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Monte Carlo, WA | Nov-2012

K7ATN's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
No service at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
No service at all
Cellular Provider: 
T-Mobile
APRS Coverage: 
Some stations received, but no digi echos

This fall I have been dreading doing activations in the rain - and I haven't yet - I did this activation in the SNOW. The weather reports described a snow level of about 4000' - I found some snow at 2800' and had to turn the car around less than a minute later because it was too slick. Fortunately, this was near the route to the summit.

This was also another case for me finding roads or trails at the summit when I could not find any such information online until AFTER the activation. It appears that Gifford Pinchot Forest Trail #52, Monte Carlo, starts at the Oklahoma Campground to the west and crosses this peak. I came from the east side with a shorter drive and a shorter hike. Check out www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/monte-carlo

To get to my "trailhead" from Portland, take I-84 west to Hood River and cross the toll bridge (alternatively you can cross the Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks - it's $1). Find Washington 141 Alternate and go north for 2.2 miles and then continue north another 10 miles on Washington 141. Turn left onto a road marked "B-5000" and drive about 2.8 miles to a wide spot in the road that is between two drainage humps. This road can be navigated in a thoughtfully driven passenger car.

The "trail" that I found near the parking spot was an abandoned road that leads almost directly to the summit (start near 45.8812, -121.5614). It's about 0.8 miles of brushy climbing over 1100 feet to another "road" or trail, turn right here a short distance to the summit proper. There is a trailhead sort of sign there (see photos). With six inches of snow and lots of brush there were some times that the "road" was not at all apparent - see the photos. And note that you can just barely make out the diagonal slash of this abandoned road in Google Earth photos.

I set up in the woods for some shelter from the snow but if the weather is better you could use the trailhead sign to support your antenna. Ten contacts on 20M CW in about a half hour and no spotting needed thanks to KU7J's RBN magic. I also tried 17M and 30M but the RBN stations did not hear me on those bands. 

And APRS coverage was actually SOME digi echos from the summit and one other place, but otherwise nil.

Pictures: 
B-5000 sign from WA 141
There is an abandoned road under that brush and snow
Sign at summit
Operating position