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Pataniks Pushtye | September 2021

N7KOM's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
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Good digi echos

Squaw Butte in Washington is a good beginner bushwack hike. I met up with Tyler ND7Y at the Tillicum Campground and we parked our cars in a campsite near the trailhead. Tyler had found word of an old cattrack that leaves the Squaw Butte trail and heads to the summit. Overall this is an easy hike. The bushwack is manageable and the distance/elevation is reasonable. The trail to the cattrack is in good condition. Find the GPX track HERE

The summit is not much to write home about. A couple little clearings to operate from in an otherwise forested and bushy summit. No views were had. Tyler set up his 4 element yagi antenna while I got a Rollup J-Pole in the air. I squeaked out a contact with AI7NN. Signal reports were low and when I handed the HT to Tyler, there was some confusion in the noise and he was unable to get the QSO with AI7NN. 

This is a challenging 2m summit. It is relatively low compared to the surrounding peaks and there is a decent amount of topography between Squaw Butte and PDX metro area. We gave more calls, but were unable to raise anyone enough for a QSO. Tyler tried breaking into ragchew on 146.52, but was unsuccessful. We that, we got to setting up our HF rigs. 

There was enough room for each of us to set up our respective HF antennas. Tyler set up an EFHW and got on 20m digital with his G90 and laptop.

I set up my 20/30/40m trapped EFHW in an inverted-V and got on 40m with my MTR4B. There was enough cell service to get a text-spot out. I worked 6 QSOs with two S2S. Tyler got his 4 contacts and started packing up. I gave a couple calls on 30m and got 1 more QSO before packing up. 

Overall, if 2m is your game, leave this summit for a time when there will be other activators in the area. Good first bushwack if you are looking to gain off-trail experience.