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First SOTA Activation: Tibbetts Mountain - Chelan County, Washington - April 29, 2017

K7MAS's picture
Cellular Provider: 

A bit of research showed several gems waiting to be Activated, while the high country is still buried in deep, unstable snow.  Tibbetts Mountain is a 4 point SOTA Summit, of a modest 4,115 feet elevation.  It has a fantastic vantage point, overlooking the beautiful Wenatchee River Valley, the City of Wenatchee, and several towns lying along SR 2, the major east / west highway connecting western and eastern Washington State.  We opted for the more reasonable north approach, which is mainly a very steep forest service road, with about 1/4 mile of easy off road climb along the summit ridge.  The total distance is 6.2 miles RT, with approximately 1,850 feet elvation gain.  A bonus was that the apple orchards in the Wenatchee River Valley were in full bloom, and the mountain flower were awaking from winter slumber.

We approached Tibbets Mountain from the North, via Forest Service Road 112 / 7410.  Access to Road 112 is via Ollala Canyon Road, which itself is reached via the town of Dryden, Washington.  It took us about 2 1/2 hours driving time from Bellevue.  There is a good description of the long way to Tibbets at the Summit Post web site.  See:

The long route, from the South, is described therein. 

We opted for the road walk up Forest Service 112.  We did see 2  4X4 vehicles drive up the road, to within 1/4 mile of the summit.  We walked the road, as we don't have a capable vehicle to tackle this somewhat rough and rutted road.  There is a good description of the road route, as a mountain bike outing, here:

Lower down, the route was not very pretty as it traverses through an area burnet several years back.  As we gained elevation, we rose above the burn areas, and the views of the region became more & more impressive.  Most prominent were the views South, towards the Stuart Range & Enchantments.  The summit of Tibbetts is generally open, and looking down about 2,000 feet to the Wenatchee River Valley, the city of Wenatchee and the Columbia River to the east, and west towards the Leavenworth area.  The Orchards were in full bloom, and lent an aura of shimmering white to portions of the valley below.

In a little over an hour of operating, including a lunch break, I made 15 contacts.  On 40M SSB, I made 10 contacts and on 2M FM, I made 5 contacts.  There was barely any wind, but high clouds and haze began to filter in from the west as the day wore on.  It was very comfortable at the summit.

I worked: W6IO; AC6FU; K7HLN; W6JMP; KB6KAX; K7VK; K7ORG; W7MR; WA6YPE and AE9F on 40M SSB and KB7MVF; KG7KPX; KE7MPO; KI7LHK and KD7DXX on 2M FM.  Thank you to each and every SOTA Contact.  I appreciate you all!