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Colonel Bob Peak Activation - 9/8/13

N7KRN's picture
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This was my first activation, and we had a perfect day for it on Sunday. The peak is in the Olympic National Forest and the Colonel Bob Wilderness area North of Aberdeen, WA near Quinault Lake. Two trails go to the top - the Colonel Bob Trail, and the shorter Petes Creek Trail that we used. The roads in to the trailhead were in great shape. Privy in the parking lot, no running water (except for the creek). Unfortunately, all the reports I read for the Petes Creek Trail were correct: it was a steep and almost unrelenting climb for 4+ miles. It took 4 hours to the top with my lousy conditioning this year. With better legs and lungs, you might plan for 3 hours. There was water available along the trail.  We reached the summit about 1:45 PM and enjoyed the fantastic view while signing the register. On top, there is plenty of room, rocky shelves, some loose gravel and a small scrubby bush to work with. I quickly made two contacts with the 2M HT - my inexperience immediately being displayed when I was asked for the SOTA coordinates (I forgot to bring them).  That was great, but after all the work of carrying it up there, I wanted to get the HF rig going. I set up the antenna (inverted V on a telescoping pole) and pulled out my Wilderness Radio Sierra - only to discover that I'd left the radios power cord in the car! After the first flash of panic, I was able to trim some wire off of the antenna and jury-rig a connection to the battery. Note to self: always bring along those multi-tool pliers. Happily, 20M was busy and the other coast was booming in.    It was so much fun operating up there, that I almost forgot to leave on time.The steep slope called for cautious stepping, but our creaky knees made a safe, 3-hour descent back to the car.

AB7YL's picture


Congratulations on your first activation!  We all learn a little bit every time we go out.

Using a paper packing checklist has helped me to be careful about what I am bringing.  Looking forward to having a contact with you soon!





N7KRN's picture


Thanks Linda for the suggestion and encouragement.

I'm a list-maker anyway and I expect I'll tuck one in with the logbook.


N7KRN - Fred