The pnwSOTA website was created to facilitate communication between SOTA operators in the Pacific Northwest region, as well as show off some of the activities of the top-notch folks we have in the area. On this site you will find information about getting started in SOTA as well as details about summits and activations contributed by people that are operating here.
"Sporadic-E Peak" (W7W/RS-019) is known to hikers as South Slide Mountain or, simply, Peak 6620. This 8-point summit, located in the northeastern part of Mt. Rainier National Park offers spectacular views at the end of a vigorous, but straightforward hike. Most of the route is on well-established and maintained trails, although the final 1.5 miles is on an unofficial trail. The final mile takes you across a sharp ridge to several smaller (non-SOTA) peaks before arriving at S. Slide. The 9.5 mile round trip yields about 2,500' of elevation gain.
Sims Butte can be accessed via the Obsidian trail #3528. This is within a high-use area and requires a $6.00 permit through www.recreation.gov. Hike in about 3/4 mile and turn right off the trail to hike across a log-strewn area to the base of the butte. The butte itself is heavily littered with downed trees and underbrush. It is a tough climb, but fortunately the summit lies only about 500 vertical feet higher. We used an old naked tree to string up the inverted vee antenna.
Chinook Peak is an 8-point, 6,904' summit located very near Chinook Pass on Washington state highway 410 and is about 3 miles south of Crystal Mountain. The peak is not overly difficult to summit, but requires good navigation skills or a reliable GPS, as there are no established trails for part of the route. The trip to the summit is only about 2.5 miles with 1,900' of elevation gain, but most of that gain is compressed into a one mile stretch of steep cross-country ascent. The summit offers splendid 360 degree views, including a broad view of Mt. Rainier to the west.
Shriner Peak is home to one of the four remaining fire lookout cabins in Mt Rainier National Park. The 4.5 mile hike is strenuous with rewards of spectacular views of the west side of Mt Rainier plus the six SOTA points.
Thomas Mountain stands at 5,269' just north of Easton, WA, sandwiched between Lake Kachess and Lake Cle Elum. This challenging 6 point summit overlooks Kachess ridge to the west and Easton ridge to the south. The summit is only about four miles from the trail head, but don't let that short distance fool you. The trip packs in a couple of steep trail ascents that each have you climbing over 1,000 feet per mile, and has an overall elevation gain of 3,400' for the round trip.
An 8 point SOTA Summit, activated on a beautiful, clear summer day, with good company, a successaful activation and capped off with a bracing swim in Dewey Lake made for a very memorable outing. Approximately 6.25 Miles total travel and 2,100 feet gain, including the side trip to Dewey Lake, and climb out of the lake basin back to PCT / Naches Peak Loop Trail junction.
Mt. Sawyer (W7W/KG-052) is a fun, easy 6 point summit that offers outstanding views of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and way beyond. The trail head has good accessibility from good gravel roads. The summit rises to 5,501' along the western end of the Tonga Ridge. The hike to the summit has 1,200' of elevation gain over about 3 miles (one way). The trails are well-maintained most of the way, although the final ascent includes some sections with vegetation encroaching into the trail. The summit itself has plenty of room for radios and masts, and some reasonably tall trees for wire antennas.
Sunset Mountain W7I/BC-062 was the third and final stop on K7MK's and K7ZO's Idaho Triple Play day. (Along with Pilot Peak W7I/BC-056 and Summit 7905 W7I/BC-059. See these other activation reports for the whole story of the day. Where appropriate, some text is repeated in each report to make each one a standalone complete story.)
Summit 7905 W7I/BC-059 was the second stop on K7MK's and K7ZO's Idaho Triple Play day. (Along with Pilot Peak W7I/BC-056 and Sunset Mountain W7I/BC-062. See these other activation reports for the whole story of the day. Where appropriate, some text is repeated in each report to make each one a standalone complete story.)