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SOTA Activation Success: Beckler Peak, North Cascades On 2 Meters

KG7EJT's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

The payoff for this relatively short non-technical summit is huge!  Fantastic 360° views from the summit.  Closest prominent peaks include, Mount Baring, Glacier Peak and the Monte Cristo Group.  I'd been to the summit of Beckler several times prior to learning of SOTA. I recalled the location of Beckler Peak was quite remote; there are no major towns within a 40 mile radius of the peak, and, Beckler is surrounded by many higher peaks. This trip was an experiment; given the aforementioned hindrances, would it be possible make contacts on 2 meters?  Looking at the map at home, it appeared my best hope for contacts was the Cashmere and Wenatchee areas which were located about 40 miles southwest of Beckler Peak. 

I knew I needed lots of ERP, so, a brought along my Arrow Antenna 4-Element Yagi for my Yaesu VX-6R HT (5 Watts) on 2 meters. 

The Arrow Antenna performed wonderfully! With it, I was able to make contacts in the Seattle area, as well as on Vancouver Island!  No success in reaching the Wenatchee area - I think Mount Daniel and Mount Hinman effectively blocked my signal. After making contacts, I took out my trusty MFJ-1714 telescopic antenna, which normally performs very well with the Yaesu - I was able to hit the Seattle PSRG repeater, but unable to hold it well. I switched back to the Arrow Antenna and was told I had full quieting into the repeater - no wonder the Arrow Antenna worked so well on simplex!  


I also made my first "Summit to Summit" contact, although the other summit was not an officials SOTA summit. I spoke with VA7VK, who was on the summit of Douglas Mountain on Vancouver Island - about 117 miles northwest of Beckler Peak. David (VA7VK), was on a HT also, but with only a whip antenna. So, the Arrow Antenna is awesome at picking out relatively weak signals, as well as putting out a powerful signal.