Mount Umunhum – W6/CC-052 – 2018

Activation Date: 16 July 2018
Transport: Drive-Up / Walk Distance: 159 stairs
Elev. gain: 100 feet Time: 10 minutes
Rig(s): VX-2R, GD-77 Band(s): 2m/70cm (fm/dmr)
Antenna(s): 12.5″ whip
Cell Service: Moderate (T-Mobile)
ParkingSummit Lot
Fees/Permits: None
Route: Walk up the stairs
Dogs: No! Toilet: Yes
Antenna Support: Couple of short trees RF Noise: Med-High

Mount Umunhum is very close to me “as the bird flies,” but it takes almost an hour to get there.  Nonetheless, with the family out of town I decided to do this drive-up summit after work one day.  It may be an hour drive each way, but there’s just a few minutes of walking up some stairs to get to the top. Last time I activated it, it was in the fog. This time I was able to see a lot more!

Getting There

Just drive up!  Be aware of the hours the gate is open. I believe they change seasonally.

Summit Parking Lot

Since I was going on a pretty warm weekday evening, and possibly since the area around the “cube” is closed, there weren’t many people here. Parking was definitely not an issue.

The Walk

There’s one big set of stairs to take you to the summit proper, with a few landings on the way in case you need to take a break.

Start of the stairs

Before long, you’ll be at the top.

At the top of Mount Umunhum, looking east


With very few people on the summit, I did strongly consider setting up my HF antenna and doing some HF operation. But in the end, I opted to just sit and enjoy the sunset while making contacts on my two handheld radios.

First, I made a couple of DMR simplex contacts on the Radioddity GD-77. That was fun!  Then, I made several contacts on my Yaesu VX-2R.  In some cases, I actually used the Radioddity radio to transmit (with its greater transmit power of 5 watts) and used the Yaesu VX-2R (with its better receiver) to receive.

Mostly, I just tried to relax and enjoy the sunset.

Sunset from the top of Mount Umunhum

Once the sun had set, I walked around a bit.  While doing so, some rangers showed up to start asking people to leave (the area closes 30min after sunset).  One of them asked me about what I was doing. We proceeded to have a pleasant conversation about amateur radio. I asked about setting up for HF on the summit and he said that it kind of depends on the ranger, whether you’ll get hassled or not.  Some are more about the letter of the law and others are more about the spirit of it.  But generally, if there aren’t many people up there and you’re not interfering with others’ enjoyment, it seems it would be OK.  I think I’ll try HF next time.

With that, I walked back to my car for one last photo.

Post-sunset glow on Mount Umunhum

Activation Log

Time Call Band Mode
02:18z NU6P 433MHz DV
02:20z WB6KHP 433MHz DV
02:32z KF6QCH 144MHz FM
02:37z K6EL 144MHz FM
02:39z KM6NMX 144MHz FM
02:44z K6ZHS 144MHz FM
02:48z KK6HPF 144MHz FM
03:11z WB6DCE 144MHz FM
03:19z AA6XA 144MHz FM