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SOTA Activation: "Mount Attenuator", AKA "Summit Lake Peak", Pierce County, Washington - May 30, 2016

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A fantastic Activation together with my SOTA Buddy, Tim, KG7EJT, along with his wife Masako, my wife Sharon & Dexter the SOTA Dog on Memorial Day 2016.  Great weather, fantastic views from the summit and a successful SOTA Activation for both of us, yielded a memorable outing. "Mount Attenuator", mostly known as Summit Lake Peak, is approximately 3 miles north of Mount Rainier National Park.  Thus it affords incredible sweeping outlook of the north aspect of mighty Mount Rainier.  Mount Attenuator is 5,780 feet (1,762 meters) high, and is reached via approximately 6.1 mile RT trail.  Elevation gain is approximately 1,360 feet.

Access to TH is via SR165 and then Carbon River Road through the towns of Wilkeson and Carbonado.  Carbon River Road is followed to a crossing of the Carbon River via a nice steel & concrete bridge.  This is the last “nice” thing about the drive to the TH. Past the bridge, prepare for 6.8 miles each way of Forest Service “Road” #7810. This road is in extremely poor condition, and it takes as long as 40 – 45 minutes to cover the 6.8 miles.  Not recommended for low clearance vehicles, although you will see some at the TH!  Thankfully the trail is much nicer than the approach.  On our outing, in early season, there were quite a number of blowdown trees which presented obstacles of various difficulties.  We hit solid snow near Summit Lake and the rest of the way to Mount Attenuator summit.  The summit itself was clear of snow, and warm in the sun.  Hordes of holiday hikers looked on curiously at out antenna farm…Inverted V Dipole, slung from 25 foot high carbon fiber pole + a 4 element Yagi that Tim was using for 2M FM.  There was a festive feeling in the air because of it being Memorial Day, with American flags in display, and abundant sounds of gunshots from the various shooting spots we passed on the road to the TH.

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 In about 55 minutes of operating, I made 12 contacts, all on 40M SSB. I worked: W7GPP; W7WCS; K6IOU; N7YT; W7ZRC; AF7BO; KF7PXT; K7FD; K7EZI; KB7WDP/P; W7DEB and KB7PYF.  Thank you to all the “Chasers” and my contacts.  I appreciate each and every SOTA contact that I make.  

Most Photos: Tim Nair, KG7EJT