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August 15, 2012 Activation of Crater Lake's Hillman Peak by NS7P

NS7P's picture
Summit: 
W7O/CS-008
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
AT&T
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

Hillman Peak is the highest summit on the rim of Crater Lake at over 8150' ASL. This pointed peak is not an easy climb, not because of the distance (1/2 to 3/4 mi) or elevation increase (less than 600'), but because it is so steep with a loose scree surface. Poles are essential to getting the traction to get up the slope.

My wife and I launched up this challenging slope in the afternoon as our second summit of the day. We quickly saw how difficult it was and picked a strategy for this essentially trail-less summit. Part of the way up, we realized that it was going to be too much for her, so I left her in shade part of the way up slope and continued on alone. After about 45 mins of struggling, I was in the activation zone. The very top looked too tricky to safely reach, so I set up about 40' below the top.

Moving around on this summit was difficult, so I decided that deploying the 88' inverted vee was too much. There goes 40m. I used the 31' Jackite pole to push up a 20m EFHW wire and wedged myself in above the same shrub that the pole was lashed to. I stayed on 20m CW and made 6 QSOs. At that point, I thought I heard Christina yelling for me. I called back to her but heard no reply. I decided to repack and head down the hill to find her. I am sorry to those chasers that I missed. Maybe next year, although my wife said I could do it without her. Anyway, we survived and the activation is in the log.

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