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Hollys Ridge, OR | July 2023

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After climbing climbing Mt Thielsen (W7O/CS-002) with K6ARK our legs were feeling good, so we decided to try for the first activation of Hollys Ridge (W7O/CS-007). From the junction with the Thielsen climbers trail, take the PCT North. This will wrap east around the ridge line. Exit the PCT at 43.16113, -122.06537 and head down to the glacial stream. Here we crossed to the north side of the stream and bushwacked through the pines (not bad) towards the saddle between Thielsen and Holly. Here we made the mistake of going straight up the saddle. Our hope was that we'd be able to scramble along the ridgeline, but we were instead met with crumbly nubbins in volcanic tuff. We down-scrambled back to the west side of the ridge line and made our way on loose dirt up to a spot we could get over the ridge: 43.15544, -122.05849. Now on the east side of the ridge, we traversed along and up the exposed, steep and sandy slope. Temps were getting very hot and we moved slowly so not to overexert ourselves. We made our way east by northeast to reach the flat saddle behind the false summit. From here it was a straightforward hike up to the summit of Hollys Ridge. 

Adam and I both made plenty of contacts (and S2S) on 2 meters-- it was the 2023 Oregon SOTA Campout. We decided to set up HF and took shade behind some shrubs. Playing HF ended up being a great idea as it gave us time to rest and cool off. We used Adam's MTR2B and EFHW on 20 meters. I made 5 QSOs and Adam made many more. After that we headed back.

This time we knew the route to get over the ridge and once on the west side of the ridge we skree skied down to the drainage. We followed the creek until water was flowing and found a nice spot to filter water and soak our feet. We refilled our sport bottles and that was enough water to get us back to the car (we finished all our water). The hike back on the PCT is on good trail, but lasts forever. I remember checking my GPS map and there was a disappointingly long way left to hike. 

Glad we added on this First Activation to our Thielsen hike, but boy it was a hot one. Make sure you bring plenty of water, snacks, and salt tablets with you. 

The view of the east side of Thielsen is rather unique. There are large plumos-fracture structures related to hot lava landing on water. We could also see some neat dikes. 

All in all it was a 16.8mi day with 5600' gain. Our elapsed time for both Thielsen and Holly and SOTA at each was 10:33:33 car to car.

Purple shows ideal route
K6ARK with a view of Thielsen
Leaving the PCT and hiking towards the saddle
Filtered water before returning to the PCT
Sketchy Ridgeline
The return across steep sand