QH let Mike VE7KPZ know that he was keen to do another summit together this year. Austin's eye was on the 1900m ASL Terrace Mountain VE7/OK-003, just outside of Kelowna, BC. A date was picked and the pair of operators made their way to the location transported by Mike's trusty Unimog. The thought the day before was that the operators would probably have to walk the last 2.2 km to reach the summit, but after a close inspection of the snowy shelf road leading to the top, a decision was made to attempt to drive it. Fully locked, the Unimog crawled to the summit making for a very easy access.

The activation was anything but easy as the operators could not work from the comfort of the Unimog's camper. This is SOTA and all valid operations need to be away from any motorized vehicle. So, the pair walked over to the edge of the peak and setup using an old flag pole mast from the now long-removed fire lookout.

Mike and Austin getting the activation done on a HT

Actually, before setting up the HF antenna, the operators were able to make quite a number of contacts on both VHF and UHF with local stations using Austin's HT. There are a good number of SOTA chasers in the Okanagan valley - thanks to all of you for making the activation a success. Mike and Austin were also briefly joined by Lorne VE7LWK, who came up on his quad. Lorne also activated the summit via his HT - super cool.

The summit view from VE7/OK-003 Terrace Mountain

Summit activations in VE7-land are somewhat rare, so since access to the summit was easy, and going down would be easy, a pledge was made to stay on the summit as long as possible. Once the EFHW was erected in inverted-vee format suspended by Mike's SOTABEAMS 6m-long tactical mini mast, Mike quickly jumped on 20m SSB with his IC-705 running 5 watts of power to make some quick phone contacts. It was a mix of both local ground-wave stations and some good-eared sky-wave stations.

Mike working phone from the summit

Next Austin jumped on 20m CW with his KX2 running 6 watts of power and quickly found himself with a huge pile-up. Austin kept keying until his hands went numb and had to call QRT at 21 CW contacts.

Austin working CW from the summit

Mike finished off the activation with some 40m and 10m work for a total of 20 QSOs. Austin was quite content with 31 QSOs including Christian F4WBN from France and Alex S57S from Solvenia.

The summit "shack"

The team then tore down the antenna and jumped back in the truck for the ride down. On the way Austin spotted a park that he had not yet activated for the Parks On The Air programme. A quick POTA activation (and a snack) could be achieved from the warmth of the camper. A quick stop at Fintry Provincial Park VE-3504 yielded some great phone QSOs on 20m via the KX2's warm 12 watts of RF output. Austin became the new park leader with 42 QSOs and Mike just behind with 41.

Then another antenna tear down and on the road again and home. The day was fully utilized in the pursuit of QSOs from notable places.

73 and thanks to all the chasers/hunters,
Mike and Austin

Ps: we did not have a thermometer but it was really cold on the summit, easily below 0 C/32 f but likely a lot colder.

Ps: while not the true spirit of SOTA (drive-up summits), we do need to include one pic of the truck:

Ps: right-click on the images and open in a new tab for higher resolution.