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Mount Cavanaugh, WA | May 2019

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May 18th was the Puget Sound S2S party. I had plans to take my son dirt biking in Walker Valley in the afternoon, so I needed a quick summit that was resonably close to Walker Valley ORV park. Mount Cavanagh fit the bill nicely, and was surprisingly pleasent!

Getting there: Take highway 9 and turn east onto 44th Ave NE / Finn Settlement Rd. In a couple miles this turns in to Granstrom Rd. Go another 3 miles and then take a right on to Lake Cavanaugh Rd. In about 5.5 miles the TH will be on your right - it's a gated forest road with parking for several cars. Don't block the road or gate. Coordinates for the TH: 48.3421, -122.0552

There is a sign that says this area requires a Wayerhaeuser permit for access, but you don't need one for non-motorized use. If you check out you will see this area is outside the permit area and is listed as 'non-motorized use'. You don't need any kind of pass or permit to walk or ride a bike in this area.

The walk to the summit is along a forest road. 4.7 miles R/T with around 1100' gain. When you get close to the top you leave the road on a trail (that used to be a road) and this will take you to the summit. I set up my dipole next to a pile of big rocks, with a nice view to the north of Bald Mountain

I arrived on the summit around 11:30am. As soon as I gave a call, Mike VE7KPM came back with an S2S from a summit on Vancouver Island BC called Empress Mtn (VE7/CL-008).. The S2S party was underway =)

It was still before noon and I wasn't hearing any other activators yet, so I decided to fire up 20m CW and immediatly heard some QRLing. It was Darryl WW7D on nearby Skagit Gadget (SK-172). I picked up a bunch of QSOs on 20 then started hearing some activity on 2m.

Over the next 40 mins I worked: Mark K7NEW on Pyramid Mtn (NO-161), James WA7JNJ on Pilchuck (SN-105),  and Anne K7AHR / Kristen K5MME who were on Rock Candy Mtn (SO-073). 

I made one additional S2S with George KX0R who was on W0C/FR-073. It's a rare activation when I don't have an S2S with George - he is the S2S king and I'm pretty sure he is an actual mountain goat and lives somewhere on the Front Range in Colorado =)

By 1925 UTC my son was getting tired of waiting for me - he wanted to go ride his dirt bike! We got back down to my truck in about 1/2 the time it took to get UP. We met up with WW7D in Walker Valley and had a great afternoon of riding the trails around the park.

Thanks to everyone who went on to a summit - it was a lot of fun!

Until next time... CUL

View of Lake Cavanaugh