Saturday, October 8, 2016

Hamming it up at Jackson County's Fielder Mountain

Fielder Mountain is quite close to my home in Rogue River.  Your GPS will get you there (42.4468, -123.2158) with a starting point at the corner of West Evans Creek Road and Fielder Creek Road.  It's only about a 20 minute drive over a well-maintained BLM gravel road (at least in the Summer), but the road is mostly single-lane and is winding.

If you park near the yellow gate, it's about a mile hike along the road to the peak.

There's a large clearing at the top, along with many trees, which I used to support my wire ham radio antennas.  (Of course, I took everything down and packed it out when done.)

This photo shows my operating position - literally on the ground.  The antennas ascend to the right of the picture, while the "counterpoise" wires extend to the left.  The tiny orange box between them is my "antenna tuner," which matches the load of the antenna to the radio.  The radio itself is the small black box on the ground.

Though not literally in my backyard, it's one of the closest peaks recognized by Summits on the Air (  It's not one of the tallest peaks, at only 1,147M (3,763 feet) high.  But the walk to the top is still a, well, bracing one.

I was able to make a couple of dozen contacts from the top, including three "Summit-to-Summit" ones with other SOTA operators on other mountaintops (one each in Oregon, Utah and California).

It's a worthwhile visit, only steps from the hurly-burly of Rogue River and its 1200 residents.