Lake Mountain Provo
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On a wonderful weathered May 10th of 2009, I finally made the trek to the top of Lake Mountain. With my GPS in tow, I wasn't getting lost this time, no siree. But hence, I did get lost... before plugging in the directions. Lake Mountain is accessible from two possible directions and roads. From the north (the one I should have taken), the road climbs from Saratoga Springs. From the south, you start out on Soldier Hollow Road, a popular location for ATVs and people with too much time on their hands.
Needless to say, I was led to the south road by my GPS. This part of the road, like my hunch, was in terrible shape. I drove up in the new RTLI mobile, a 2002 Subaru Outback. You've probably all seen those ads from Subaru that show the cars immersed in streams and driving on rocky roads. I was scared to death doing this in my Subaru. False advertising I might add on behalf of Subaru. The road to the summit took me nearly half an hour to navigate, as it goes through many switchbacks in a narrow canyon. I suspect the road has never been graded.
Anyway, enough rambling.
The first tower you see when coming from the south is the tallest tower on the mountain:
Located in the center of the picture at left is the tower that carried KUPX (Channel 16 ION Television) analog and KUTH (Channel 32 Univision) analog as well. KUTH was broadcasting its digital signal from the same tower, beginning June 12, 2009. KUPX, however, moved its DTV operations to Farnsworth Peak in Salt Lake City. In mid-late 2010, KUTH applied for a construction permit to move its digital broadcast to Farnsworth Peak near Salt Lake City. This would leave only the low powered TV translators on the mountain. The center tower features generators and multiple satellite dishes to receive programming for the stations. It also features two microwave dishes center tower, that receive programming from the studios in Salt Lake City. More pictures of this tower can be found at the bottom of this page. The defunct K284AI 104.7 translator (now taken over by KYLZ) was located on this tower, but has since been removed.
The tower farthest right of screen has a television station too. It is known as K22IT, broadcasting on channel 22, carrying Exitos TV programming from its parent station KEJT-LP in Salt Lake An affiliate of KTMW, known as K49GD is carried from the same tower! K22IT is pointing east (right) in the photo above and K49GD is pointing towards the camera (south) in this picture. K49GD is licensed to Spanish Fork, Utah. One last television station comes from this tower. K43JV, channel 43, an affiliate of 3ABN, broadcasts a meager 4,000 watts.
On the FM side of the dial, the tower at right carries K217CL, 91.3 FM, a religious station. The station broadcasts with only 10 watts. I'm assuming that the STAs on the left of the tower are used by K217CL. I couldn't find any other FM translators located on Lake Mountain. Notice in the picture at left, we are looking north. The farthest left tower (seen below) is for KKLV-FM 107.5. KUDE-FM1, an on channel booster on 103.9 allows the main licensed to Nephi (south of here) to be heard better in Utah County and southern Salt Lake County, and comes from the same tower.
Located north of the KUPX/KUTH compound, is the tower for KKLV-FM. This station is a religious relay of the "K-LOVE" radio network. The station was better known as Country Legends 107.5. Citadel sold then KKAT-FM to K-LOVE in 2010, however continued ot operate the station via satellite from the studios of Country Legends. The station is requesting to move its tower north to Farnsworth Peak area, in order to reach a better audience.
The station was perhaps more popularly known as 107.5 The End, with different call letters - KENZ. KENZ is now on 101.9 in Salt Lake City, and previously featured a 90s hits format, after dropping "The End" monkier in 2010. It then became "Classic Hits 101.9" after that. This change of frequencies happened in the early 2000s, and was done so for signal purposes.
Unfortunately, Lake Mountain lacks the coverage that Farnsworth has, and stations just can't reach the entire Wasatch Front from here. Then again, those stations that are on Farnsworth are weak down here on Lake Mountain.
KKLV-FM has its own Wikipedia page here.
FCC Data for KKLV
Continuing north from KKLV, past a few local service microwave towers, we find...
Located north of KKLV-FM, are these two towers. Both towers carry local services. These services include the BLM, US Forest Service, local fire/ems/police re-transmitters, and businesses who need microwave communications. I suspect that the State of Utah uses one of these towers for communications as well.
What is more important here is the amateur radio repeaters.
At least two repeaters use the tower at left. Specifically, a repeater on 144.760 MHz, known as W7SP. The receive antenna is the left most vertical antenna on the very top. Near the lower portion of the tower on the left is the transmit antenna.
Note, this information came directly from the following site.
Continuing north from the towers above...
Here, at the farthest north point of the summit, stands the tower for KHTB 94.9 Provo. 94.9 is formerly known as 949 Z-Rock, operated by Citadel. It was purchased from Millcreek Broadcasting in late 2008. During its time owned by Millcreek Broadcasting, the station was popularly known as "The Blaze", hence the call letters K Hot (94.9) The Blaze.
Citadel failed to acquire naming rights of the Blaze, and Millcreek used the defunct KOAY signal to become the new Blaze on 97.5. Despite allowing them to have an enormously larger area covered, many people at Millcreek were displeased with the sale of the station. KBER (Citadel) and what was then KZZQ (the Blaze) had been rivals for a very long time. Now KZZQ has been sold to Simmons, and is known as KZNS-FM, a simulcast of 1280 AM KZNS from Salt Lake. KHTB features an alternative format, branded as ALT 94.9.
There have been some reports from Citadel insiders that the transmitter for KHTB was in really bad shape and in dire need of maintenance, when purchased from Millcreek. Whether this is the fault of Millcreek, or a previous owner of the station is unknown. Given the shape of the road to this tower, it's no surprise that the tower gets left alone long periods of time.
KHTB has a Wikipedia page here.
FCC Query of KHTB
KHTB web site.
Now we turn our attention back to the south. There are many other towers on Lake Mountain we still have to see.
Broadcasting from one of these towers (likely the right center tower), are the remainder of amateur radio repeaters on Lake Mountain (3 to be exact). From the tower farthest right (behind the bushes), comes K256AE 99.1 FM. This is a translator of the Salt Lake City station KJMY 99.5 HD-2 known on air as "Utah County's Classic Country 99.1" filling the void 107.5 left when it flipped formats. While I was up there, it was off air, but it returned to air in early July of 2009. The local affiliate of KLOV, known as K213CP, broadcasts from the same tower. It is on 90.5 MHz. I also got word that there are two boosters up here for two rim-shot stations in the area.
And that about wraps it up for Lake Mountain. Below are some more photos of the mountain.
From left to right: 1) Generators used by KUPX/KUTH, at the base of the tower. 2) A marmot, visiting me while visiting the towers. 3) Looking up at the former KUPX and KUTH.
Left to right: 1) A tower on the mountain north of the KUPX tower. I'm unsure of its use. If you know, email me at wilkinspeak @ yahoo.com. 2) Yagis located next to the strange tower pictured left. These remind me of the same yagis used by small FM translators. The FCC's coordinates are not "here" on any of the above mentioned FM translators. 3) The final picture is of my Subaru sitting on the road. I walked most of the way to the summit as the road from this spot to the towers was nothing but rocks.
Updated in 2014 to reflect changes to the radio dial in SLC. There is expected to be another major shift in the near future which may or may not be addressed here in given time.