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Devils Peak 2021 WV S2S Party Snowshoe

N7KOM's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

DIRECTIONS NOTE: Google Maps may try to send you on "Rd 20" off of HWY 26. Unfortunately the bridge that crosses Still Creek is CLOSED. Take Still Creek Rd, off of HWY 26. 

For the 2021 Willamette Valley S2S party I wanted something that would get my heart rate up and I finally settled on Devil's Peak (W7O/CN-033). After a detour in Rhodedendron (see above), I parked at the trailhead and started up. That's what this trail does. It goes up. 

Overall the trail is in good condition, but there are a number of downed trees from recent storms. These obsticals are mostly lower down in the hike. I brought snowshoes and put them on at around 3300'. There was a decent boottrail to follow and I only lost it once on the way up. Generally, if you head uphill, you're going the right direction. A map / GPS can be useful to make sure you are following the ridge and staying out of the steeper terraine.

I had started my hike at 7am, so the the snow was still fairly solid for the exposed ridgeline to the summit. If it had been a bit more frozen I would have maybe prefered crampons. The snowshoes I was using were lightweight "running" snowshoes, so don't exactly excell at steep. Standard snowshoes should be fine, or be prepared to kick steps and/or post hole your way up the ridge. Temps are rising now, so stick away from the cornice on the ridge. 

Note, the ridge might be the best spot for photos as it gives a view of FOUR volcanoes: Mt St Helens, Rainier, Adams, and Hood.

I had budgeted 3 hours for the hike to give me a full hour ahead of the S2S party to set up and operate. I made the lookout tower in 2:20. This is a really fine place to operate from. I grabbed a camp chair from inside the tower and set up on westside deck. This put me in the shade and protected from the wind. I attached my mast to the deck railing and hung a rollup J-pole antenna. I clipped my radio to the mast and operated using a microphone. This and the campchair made this a really cushy activation. 

The S2S party was a ton of fun. Many activators were already on their summits and we got our S2S QSOs out of the way ahead of time. Huge thank you to NR7Y for compiling a nice spreadsheet with everyone's calls and summits. It made logging quick and efficient. Big thanks to K7ATN for acting as net control, laying down the groundrules, and keeping us all on pace.

I ended the day with 31 QSOs, 25 of those were Summit to Summit contacts. Great fun. 

While I was operating, some guys showed up at the fire tower to camp overnight. It sounded like they had a heck of a time making it up the ridge in sneakers. The tower has two beds, a woodfire stove, chairs, tables, and boardgames. 

I packed up my gear and headed down the ridge. There was a plethora of postholes left by the guys who came up. Snowshoes made easy work of the ridgeline and the soft, noon time snow, was much easier to hike on. I lost the trail once on the way down and had to traverse back east to gain the route. A GPS can be helpful since it is easy to lose the trail in the snow. 

All in all a great day for SOTA. I highly recommend this summit. Despite the intimidating elevation gain, it is a nice spot to operate from. I will definitely be coming back. 

N7KOM ready to activate
Mt Hood View from the tower
Tower inside with tables, bed, and board games
Tower inside with wood stove and chair
View of Mt Rainier and Mt Adams from ridgeline
View of Mt Adams between trees