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.
Last full day of summer, 2014 - A short Activation hike to a beautiful mountaintop view from the somewhat smallish summit area of Mount Catherine.
A last minute decision to attempt a SOTA Activation on the last full day of summer 2014, led us to choose Mount Catherine, behind the Summit East (Hyak) ski area, near Snoqualmie Pass.
For a couple of hours yesterday on the last Sunday of summer, I enjoyed the pleasant ambiance of Nason Ridge West. Well, OK, I could hear and see the highway traffic below me but it was still quite peaceful on top. In fact, I didn't feel very much like leaving and stayed much longer than normal, soaking it in. Wish I could bottle this and pull it out of the cupboard in January...
This could be the second of two 6-point peaks in the same day when you combine this with an activation of Union Peak (SN-082) - you'll want to cross Union on the way to Jove anyway!
This could be the first of two 6-point peak activations in the same day - just combine this with Jove Peak (SN-058) which is just a bit further up the same trail. These peaks are located in the Mt Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest just east of Steven’s Pass on. Access is via a Forest Service Road #6700 (Smithbrook) iwhich is rough, but ok for passenger vehicles. Parking is off of a spur road, so a NW Forest Pass isn’t needed here.
The hard drive on the server that runs pnwsota.org failed sometime on Wednesday. I replaced out the physical hard drive in the machine and Dan Smith spent many difficult hours restoring the data to the machine. Things should be good for a while, but more of the drives in these machines have been failing. Sometime in the near future we may announce a "remodelling" where we'll push this to another better box. Thanks in the mean time to Dan Smith for his hard work on all aspects of the site. I just provide resources; Dan is the one that does all the hard work.
Dock Butte has great views of it's Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest home. There is plenty of antenna room on the summit and it's only a short 3-mile roundtrip hike. The trail is great - a bit steep and requires just a very short scramble near the top. It took us about an hour from the trailhead.
Located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness off the West Fork Foss River Trail #1064 near Skykomish, this peak is between Big Heart and Angeline lakes. Big Heart Lake is about a 7.3 mile hike in, and the trail is steep and rocky at times. You'll also pass Trout, Copper and Little Heart Lakes on your way with wonderful scenery at all times.
Surprise Mountain is right off of Section J of the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 in Washington. We were hiking south from the Steven’s Pass trailhead and camped at Deception Lakes - about 17.5 miles from the trailhead. From that point, it is only 1.3 miles and a 1300’ gain up the Surprise Mountain Trail #1063 to the summit. Following the horse camp signs along a very well maintained trail got me on the right path.
Pinnacle Peak is a popular spot for beginning activators in this area: it's very accessible, and there are both northen and southern trail routes. My YF and I used the Cal Magnusson trail on the North Side. It is a popular spot for hikers (often with dogs) and runners -- steep but only about a mile to the summit. One runner told us she'd made the ascent in 32 minutes. We took more like 50 minutes.