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Mono Lever Mtn, WA Activation - June 18, 2014

N7KRN's picture
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This summit is accessed from the Driveway Butte (W7W/OK-138) Trail which begins close to the Klipchuck Campground - Hwy 20 near Mazama, WA. The peak is quite large and generally open with some trees scattered around. Pick a sunny day for the most outstanding views, and combine this activation with Driveway Butte to avoid climbing the steep part of that trail twice. From the trailhead, I’d guess this might be about a 2.7 mile walk. Start early to avoid going up the steep trail in the heat of the day. I used a Green Trails Map #50. 

For this trip, I activated Driveway Butte first and then this one after lunch. Other trail reports indicate a hunters camp with faint trail to ascend, but I didn’t find this and followed a broken path marked with ribbons which soon petered out. In any case, the area was open enough to stay on course without a pedestrian highway. There are some game trails which helped, but generally I just headed straight up the least steep slope arriving on the plateau from the NW and then traveling a short distance SE to the distinctive high point. From there, you can look almost straight down to the campground below. The view is fabulous. 

Once on top, I strapped my telescoping pole to a small tree and so didn’t need any guy lines. Unlike Driveway Butte where there was a cold wind in the morning, this peak was warm with a gentle breeze. I laid my t-shirt out on some rocks to dry and sat in a shady spot to operate the radio. Since I hadn’t posted an alert for this peak, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But eventually managed to log 8 contacts for my effort. RBN spotted me incorrectly at first, and many thanks to W7RV for making the correction. My battery was low from the previous activation and I ran it from 11.2 down to 10.3 volts. I stayed on 20M about 25 minutes and then switching to an almost fruitless period of calling on 40M for another 15 minutes – W7TAO was the only taker there, but I was probably only putting out 2-3 watts by that time. 

What a beautiful place to operate from! I heartily agree with N7RR who was the first activator here last October (brrrr) when he said: “A more ideal operating position would be hard to imagine”.