Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Videos of our runs up Colorado 14ers...

Again I have had too much trouble with TeacherTube to upload my videos there. They have been uploaded, but getting them to play has been erratic. Here is a video library of all 3 videos:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ham Radio Contacts 7-15-09

CQ CQ CQ de KT5X/p K

Wednesday we drove the XTerra Off-Road high into the mountains above Leadville, CO. The forest access road might reject lesser vehicles, sending them back with a holed oil pan or broken suspension, the XTerra didn't notice any difficulty.

We parked about 12,600ft elevation. We raised the DK9SQ mast with a G5RV antenna, connected the Elecraft K2, and went for it.

Conditions were poor, however we worked stations in IA, MN, IL, MI, and NC, including one FOC club member, Jack, W0UCE. All were excellent copy here on loud speaker. Several Jeeps passed by and didn't know what to make of the Morse breaking the silence of the mountains.

After packing up we went fly fishing.

73, FD KT5X/p

Mt. Elbert in 70+ mph winds

At around 7:30, we headed into the mountains intent on summiting Mt. Elbert. First we hit a stream and Dad honored the mountain with a little mud and then we navigated the newly made trail. A dusty affair but easily marked, we ascended quickly. Compared to Yale, this trail is less steep and well marked. But still... plenty steep!

When we hit timberline, the wind began to kick up. Another 2 miles and we were faced with winds easily exceeding 70 MPH. Calvin and I were not prepared to deal with this kind of wind chill and decided to turn back... Dad persisted and made it to the top where he reported the winds as so strong, he could barely stand up!

We waited at treeline for Dad's safe return which was a welcome sight...

Videos from Mt Yale and Mt Elbert are being loaded now as we enjoy dinner at Benson's in Salida...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Video of ascent of Mt Harvard

This is hosted at youtube... tried teachertube, but it failed:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mt Yale Slide Show

This morning, we ascended Mt Yale. To quote Dad, "this trail doesn't mince words." Yes, straight into the hill for mile after mile. We were able to run at the peak for the first 2 miles as we made our way through the forest, but once above timber, it was power walking all the way.

We overhauled a number of hikers on the slope and intercepted a youth group at the shoulder. We joined them as we rock-hopped across the ridge to the summit only finding ourselves hung out over a granite cliff once along the way (word to the wise, the trail is along the south face of the ridge [;-). Dad took some photos which I have embedded here.

We tried cell service to do a live broadcast but were unable to get enough signal strength. There was just enough signal to send a text message or a choppy call. We stayed for about 30 minutes and then descended like perverbial bats from you know where...

Mt Harvard Slide Show

So we did not have any wifi access yesterday so we could not post these slides until today. We are staying at the historic Delaware Hotel in Leadville.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mt Coumbia becomes Mt Harvard

So we intended to ascend Mt Columbia this morning as we headed into the wilderness armed with water, energy bars, cell phones, flip video camera, digital camera and EeePC... but no signs indicated a turn to Columbia and we found ourselves drifting up valley much further back in and finally faced Mt Harvard.

Well, no worries mate! Mt. Harvard is only taller and further away than Columbia, so let's go anyway. Along the route we found some mountain goat fur left from when the locals bedded down for the night. Cal wondered if maybe next year we could come back and look for more... I suggested that such a find is akin to catching a fly ball in a major league baseball park.

We summitted and attempted the live video stream. Cal had already sent some tweets (adistar756) and I let my twitter friends know I was about to broadcast. Embedded below is a recording of the first ustream video... awful in fact, but a gallant attempt. I need to figure out how to adjust the white balance because the sun was SO bright up there... but I could not read the screen to deal with the problem.

So, here is the ustream.tv feed. I am preparing a video from the flip and I have slide show to upload into picasa... so check back in a few and you can see some better images of our 7 hour escapade.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mt. Columbia Monday

Buena Vista
We have arrived in Buena Vista and are staying at the Arkansas River Retreat and have prepared our ascent for tomorrow. Our drive up was eventful... horses loose on the highway, deer wandering into harms way, plenty of good food, and scenery that takes the breath away... even from a long time Colorado resident.

We depart from the Mt. Columbia trailhead at 7 AM. For details on Mt. Columbia, visit that most excellent (and free of any member dues) www.14ers.com.

View Larger Map

The trek begins

Santa Fe, NM
Having traveled down to my parent's home and attended a friend's wedding in Albuquerque last night, we now set off in quest of 14,000' peaks. Tonight we will be in Buena Vista and will look to make our first ascent in the morning. Dad continues his planning of every detail he can imagine. I am dreaming up inspirational messages to spout on each climb. And Calvin has remarked "I never agreed to this."

So the team is comfortably settling into our roles for the expedition. All tests of my loaner EeePC uses the cellular modem of my phone well and I have done some test broadcasts on ustream.tv. Our equipment is ready (we'll do a video of that on another post). And the road beckons.

One more dose of incomparable Santa Fe chili and we begin our quest north. And so now for my first inspirational quote... the music of "Man of La Mancha" rings in my ears:

Hear me heathens and wizards and servants of sin. All your dastardly doings are past! For a holy endeavor is now to begin. And virtue shall triumph at last! I am I Don Quixote the Lord of La Mancha. My destiny calls and I go! And the wild winds of fortune shall carry me onward. O wither so ever they blow. Wither so ever they blow! Onward to glory I go!

Destination 7AM 7-13-09: Mount Columbia Trail Head Summit by 11AM for a live broadcast.

Dinner in Buena Vista... want to find us? Send Calvin a tweet or post a comment here. Calvin's twitter account is adistar756.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Keep tabs on us!

So next week, we plan to engage in our mountain runs to the tops of 14ners in Colorado... my Dad, my son and I. Three generations of runners ascending some of the most beautiful mountain peaks in the world... and armed with communications and publishing technology.

When: 7-12-09 through 7-17-09

My Dad: Fred Maas, KT5X will transmit via QRP low power Ham Radio.

My son: Calvin Maas, will tweet and Facebook from the summits using his cell phone. Twitter: adistar756 Facebook: Calvin Maas

Me: Dan Maas, will broadcast live ustream.tv using an ASUS EeePC Tablet and cellular modem.

Live Broadcasts are set for 11:00 AM daily on this channel:

Now for some serious summit seeking!