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Palisades Pk - 28 September 2014

KR7W's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Some stations received, but no digi echos

Directions are from the Seattle Mountaineers book-  Guide to 100 Hikes at Mt Rainier National Park:  

Drive SR 410 4.5 miles south of the Crystal Mountain ski area turnoff and turn right on Sunrise Park Road. Drive 13 miles to Sunrise Point. Park in the large parking lot (elevation 6100').

From the east end of the parking lot, take the trail toward Sunrise Lake but turn north on the trail marked Palisades Lakes.  Continue on the trail, and before reaching Dicks Lake come to a sign for Hidden Lake. Turn left on this trail and follow it past the lake; then ascend to the saddle between Marcus and the Palisades. At the saddle, head north and approach the high point over a gentle slope. It may be slightly easier to go beyond the summit and double back on the northwest ridge, as this avoids some thick vegetation".

Ms Pat WT7N and I followed the boot track from the Lake to the top of the Saddle X we pushed through thick bushy trees into a large meadow which revealed the route to Marcus Pk.  But instead, we ascended the meadow north, found an opening in the thick trees and headed upward toward the top of Palisades.  We zig-zagged upward avoiding the thick clumps of trees for approx 400 vertical ft.  We ended up on a saddle- about 40 vertical ft below the highest of the two bumps that make up the summit where I uttered, like pioneers before me, " It is enough. This is the place!"  at 1245 PM LT.

On the summit saddle it was easy to attach my fish pole mast to a scrub tree and then carefully fan out the antennas wires in the scree among the scrubby trees.  I propped my 2 meter coaxial vertical antenna in a bush and set the D72 APRS Handy Talkie on a rock next to my operating position.

40M CW was produced 6 QSOs- which is a lot, 5 QSOs on 30M, and 15 QSOs on 20M.  4 QSOs on 2M FM were made interleaved between HF QSOs.  I again was amazed by 2M contacts.  A newbie ham in Lacey with a $40 HT- 57 miles away, A ham in his living room in Ellensburg- 50 miles away, and to a ham operating a remote base near Nassele, WA- 112 miles away.  I could have made many more contacts but time ran out.

The trip down was almost uneventful- we saw mountain goats grazing on the rocky slopes above Hidden Lake... and there were lots more people on the trail on this beautiful fall day.  Some hikers spotted my collapsed fish pole and/or my 2 meter coax dipole in the pockets of my pack.  Some would ask, "Hey, what's that for?" I'd reply that I am a ham operator participating in SOTA (and explain that).  Some would ask, "What's the furthest station you contacted?".  I'd say, "NJ or NH or TN".  I actually knew where because more and more chasers are including their STATE in the contact exchange.  A tip of the appreciation hat to Chasers who take the time to do that!

Next year I will be back to set up my tent for a few days at Dick's Lake back country camp and will attempt to summit Palisades and Marcus Pks from a base camp.  I am looking forward to that.

Photo credits:  Pat WT7N.

A quick movie of this outing:

End of Blog.  72   Rich KR7W

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