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Camel Hump, Montana July 25, 2020

KJ7OKW's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Camel Hump is a summit out of St. Regis, Montana on the Interstate 90. From St. Regis you have about a 7 mile drive on paved roads, then about a 6.5 mile drive up Forest Service road 3800. At that point you encounter a closed gate but it's an easy 1 mile walk to the summit from here. Please refer to my saved map in the link below. You do not need a four wheel drive on this road, any car can make it easily. 

There is an active fire lookout station at the top of the peak. Today it was manned and I was hesitant to make my presence known for fear I might not be allowed to transmit so near the tower. There are a few places on the lightly forested summit that I was able to get a clear view of the surrounding terrain. I would have loved to get to the top of the lookout where I'm sure I would have had a 360 degree view. 

I got three contacts. Close but no cigar once again. However when I turned on the radio I immediately heard someone thanking someone else for a contact. KJ7NXK and his wife KJ7OTI were on Stevens Peak, 38 miles away on W7I/NI-038. So I got my first summit-to-summit!!

I'm still using my YAESU FT2D 5 watt handheld on 2 meters FM, but today I brought my new handheld, portable 4 element YAGI antenna. And it sure does reach out. See link below for antenna details.

I reached K7VK in Missoula, once he pointed his antenna towards me, with a clear 57 on both ends. The previous week I tried reaching him fron a peak 20 miles closer to him and I barely heard him and he could not hear me. 

I briefly heard a contact from Idaho loud and clear but we never connected. Although only 2 points, this should be an easy summit to activate especially if you use a different band SSB or CW. 



Link to map:


Link to antenna: