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Mt Pickett Activation 4/25/14

N7KRN's picture
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An early ferry ride out of Anacortes took me to Orcas Island and, after a short drive, I arrived at the Cascade Falls trailhead by about 7 AM. My plans included biking in about 3 miles and hiking up the last 3/4 mile to the summit. Wrong. I was 1/2 hour into the ride when 2 facts became clear: 1. My hybrid bike was not up to the task of handling that muddy, rocky, slippery road - no matter how much air I let out of the tires. 2. My lungs, legs, and nerves weren't up to the task either. I took the bike back down to the truck and began again.

Walking now, that treacherous road changed character completely. The trail is a shady service road that climbs steadily to the forested peak. The winter debris of small limbs and trees were not really obstacles, and I was able to hold a steady pace. It took me about 1 1/2 hours to reach the summit where a convenient sign indicated the 1,750 foot elevation. I set up my dipole off the trail on a rocky landscape blanketed with thick moss. Sitting down against a sizable evergreen tree, I appreciated the soft ground and had a pleasant (if a bit late) summit activation with only a couple nearby owls keeping me company.

I wouldn't advise the same route for future SOTA activations. I would use the Mt Picket trail that begins from the Mountain Lake Campground. It's about a mile shorter and begins at a higher elevation. If you're a mountain bike rider, the trail would make a nice loop ride with no real challenges seen on the side I walked in on.

Mt Pickett