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Summit 7905, Idaho | July, 2015

K7ZO's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Summit 7905 W7I/BC-059 was the second stop on K7MK's and K7ZO's Idaho Triple Play day. (Along with Pilot Peak W7I/BC-056 and Sunset Mountain W7I/BC-062. See these other activation reports for the whole story of the day. Where appropriate, some text is repeated in each report to make each one a standalone complete story.)

We accessed Summit 7905 from our first summit, Pilot Peak. (See that activation report on the road condition getting to there.) From Pilot Peak we traveled back down Idaho Forest Service Road 380A to the junction and then headed off on 380B1. (Boise Forest Service - Idaho Ranger District maps show these roads quite well.) This road is not suitable for a passenger car, but then you can't get to this road in one anyway from Mores Creek Summit Parking Lot. A high ground clearance pickup or SUV might be able to make it, but even this road is best traveled in a vehicle more suitable for off road travel. But then it does not make sense for even these to try. After a little more than a mile we took a right turn and headed off on Forest Service Trail 690. Note that this is not a road but an ATV trail. So, all normal 4 wheeled vehicles need not even try for this summit and other travel methods are needed. Our experienced chauffeurs had little trouble in their RZRs along this narrow trail. Be aware there are some steep slopes, loose rock, and large roots along the trail. Of course you could hike the whole way. From Pilot's Peak it is about 3.5 miles or about 5-6 miles from the Mores Creek Parking lot - one way. Winter is actually one of the better times to get to 7905 when you could snowmobile in. In fact the two prior activations of 7905 were in the winter, likely for this reason.

Upon reaching Summit 7905 the RZR's stopped down below and we backpacked our gear up into the activation zone. There was one tree conveniently located in the open that we used to lash our SOTAbeam travel mast to. There is also plenty of open space with a reasonable amount vegetation if you wanted a more traditional guyed setup. From the looks of things we probably missed the peak of the wildflower season by a couple of weeks. If you are thinking of going to 7905, and want to experience an endless expanse of wildflowers, try the last week of June through the first two weeks of July. I bet it is amazing.

We were unsure of our cell phone connectivity so had multiple solutions with us. The nearest APRS digipeater was about 40 miles away and we were ready to use APRS2SOTA as our spotting solution of last resort. More or less as expected our AT&T phones showed "No Service" so a direct connect solution was not going to work. K7MK had brought along his StraightTalk Mobile Hotspot which, though they don't say, appears to use the Verizon network. He put that down on rock, it connected to the cell network, we connected to it with our iPhones and voila, we had a wireless network out in the middle of nowhere. So, that is how we spotted ourselves and this solution played out on our other two summits of the day.

Our original plan was to erect two separate stations on each summit. However a plumbing emergency at K7ZO's QTH caused a one hour start delay. When we got to 7905 we realized we were running out of time. We needed to move into our quick activation -- pit stop -- mode. We have this pretty well choreographed. While K7MK puts up the mast and KX3 Helper EndFed antenna K7ZO puts together his TS-480. Typically we can be on the air in about 5 minutes from packs down.

Once the station was together K7ZO sat down with the mic while K7MK got ready to spot us. Just for fun K7ZO sent out a quick "are there any SOTA chasers on frequency" on 14.347. Tom/W7RV came right back and was pounding in so I had him spot us. That was nice. From there K7ZO and K7MK played tag team at the mic. This both allowed us to get the contacts we needed to make it a good activation as well as it generated QSO points for the chasers in our 2015 Idaho Kool-Aid Kids Chaser Challenge. Thanks for everyone who worked us. (See below for the current Chaser Challenge Standings.)

We ended up being on the air for just aout 10 minutes, making 13 QSOs all on 20M. We spotted ourselves on 40M and called CQ for a couple of minutes with no takers. With that it was time to take the station down and head back to the Mores Creek Summit Parking Lot. It was now past 4:30PM local time (MDT) and we needed to get a move on. To get down we reversed our route back down the 690 ATV trail to the Forest Service Road 380 and 380B1 junction and then headed down Forest Service Road 380 to the parking area. Even in the RZRs this was a typical "it takes longer to go downhill" slog and it took us 45 minutes to get back to the parking area.

At the end of the day after all three summits, the Top 10 in our 2015 Idaho Kool-Aid Kids Chaser Challenge are:

         # of
Callsign QSOs
W7RV      17
W0MNA     14
W0ERI     13
N4EX      12
NG6R       9
AA7DK      6
KB1RJD     6
AE9F       5
K4MF       5
N6KZ       5
VE2JCW     5