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3387 (mt astronaut), wa | october 2022

K7WXW's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Summary - 3387 is a drive up on Weyerhauser land west of Mount Saint Helens and a two hour drive from SE Portland. The summit is treeless and has a great view of Goat Mountain and Mount Saint Helen. Don't count on two meters to make your four QSOs, cell phone service is marginal at best, APRS two way works. Overall, a nice place for a longer activation and can be part of a three or four summit day with careful planning.

You must have a Weyerhauser recreational permit ( for access and the company will make your life miserable if you are found on their land without one. Remember that Weyerhauser trucks and equipment *always* have the right-of-way, which can mean a long, scary reverse on one lane roads with few turnouts and significant exposure. In my book, that makes weekends the best time for a visit.

Long Version -  3387 is one of three four point summits approximately 15 miles west of Mount Saint Helens in the 160,000 acre tract of land owned by Weyerhauser. A recreational access permit, which comes with a gate key, is required. The drive from SE Portland to the gate at the end of Kalama River Road took 70 minutes (early on a Saturday morning) and the drive to the summit, another forty. The Weyerhauser maintained roads though sometimes steep and narrow, are generally in very good condition; roads in areas not being logged may be rougher.

Bring a mast if you want to put up an HF wire and be prepared for the wind, which can really blow. While not the highest hill in this bunch, 3387 has clear to the horizon in three directions and you can see other SOTA summits, like Goat Mountain, between you and Mount Saint Helens.

I made a couple of two meter contacts but if you really want to work VHF you are going to need more than a whip antenna. HF was easy to set up as I brought a mast with me and I made CW contacts on 40, 30, and 20 meters. APRS picked up my HT pings. I did not try APRS messaging but given the number of stations I picked up, it seemed a good bet. Cell phone service (ATT) came and went, reminding me that it is, after all, RF. I was able to self-spot and get alerts a few times, but not reliably.  

As I had designs on two other nearby hills, I did not dally. I spent about an hour on the summit from set up to tear down. It is definitely a nice operating position and worth a longer visit. My next stop: Butler Butte (W7W/LC-099) and I plan on ending the day at Elk Mountain (W7W/LC-053).