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Activating Paulina Peak Hints

WB7VTY's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Don't know
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

I just thought I would add some notes about activating Paulina Peak that might be helpful to prepare somebody else down the road.  Getting there is easy and well documented so I wont waste time with that, important however as noted elsewhere - NW Forest Pass required or pay at the entrance station.  I have a pass so I dont know what the entrance fee is.  My verizon service with SOTA GOAT worked perfectly the entire time I was up there.  I was also able to text and send photos easily.   The views are spectacular and never cease to amaze me everytime I go up there.   Yesterday however was the first time I have gone up there with the eyes / mind of an activator.  I arrived around 10:30 AM local time which in hind site is way too late this time of the year.  I operated until about noon and by the time I left, the parking lot was jammed with probably nearly 20 vehicles and there were people crawling all over the place like an ant hill.  When I packed up to get out of the way, as soon as I vacated my isolated little rocky spot it was filled with people and dogs before I even waddled down to the car.  If I were to do it again I would arrive as early as possible to beat the summer crowds a little bit if you want to go this time of the year.  I operated from a out of the way spot just below and shadowed by the north face of a rocky high point to the side of the parking lot and just used a vertical antenna mounted on my colapsed jackite pole with the base wedged in rocks next to my operating position.  Glad I did.  With the number of people that were up there I would have been very uncomfortable deploying my wire antenna and tearing it down may have been problematic.  Very likely there would have been an unintended human or dog to antenna incident somehow no matter where I had planted myself or how I would have deployed wire.  I also dont normally use earbuds or headphones, but on this trip I think it was mandatory.  I would not have wanted to disturb the experience of that many people with the racket of my radio speaker.   It was also a fairly noisy crowd at times  so I found the earbuds very helpful just to be able to hear.   I intended to work some SSB and FM but due to the crowd of humans, ended up just sticking to HF CW and earbuds the entire time.  Also in hind site, I debated the wisdom of my operating position.  There were people just above me on the rocky high point and I kept waiting for somebody to kick a rock loose and for it to crush my skull or worse yet, my Icom 705!  SO... bottom line lesson for this summit at this time of the year, go as early in the morning as possible and plan on getting over run by noon haha.  If you deploy wire of any kind, plan on the perfect storm of humanity at some point before you depart.  Maybe late in the day would be good too.  Thats my grossly overpriced 2 cents worth of notes on Paulina Peak.   BUT...  you cant beat views like this;

Looking into the Newberry Caldera with the rim of the Caldera in the distance.  Inside the caldera is Paulina lake on the left, East Lake on the right, and the Obsidian Lava Flow extending in from the lower right. 

Newberry Crater