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Sheridan Mountain, OR | July 2015

AK5SD's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

I did the first activation of Sheridan Mountain in July of 2015. I wrote up a quick trip report for the NASOTA group and planned to write a more detailed trip report later, but I lost my notes for the activation. Sheridan has not been activated again. I am writing this trip report now with the hope that someone will find it useful. Sheridan is not an easy summit to get to or climb, but it's not that hard either.

Let's sart with my original trip report and then I will add some commentary from memory.

I successfully activated Sheridan Mountain (W7O/CM-025) west of Sunriver, Oregon on Monday. Sheridan Mountain is a shield volcano (a type of volcano usually built almost entirely of fluid magma flows) of Mt. Bachelor. This is the first ever activation of this summit. Unfortunately, my decision to attempt this ascent was last minute so I didn't post my intentions here, but I did put an alert out on SOTAwatch and was able to self spot on the summit.

This activation had neither the longest hike or the greatest elevation change compared to my previous hikes, but it may have been the most treacherous. The forest road leading to the mountain was a bit much for my 2WD Honda Pilot and I almost got stuck at one point. I decided to stop there and hoof it the rest of the way. It was only 1.1 miles and a 650 foot elevation change from where I stopped, but the last 1/4 mile accounted for about 400 feet of that elevation change. It was straight up, no trails, bushwhacking with a constant grade of at least 30 degrees and sometimes 45 degrees. I was concerned about the descent while I was up there, but I managed it without any mishaps.

There is plenty of shade along the route and on the summit. The views are great, but partially obscured in places by trees. The summit had the usual cinder cone profile of a depression in the middle and an elevated rim going around it. You could probably hike the rim all the way around, but I did not attempt that. I was happy to get 8 QSOs in about 35 minutes and head back down. It was getting late and cold. My first QSO was with Rich, N4EX. He seemed dubious of the new activation, since he asked for verification of the summit designator. I had 4 contacts on 20m and 4 contacts on 40m. The number of 40m contacts is unusual for me and included AE9F (San Francisco), N7CNH (Eugene), KA1R (Portland), and K7HLN (Helena). It was good to get some "locals" in the log for a change.

This is not a activation for first-timers. I recommend at minimum a high clearance vehicle (4x4 will get you closer to the summit), a GPS, and trekking poles. Do not attempt this summit in wet conditions because the forest road leading to the summit is very sandy in spots and would likely become a mud hole. The final ascent would also be much more dangerous. On the bright side, there is decent cell coverage on the summit.

The road conditions alluded to in my original trip report are obviously from 2015. Conditions may be different now. The question is how did I approach the summit? I'm pretty sure that I came at it from the southeast via Slah Butte Road which turns into NF 4525. Follow that west until you reach NF 4528 and head north. If you made it this far, continue north to NF 300 and turn right. Your goal is the Sheridan Mountain Shelter. You won't get all the way there by vehicle, so stop when you can't go anymore and just follow the road on foot.

From the Sheridan Mountain Shelter, head northwest on Edison #3 trail to the base of the summit. If memory serves, the best access was from the west or southwest face of the mountain. You can see your destination from here, so pick your route and start your ascent.