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SOTA Activation: Mount Bachelor, Deschutes County, Oregon - April 06, 2016

K7MAS's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

3 X 3 X 3 X 3 X 3 = Three Activations in three days with three, 3X3 (weak signal) contacts, amongst about 50 contacts overall.  During an early Spring vacation in the Bend, Oregon area, we enjoyed all that Central Oregon is famous for!  Good spring skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, SOTA Activations, and a sampling of several of the more than 80 breweries that exist in the greater Bend area.  This report, number 1 of 3, deals with the Activation of Mount Bachelor, 9,065 feet, 2,763 meters.

Mount Bachelor, W7O/CM-005, is a 10 point SOTA Summit in Central Oregon, near the city of Bend.  Access is relatively easy, any time of year.  This is because Mount Bachelor, a Strata Volcano of 9,065 elevation, is also a 58+ year old Alpine Ski Resort. During the Ski Season, it is possible to ride the “Summit Lift” to within ¼ mile and 110 vertical feet of the true summit.  Other times of year, after skiing is done, Mount Bachelor can be a pleasant snow hike, or a regular trail from the base facilities at about 6,300 feet elevation.  Alternatively, the Summit Lift operates during the summer months, to whisk tourist to the top in minutes.  As we had purchased Spring Season Ski Passes, I decided to activate via the summit lift, and ski down.  This would give me a 2,765 foot ski run!  

Our base of operations was a rental home in Sun River.  We have been vacationing in Central Oregon this way for over 35 years, averaging a trip to Bend / Sun River every 2 – 3 years. 


From the top of the Summit Express Chair, it is an easy walk of about 15 minutes to the summit - even wearing alpine ski boots.  I picked a day with a weather forecast for beautiful clear skies, mild temperatures and very little wind.  I was not disappointed!  Weather on the summit of Mount Bachelor can be ferocious!  This ski season alone, lift operations to the summit were suspended quite a number of times because of very strong winds.  At least once this season, wind gusts of more than 100 MPH were recorded on the summit.


I quickly set up for both 2M FM using an hand held radio, and HF, using my Inverted V Dipole slung from a 25 foot carbon fiber fishing pole.  In about an hour of operating time, I made 5 contacts on 2M FM and 10 contacts on 40M SSB.  I also had the pleasure of meeting up on the summit with my son, Jeremy - KC7SQD, who was up visiting from California for some spring skiing.  The rest of my time on the summit was occupied by answering the many questions posed by curious skiers about SOTA and amateur radio in general. 


The Mount Bachelor Ski Resort web page has great resources such as maps, a direct NOAA weather link for the mountain itself, web cams and other useful information, which is also good for nearby activations (such as Sisters and Broken Top). The information is especially useful for activations of Tumalo Mountain (W7O/CM-011), "right across the street" from Bachelor - which we actually activated the following day. See:  Other resources are at: and at: 


Thank you very much to all my contacts and the “Chasers”.  In particular I’d like to single out many members of the High Desert Amateur Radio Group (HiDARG), who I worked on both 2M and 40M, and who followed me over the three days and three Activations I had in the area.  Especially, I’d like to thank Max, KF7MAX, Secretary of the HiDARG, who sent out e-mail announcements and postings concerning my Activations.  I worked: K7NHB; KE7DDE; KF7MAX; W7KFO; W7YPZ; KF7MAX (40M); NG6R; K7HLN; KF7JVL; NS7P; AA7DK; K7NHB; WW7D; KB6KB and AC6FU.


End Report