K7WXW's blog

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Beacon Rock WA | November 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-163

Summary - This is an easy climb up a series of switchbacks cemented to the side of the basalt plug that is Beacon Rock. Given the proximity to Vancouver and Portland, the short hike, and the fabulous view, this is a very popular destination. For uninterrupted operating time you'll want to combine arriving early, bad weather, and mid-week day. HF operation is possible, 2M contacts are easy, APRS and phone service are good. Parking requires a Washington Discover Pass or a ten buck day pass.

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Red Mountain WA | November 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-036

Summary - Red Mountain is an easy two mile, 1400 foot climb from the gate to the summit along a poorly maintained road. There is a lookout tower and a couple of VHF/UHF installations on the open summit. The views are amazing! FSR6048, the road to the summit, is in poor condition but passable with 4WD and clearance. The gate location shown on the USFS maps is incorrect, it is actually at 45.920, -121.824. There is only room for one vehicle near the gate.

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West Twin Butte WA | October 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-043

Summary - West Twin Butte is another easy-to-reach summit and can be paired with Squaw Butte for a two peak day. The summit is small, flat, has trees for wires and good operating positions. As with other peaks in this area, two meter contacts are a challenge, cell service (ATT) works okay, APRS is good.  Google maps gives good directions for the two hour drive from Portland.

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Squaw Butte WA | October 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-050

Summary - About two hours from Portland, Squaw Butte is an easy drive, hike, and bushwhack to a forested summit. There are limited views, trees for wires, and a number of good operating positions. Two meter contacts are likely to be difficult, as is spotting with a cell phone; APRS works okay. Google maps gives good directions.  Pair this one with West Twin Butte.

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6001 OR | October 2021

Summit: 
W7O/CN-078

Summary --  The trailhead for 6001 is on Bennett Pass Road, about two miles from Windy Camp. It may be possible to hike it from Windy Camp on Gunsight Trail but we didn't test this assumption.

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Badger Butte OR | October 2021

Summit: 
W7O/CN-013

Summary -- Badger Butte is broad, treed summit, with a fairly easy climb from the road.

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West Soda Peak WA | October 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-052

Summary - An easy to reach trailhead (2WD friendly), a nice trail, easy bushwhack, and not much of a summit view. 2M contacts are likely to be difficult, APRS okay, and cell service marginal to nonexistent. The summit is small and brush covered; there are lots of places for putting up a HF wire.

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Bare Mountain WA | October 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-061

Summary - From Portland, a long, relatively easy drive (2WD okay) and a short, difficult bushwhack will net you a big beautiful view from a very small summit.  2M is likely to be difficult, bring a mast if you want to do HF, and be prepared to scramble if you want to operate from the summit itself.

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Steamboat Mountain WA | October 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-020

Summary - Steamboat is an easy (if longish) drive from Portland, reached by a short climb along a lovely trail, and has terrific views of all your favorite volcanoes. There are trees for antennas and plenty of places along the ridge to sit and enjoy the view. VHF is relatively easy when using a decent antenna.

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Haystack Butte WA | October 2021

Summit: 
W7W/LC-081

Summary - This Haystack Butte is easy to get to, if you don't mind the possibility of new pinstripes (and it is not the MC-070 peak). The bushwhack is about a quarter-mile, not steep, and mostly requires negotiating large deadfall. The summit is broad, flat, tree-covered and doesn't have much of a view. VHF contacts are likely to be difficult.