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Silver Star Activation

KF7PXT's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

On 27 March Etienne (K7ATN) and I activated Silver Star mountain. The weather report called for rain with a break around mid day. We headed to the trailhead, Route: Washougal, WA to Washougal River Road (approx. 10 mi), to Skye Rd to 412th AVE to Skamania Mines Rd. Follow the signs to silver star. We reached the TH at about 0840 and started up the trail. At about 1/8 of a mile the trail splits, take the right split. We found out the hard way and got about 1/4 mile down the trail before I checked the map and realized we were on the wrong trail. We backtracked and headed up the split to the right. At about 1 mile in we started to hit sporadic snow on the trail. The rain slowly turned to snow and slowly got deaper to the summit. By the time that we were going by Pyramid rock the trail was covered in snow and the rain was turning to snow. Pyramid rock was slightly visible through the snow. We continued on and the snow slowly got deaper. When we reached the summit the snow was consistently about 3ft deep and Etienne and I were trading off who was in the lead packing the snow. It was definitely a team effort getting through the snow! I set up on the West side of the summit and Etienne set up closer to the summit proper to do 2m SSB operations. I quickly set up the 22ft wire antenna in a rough deployment which was more vertical like then anything else. and got everything out and hooked up. I got a spot out no problem on SOTA goat and immediately got 4 contacts on 10mhz. I called cq a couple times after that with no taker and immediately moved to 14mhz. I called on 14.060 and immediately got Tommy W7RV who had been waiting for me apparently. Thanks Tommy as I did not have much time. I called CQ one more time with no takers and had to call it quits. My hands were just to cold and my AME Porta Paddle was getting a bad connection on the DAH side of the paddle. In all my 5 contacts were in 13 minutes and that is about all I could handle. I packed my equipment up hastily and headed up the hill to where Etienne was working SSB. I listened to him call CQ a couple times and then helped him pack up. We headed off the hill and got down out of the wind where the temperature was more comfortable. We made the descent down to the Truck and headed back towards town. Etienne and I had great conversation and a great activation even if it was very quick. Despite the snow and the cold it was a great day out on a SOTA!


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