Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Koko Head (KH6/OH-029) SOTA Activation

A look at Koko Head from the start of the trail.

Just an Easy Hike (YouTube Edition)

I had an awesome Summits On The Air (SOTA) activation today. Namely because I had my first opportunity to bring my entire family (wife and three young boys) along for a hike. Given the fact that I have a two-year-old in the mix, the logical option to suit our entire family was to head up Koko Head; the lowest of the 29 summits on O'ahu. Even better is that it is paved the entire way up, which was perfect for pushing our jogging stroller up. 

Getting on the Trail

Easy paved hiking.
We parked at Koko Head Park at around 09:45 and readied the troops by lathering them up with sunblock. This park is also the most common place to park and climb Koko Crater (KH6/OH-021). From the parking lot we walked up and right on an access road to cross Hwy 72. The ever-present sound of gunfire was in the air as the Koko Head Shooting Complex is on the other side of the ridge line. The trail for Koko Head is just to the right of the Hanauma Bay Road entrance. This trail is paved because the FAA has a navigational aid (VOR) at the summit and they use this for access to this and other commercial cell and microwave towers along the rather plateau-shape of this summit. There is a gate at the beginning of the trail so you have to hoof-it. We saw several other hikers and families along the way, out enjoying the day as we were. It is an easy hike but was still steep enough, thirty percent grade perhaps in places, to get the heart rate going.

On the Summit 

Once we were near the top we passed the FAA's VOR and I noticed the no trespassing signs immediately around the facility. Just follow along the road (staying left near the top) to reach the actual summit and to steer clear. As I mentioned above, the top is really flat so identifying the true summit (21.2631, -157.7042) with a GPS or with the SOTA map satellite view is the best route. I located a stand of head-high bushes that suited well to place my antenna mast in for support. This day was not too breezy fortunately. A few bungee cords and we were on the air within ten minutes. Fifteen minutes after that I had fourteen contacts from across the continental United States. With the sound of lightning crashes in my headphones and the boys itching to get lunch, we decided to head back down. As I peered off toward Koko Crater I made future plans to active both of these Koko peaks in one day.
73 and safe hiking,

A great view of Koko Crater (left) and Hanauma Bay (snorkelers' paradise)

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