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Mary's Peak Activation 10.19.2013

ND7PA's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Mary's Peak... why bother, everybody has been there...execpt for me. So off we went this morning after deciding to activate at 11:30pm the night before. Nothing like planning ahead. Ah, life on the edge is far more fun!

Mary's Peak is the highest point in the Oregon Coast Range. At 4,097ft, it has a clear shot in all directions. On clear days, the Pacific ocean can be seen.  Today, the Cascades were clearly visible, including at Mt. Hood. It is reached by FS road 30 off of Oregon Hwy 34, about 15 miles west of Corvallis.  It is a very nice drive to the parking viewpoint at about 3770 feet and a short 15 minute walk to the summit proper.

The summit is treeless but had one very sturdy picnic table. The substantial antenna and building collection is enclosed by a fence (really ugly) which could support an antenna mast. The summit is a nice meadow. On clear, sunny days, expect many visitors.

Bob, K3KHF and I reached the summit at roughly 9:15am and were on the air shortly. Bob had not been on the air (CW) for 8-9 years and was excited to try a SOTA activation. We lashed the EFHW mast to the picnic table and started to listen on 20 meters.  It was sure a nice situation to operate from. Last activation was in knee deep snow in high winds where I only had about 15 minutes to operate before my fingers would not work anymore. What a change of environment! It was about 55deg on the summit and there was absolutely no wind. The valley had been much colder, about 38deg when I left Albany. A beautiful, sunny day it was.

I worked my first SOTA DX this day. Early on was G4OBK followed later by OH9XX and XE2EL. Worked 27 station total. Also used 2m FM for the first time on a SOTA activation. Had 4, S2S contacts to a group up the valley about 70 miles away. On 20 meters, the signals were a bit weak but very clear. Seemed like a good day for propagation.

Bob got comfortable with the key and keyer and made a handfull of contacts. Perhaps another convert to our ranks!

Mary's Peak is an easy peak to activate. The commercial radio equipment up there did not bother us hardly at all on 20 meters. The walk is easy.  The views are excellent. A great place to take your family or significant other. Who cares if everyone has been there. Have you?



Another great SOTA morning
Heading up the road to the summit
The view across to the Cascades
Bob, K3KHF, hard at work, banging out the contacts