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big bull wa | october 2022

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

Summary - Big Bull is one of three peaks (LC-100, LC-091, LC-068) in the Northeast corner of Weyerhauser's Longview land. It is a drive up roughly two hours from Portland, much of it over logging roads. There is a very short hike (twenty yards)  to the densely forested summit and the best operating position is in an opening a little below the top.  Don't count on two meters to make your four QSOs. Cell phone service is marginal, and APRS pings get picked up.

A Weyerhauser recreational permit (which includes a key for the gates) is required for access. The company is actively logging in the area and trucks and equipment *always* have the right-of-way. This can mean a long, scary reverse on one lane roads with few turnouts and significant exposure. Weekends are quiet and the best time for a visit. Given the confusing welter of logging roads, the company-maintained map is a must.

Long Version - Big Bull is in a remote northeast corner of the Weyerhauser Longview parcel. The drive from SE Portland to the furthest peak is two and a half hours, with much of it over logging roads. The drive up ends a few yards below the summit, which is small and densely forested. I chose an operating position in a small clearing at the edge of the trees roughly ten feet below the top.  Nothing to see from my operating position but nearby is a clearing with a good view of Mount Saint Helens and Goat Mountain.

As with the other two peaks in this group, the two meter band was very quiet and cell service was non-existent. APRS pings were frequent.  I set up a mast for HF (there are trees if you want to throw a wire up) and used an EFRW as a sloper.  Band conditions were good; over forty-five minutes I made twenty-six CW contacts on 40, 30, 20, and 17 meters and had some success chasing S2S. After an hour or so, I was ready to call it a day, packed up, and made my way home.