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Shafer Butte, Idaho (Winter SOTA)

KF7URE'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

On Wednesday, March 2, 2016, I completed my first winter SOTA at Shafer Butte, Idaho (W7I/BC-064).  Best way to get there is take the Bogus Basin Road 16 miles from Boise to Bogus Basin Ski Area, then continue about another couple miles to Pioneer (upper) Lodge parking lot.  During ski season Pioneer Lodge has open restrooms, lunch room, dining area, and beer bar.  From the Pioneer Lodge one can snowshoe or nordic ski up a ski trail or transverse the mountain from about 6,750' elevation for about a mile to Shafer Butte 7,582'.  Or one can alpine ski a variety of ski runs and lifts until you arrive at Shafer Butte.  FYI, off ski season Shafer Butte to hike or mountain bike. During the summer month, the ski lifts run for mountain bikers as another option.

The snow had a 52" at base and mid 30 degrees with a 3 - 5 mph wind.  I chose to alpine ski, then hike the last little bit with skis upon my shoulders up and around Shafer Butte Lookout / Ski Patrol Station.  The original Shafer Butte Fire Lookout was built in 1927, then redesign in 1958, then later the Bogus Basin Ski Area/Patrol added the third floor.

I set up on the southeast side of the butte, making sure no microwave antennas were pointing at me.  Snow was well over six feet at the summit.  I used 2-meters for this SOTA.  So I made an announcement about 8:10 am just after the Over the Hill Commuter Net on 146.240 Cinnabar Repeater owned by Voice of Idaho (W7VOI).  By the way, at Shafer Butte there are two 2-meter amateur's public repeaters: Idaho Society of Radio Amateurs (K7BSE) 146.94 and Voice of Idaho (W7VOI) 146.84. 

At 3:00 pm MST / 20:00z, I began my QSOs for SOTA.  I used my Yaesu VX-8DR and made 15 successful SOTA contacts on 146.520 MHz (simplex). Thank you to my friends and SOTA Chasers: Gene (W4IMT), Nick (K7NQB), Kyle (W7KBX),Vitaliy (KC7AXH), John (W7SAG), Simon (KC8WF), Lon ((N7LGA), Ron (K7KEZ), Dale (KG7KVI), Chris (KG7VLX), James (K7IDO), Michael (N7IDF), Rob (KK7ZI), Nick (AE1NE), and Don (K7IJN).