K7WXW's blog

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Timbered Peak, Sister Rocks WA Access Info | September 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-059

Hearing that the Big Hollow TH is again open, I began making plans to activate Timbered Peak and Sister Rocks (W7W/LC-064). Unfortunately, a BARC map (dated September 30, 2020) indicates that Timbered Peak was severely damaged in the Big Hollow fire. At this time, there appears to be no way to safely access either summit. More below...

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Flattop Mountain WA | September 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-056

Summary - Northwest of Trout Lake, WA, Flattop Mountain is the site of a microwave tower and a couple of repeaters. While it is a driveup, the last section of road is best negotiated in a 4WD vehicle with good tires. There are no views and little open space on the tree covered summit. As with other hills in this area, ATT cellular and APRS coverage are both very good while making 2M contacts is hard.  Flattop is not on my peaks-I-must-visit-againlist, though I would probably include it in a multiple day peak excursion. 

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Peterson Ridge WA | September 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-072

Summary - Peterson Ridge is a relatively easy bushwhack and an unremarkable summit, without a view or open space. The pleasant hike in on Service Trail 35 includes a modest climb and is mostly under the trees. There are trees for antennas, ATT cell service was five bars, and two way APRS messaging worked. I had no luck on 2M, even with a yagi. The drive can be done in a passenger vehicle and there is plenty of parking at the trailhead. One caution: This is a busy part of the forest and this trail is frequently used by motorbikers.

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Little Huckleberry WA | September 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-041

Summary -  Little Huckleberry's small summit is open, has terrific views of the surrounding mountains, and is a nice place to operate. The trail is easy to follow, climbs about 1800 feet over two and half miles, and is popular, so an early start is a good idea. Bring a mast if you want to hang a wire.  Two meters works okay.  Both APRS and ATT digital service are reliable.  

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Mann Butte WA | September 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-086

Summary - Roughly two hours from Portland, getting Mann Butte includes a steep bushwhack through heavy brush and deadfall and ends in a small, tree and brush covered summit. You can see Mt Adams through the trees but not much else. While you can drive to the base of the summit, if you value your vehicle's paint, you will hike the road in.

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3977 (discriminator peak) WA | August 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-085

Summary - the hike to 3977 (from copper creek) is relentlessly steep, easy to follow and ends in a summit with great views. The route on FR 41 from the Sunset Falls campground is festooned with holes and washouts, some of which are spectacularly large.

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4220 (d layer mountain) WA | August 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-067

Summary - Given the two hour drive, a really steep, brush covered cross county hike to the summit, and the need to bring HF along, summiting 4220 is best part of a multi-hill day.  A map and compass or GPS is a really good idea, as are trekking poles and long pants.

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4340 (mount continuity) WA | August 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-062

Summary - Getting 4340 into the log requires a two hour drive, a short steep, brush covered cross county hike to the summit, and HF capability. A map and compass or GPS is a really good idea, as are trekking poles and long pants. There is no trail to the summit and on the way up you will encounter a lot of very large deadfall along with stands of manzanita and poison oak.  2M contacts are difficult unless other SOTA ops are working on nearby mountains, APRS works well, and ATT messaging sometimes.

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Lookout Mountain WA | August 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-066

Summary - Lookout is drive up with a wide open summit, though parts of the way up aren't for the faint of heart. There is a small comm facility that doesn't generate appreciable RFI, a couple of places to set up, and when the clouds aren't in the way, excellent views.  Bring a mast if you want to put up a wire.  2M contacts are possible with a 1/2 wave whip but a yagi will make things a lot easier. APRS is easy from here, too. Drive time from SE Portland is about two hours through Stabler and out Hemlock Road (turn at 45.80838, -121.90741).  

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Bells Mountain WA | August 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-136

Summary - The trailhead for Bells Mountain (45.79834, -122.40197) is about 45 minutes from SE Portland, the hike is an easy 650' climb on a rock-and-gravel road, and 2M contacts into Portland and Vancouver are possible with a half-wave whip. The view is open; you can see downtown Portland and with trees on the bordering the clearing, it is easy to get a wire into the air. A great "first season" summit. A Northwest Discover Pass is needed to park at the trailhead.