K7MAS's blog

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First SOTA Activation: Tibbetts Mountain - Chelan County, Washington - April 29, 2017

Summit: 
W7W/CH-221

A bit of research showed several gems waiting to be Activated, while the high country is still buried in deep, unstable snow.  Tibbetts Mountain is a 4 point SOTA Summit, of a modest 4,115 feet elevation.  It has a fantastic vantage point, overlooking the beautiful Wenatchee River Valley, the City of Wenatchee, and several towns lying along SR 2, the major east / west highway connecting western and eastern Washington State.  We opted for the more reasonable north approach, which is mainly a very steep forest service road, with about 1/4 mile of easy off road climb along the summit ridge.  The total distance is 6.2 miles RT, with approximately 1,850 feet elvation gain.  A bonus was that the apple orchards in the Wenatchee River Valley were in full bloom, and the mountain flower were awaking from winter slumber.

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SOTA Activation: Old Pass Hill - Chelan County / Kittitas County (on dividing line) - April 16, 2017

Summit: 
W7W/CW-071

We finally got to Activate Old Pass Hill, after snowshoeing by it a number of times before.  Old Pass Hill is a 4 point SOTA Summit of 4,885 feet elevation.  In winter, the route is mostly avalanche free, and so is a semi popoluar snowshoe trip.  A nice spring day, right before a change in weather, yielded a mostly sunny early morning, with increasing wind and clouds later in the mid day.  The temperature at departure from the TH was 37 degrees, and the snow was firm enough to hike on without snowshoes.  On the return trip, it had warmed up enough to require snowshoes, and we were gald we had carried them in.  The trip is approximately 8.15 miles RT, with about 1,500 feet elevation gain, including many ups and downs along the ridge beween Swauk Creek & Scotty Creek in the Wenatchee Mountains, west of Blewett Pass.  We only saw 2 other people the entire day.

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SOTA Activation: Mount Watson, Placer County, California - August 17, 2016

Summit: 
W6/NS-147

On a family vacation to the Lake Tahoe Basin in Nevada and California, I was fortunate enough to Activate 4 peaks in 3 days.  This is a description of the Mount Watson Activation, number 2 in the series.  On this Activation I had the pleasure of meeting up with a "local" Activator from Reno, Nevada, K1LB - "Woody" Brown, so that we could do a joint Activation of Watson.

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SOTA Activation: Monument Peak, Alpine County / El Dorado County, California - August 16, 2016

Summit: 
W6/NS-061

On a family vacation to the Lake Tahoe Basin in Nevada and California, I was fortunate enough to Activate 4 peaks in 3 days.  This is a description of the Monument Peak Activation.  Monument Peak is a 10,067 foot / 3,068 meter high, 8 Point SOTA Summit, which is the apex of Heavenly Ski Resort.  It has been activated in winter, via ski lifts and skis, and in summer via trails.  This was my second time ascending the peak, the first being in 2009, well before I got into SOTA." src="file:///C:/Users/Mark/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.gif">

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First SOTA Activation: Lone Mountain, Madison County, Montana - March 3, 2017

Summit: 
W7M/BR-005

Second Time Was A Charm!  Almost exactly 2 years since my last ski trip / Activation attempt of Lone Mountain, Montana, I returned and was successful this time ...barely.  Winter Activations at this altitude (11,166 feet, 3,403 Meters), are certainly not trivial matters, even if Ski Tram access is available.  Lone Mountain is the apex of Big Sky Ski Resort, in Big Sky Montana.  See: http://bigskyresort.com/ for general information, and http://bigskyresort.com/Documents/The%20Mountain/W1617/Map_2016_TrailMap_v2.pdf  for trail maps during ski season.

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SOTA Activation: Waterman Mountain, Los Angeles County, California - September 29, 2016

Summit: 
W6/CT-012

One of the nicest hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains, Waterman Mountain is certainly worthy of repeat SOTA Activations, and this was our third time in about 2 years.  Being graced with a very reasonable access, well graded trail and magnificent specimens of Incense Cedar (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calocedrus  ) and Ponderosa Pine (see:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinus_ponderosa  ) it’s a wonderful and popular SOTA objective.  The trail is 6 + miles RT, with 1,200 feet elevation gain.  The summit area is lightly treed, but still has views if you search them out.

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First SOTA Activation: Pyramid Mountain - Chelan County, Washington - July 23-25, 2016 - Part 4 of 4

Summit: 
W7W/CH-040

Chelan Crest SOTA Outing July 23-25, 2016 – Part 4.   See separate reports on PNWSOTA website with background on the entire outing and day 1 & 2 description, with 3 other First SOTA Activations. The total trip was approximately 25 miles RT, with approximately 7,000 feet elevation gain, including ups and downs in between the various peaks. This is report 4 of 4, "Pyramid Mountain".  Pyramid was the apex of our 3 day 2 night SOTA outing, both in elevation and distance from the TH.  This 10 point SOTA Summit is 8,245 feet high, and affords some fantastic view of the Central and North Cascades, Lake Chelan and Eastern Washington.

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First SOTA Activation: Sky Mountain, King County / Chelan County (on the dividing line), Washington - September 16, 2016

Summit: 
W7W/KG-054

Sky Mountain is a high point on the ridge directly across US Highway 2 from Stevens Pass Ski Resort.  The summit is at Point 5,482 feet, and is not actually named on the USGS topo maps. Sky Mountain hike/scramble is only about 5 miles RT, and 1,700 feet elevation gain.  Despite the relatively short distance and modest elevation gain, this scramble is not trivial.  Tim, KG7EJT, tried it in winter, but turned back due to weather and avalanche hazard.  So now we returned for a joint Activation in the last week of summer 2016 for what turned out to be the "The Great Tarzan Traverse" route variant. 

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First SOTA Activation: "Olivia Mtn" - Chelan County, Washington - July 23-25, 2016 - Part 3 of 4

Summit: 
W7W/CH-101

Chelan Crest SOTA Outing July 23-25, 2016 – Part 3.   See separate report on PNWSOTA website with background on outing and day 1 description. The total trip was approximately 25 miles RT, with approximately 7,000 feet elevation gain, including ups and downs in between the various peaks. This is report 3 of 4, "Olivia Mountain".  On maps, this summit is shown as Point 7,492 (feet), lying about 1.06 miles SE of the Big Boy of the neighborhood - Pyramid Mountain.  I suspect "Olivia Mountain" is the SOTA name for the peak.  We Activated "Olivia Mountain" on the same day as Graham Mountain.

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First SOTA Activation: Fourth Of July Mountain, Chelan County, Washington - September 10, 2016

Summit: 
W7W/CH-227

First SOTA Activation of Fourth Of July Mountain, a 4 point SOTA summit above the town of Manson, Washington, was accomplished on Saturday, September 10, 2016.  On a weekend trip to visit with our friends who have a vacation home in Manson, we took some time to Activate this peak.  The overall terrain is quite dry and arid, especially this late in summer.  The trail itself is non-descript, and the redeeming aspect of the activation are the great views from the upper slopes and summit of the mountain.  The weather was quite warm, and we were happy to have gotten a relatively early start.