KJ7OKW's blog

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Big Mountain, Montana August 28, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/FN-176

Big Mountain is part of Whitefish Ski Area and in the summer you can take the chairlift to the top ($20) and hike, ride bikes and activate Big Mountain.  The communication towers that sit atop the summit are easy to see from the top of the chairlift and it's only a short quarter mile walk up the graded road to the top.

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Stark Mountain, Montana - August 1, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-021

Stark Mountain with its fire lookout looks to be an easy 4 pointer as it is an easy drive-to peak on well marked Forest Service roads. However.... the last two miles of the road is gated and the summit is currently closed to the public. See the photo. I did not push it today, being tempted to just walk the two miles. It's closed due to Covid so I'll respect that. Maybe next season.

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Henry Peak, Montana July 26, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-090

Henry Peak is a two point summit overlooking Plains, Montana. It is due north of the intersection of highways 200 and 135. Please refer to the linked map below as I describe getting there. All forest Service roads in this description are good to fair and a four wheel drive is not necessarily needed but advised due to some bumpy and rocky spots.

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Camel Hump, Montana July 25, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-099

Camel Hump is a summit out of St. Regis, Montana on the Interstate 90. From St. Regis you have about a 7 mile drive on paved roads, then about a 6.5 mile drive up Forest Service road 3800. At that point you encounter a closed gate but it's an easy 1 mile walk to the summit from here. Please refer to my saved map in the link below. You do not need a four wheel drive on this road, any car can make it easily. 

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Thompson Peak, Montana July 18, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-157

This looked like a simple drive-to peak from the topo maps. However 1.25 miles from the summit I encountered a Forest Service gate blocking the road so I walked the remaining easy road to the summit. The views are excellent but the presence of large communication towers ruined any attempt I had at getting out a signal. I'm currently just using an 5 watt handheld on 146.52 FM voice. I've connected in this way up to 50 miles in the past. I had K7VK waiting to hear from me in Missoula and although I could hear him clearly, he could not hear me.

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Baldy Mountain, Montana July 12, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-016

I managed to activate this peak today with three out of the four required contacts. Close but no cigar as it started getting cold, windy and rain was coming in. We had to leave when we did. Another day for the points.

I used a Yeasu FT-2D 5 watt handheld with a 42 inch foldable tape measure type of antenna. I worked 146.52 MHz FM voice. From Big Hole Peak, about 12 miles to the west, I have had 59 quality conversations with Missoula, so the reach is far at these heights in 146.52 MHz.

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Deemer Peak, Montana July 12, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-076

I was not fortunate to get any contacts nor activate this peak today. This was mostly due to my current limitations in radio gear. I used a Yeasu FT-2D at 5 watts with a 42 inch tape measure type of antenna. Although well within the exposed activation zone, the forested summit prevented me from reaching out to the northeast where I easily picked up two contacts earlier from Mount Baldy a few hours prior. I was calling on 146.52 MHz FM voice. I had a great line of sight to five other summits in the Plains, Montana area.

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Peak 6540, Montana July 11, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-065

This was a failed attempt of activating this summit.

Driving the route to the "trailhead" involves a 21 mile stretch of Forest Service roads that takes you within a thousand feet of the summit. Take Forest Service road 412 that starts at Montana highway 135, just south of Quinns Hot Springs. 412 intersects with Forest Service road 97 that takes you to the summit. See link below for the map of this route. These are well maintained roads but Four Wheel Drive is highly recommended. Some rocky spots and deep potholes from the rain. Allow 90 minutes to drive this.

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Patricks Knob, Montana - July 9, 2020

Summit: 
W7M/LO-046

This is an easy drive-to summit on Forest Service roads. See link below for map of route. It will take you approximately one hour from downtown Plains, Montana to get to the summit. Four wheel drive not needed. The only downside are the large communication towers that will interfere with your transmitting. I found that if you drive to the far side of the loop road and get the towers out of sight, you can get a good signal to and from Missoula and up to Whitefish. Let me know when you plan to activate this easy one and I'll chase you as I live in Plains.