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NC-071 - Hembre Ridge, Oregon

K7EEX's picture
Summit: 
W7O/NC-071
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 
AT&T

W7O/NC-071, listed as summit number 3058, is a part of what is more commonly referred to as Hembre Ridge.  While formally Hembre Ridge is the ridgeline that runs northeast to southwest, summit 3058 is the highest point in this massif.  I’ll leave it to others to quibble about whether this summit should be renamed.  

Five hundred yards to the northwest of the summit and several hundred feet lower sits the Hembre Ridge Lookout.  This was previously the site of a fire lookout but now all that remains are the foundation posts.  At one point the viewpoint provided excellent views down into the upper Wilson River drainage but now trees have reclaimed the vista point.  One of the oldest geocaches in the world, GCA5 – Hembre Ridge is located here.  People come from all over the world to visit and log this cache.

It was under the pretense of finding this geocache that I was able to convince Mrs. K7EEX to go on an outing for the Willamette Valley Summit to Summit Party.  She is an avid geocacher and GCA5 was the last cache that she needed to complete a long sought-after achievement.  Ironically, after travelling the world collecting rare and unique caches, the one she needed most sat just over an hour’s drive from the QTH.

To get to the summit, take Kansas Creek Road off of Highway 6.  Follow Kansas Creek road upwards for 7.1 miles.  There are brightly painted trees along the route marked “Hembre Ridge” acting as mile markers.  Take a sharp left at 45.48269 -123.54675 and continue up the hill.  In 0.8 miles, stay right at the fork in the road. The left goes to the viewpoint (and GCA5).  The right goes up to and past the summit.  There are several pullouts along the road to the left before the summit which allow for a short hike to the clearcut top.  The road to the summit area is doable without a high clearance four-wheel drive vehicle if driven carefully.

Since I had a couple of Sherpas with me, I felt free to bring extra stuff.  Whereas I had recently strained at carrying the weight of all this stuff up Green Mountain (W7O/NC-036), today I just quietly put it in their packs and told them how much I love spending time with the family in the mountains.  After my near effortless ascent to the summit, we setup the Buddistick for 20m on a nice flat stump and got ready for the QSO party.

The sun was shining, the views were great, and the summit to summit contacts were plentiful on 2m.  In fact, there were so many contacts, when the girls got bored, we tore down the HF rig and decided to do the activation entirely on the handheld.  Contacts were made on the HT all the way south to Mary’s Peak (W7O/CC-001) and north to High Rock, Washington (W7W/PL-029).  We celebrated our activation with Oreos, high fives, and lots of photos.

This peak deserves more attention than it gets.  It has a nice operating position, fairly easy access, and good views to the ocean and other Oregon coastal peaks.  Maybe it should be called Hembre Ridge…

 

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