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Hat Rock, Washington | October 2021

N7KOM's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
No service at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

NOTE: Forest Road 9341 is blocked by a rockslide at 46.23071, -121.82871 and there is an additional 3 mi approach to the trailhead on pavement. 

This was summit 2 of a 2 First Activation day. 

After getting the First Activation of Snagtooth Mountain W7W/LC-019, I headed down and rejoined the motorcycle trail. From here it was easy travel to the saddle with Hat Rock. From here there is only one option and that is to dive headlong into the brush. It is a thick and proper bush bash. Fight your way as best you can until you reach the first cliff band.

Head to the Northeast to find the open slope. The safest way to gain the slope may be to head down some and follow the brush (as I did on my descent). You may also carefully pick your way higher up. The terraine is loose gravel on top of rock. Not my favorite footing. Choose your steps carefully. Pick your way up the slope to the next band of trees. Follow the ridgeline and more bushwacking until the brush opens up. Head up the steep open slope, there is a trail if you can find it.

The summit offers beautiful views of Mt St Helens and Mt Adams, as well as the surrounding peaks. It is a really nice activation zone. I got on VHF and quickly had 7 QSOs with 3 S2S. I set up HF and got 7 more QSOs with 4 S2S. I kept my HT on and got 3 more QSOs there, all S2S before packing up. 

K7AHR and I kept in radio contact during our respective descents. Out here definitely feels isolated. It was nice to have someone to check in with while navigating the hazards of this summit. Bushwacking downhill is not AS bad, but is still tough work. Once back on the motorcycle trail I hoofed it to the trailhead. There I rested and took in some calories before hike/jogging the 3 miles of pavement back to the car. 

Rockslide blocking the road to the trailhead
Looking back on the treacherous terraine
Activation Zone
Hat Rock