Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summits On The Air - Sweeney Peak

Summit Information for W7M/RC-017

Sweeney Peak - 2792m, 8 points

Association: USA - Montana  Region: MT - Ravalli County   
Latitude: 46 38 52 N, Longitude: 114 13 17 W

Today's Sunrise: 12:16 UTC, Today's Sunset: 03:09 UTC 

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Montana Escapades: Sweeney Peak

Sweeney Peak - A revisit is required!

Distance: ~9.5mi
Vertical: ~4,500ft

The last little bit to the summit.

I was nearly left going solo, until Joe told me his meeting was moved to 6pm, enough time to work with! We set out for Sweeney Peak and found ourselves basking in a gorgeous Montana day, and this time I remembered, or rather Joe reminded me, to apply sunscreen. Due to a snafu at the start involving what may or may-not include misjudging the amount of snow, led to a extra little 3/4-1mile hike to the trailhead. In conjunction with that, the time limit, and another small issue, we opted to just hit the summit and take a treed run down, thus bypassing the two NE bowls. (I would say 3, but the one off of the summit is straight wind-spanked to a high degree. )

All is well though, like I said before, I'm finding about 80% of my enjoyment from traipsing around anyway, and Sweeney Peak summit served to provide some outstanding views. Word of advice though; if you have split-boarders in your group take the 45minutes and skin back up to the top of the knob just before the first bowl, otherwise you are in for a long-long side hill experience that is atrocious on a split-boarder I found. :)

First bowl says hello.

Working around the first NE bowl

On top of first bowl.

Second NE bowl.

St. Joe peaks looking dapper.

Nearing the top of second NE bowl/ false summit.

Left the skis near the top of the second NE bowl, and began a rock/snow hike along the quarter-mile spine to the true summit.

A destroyed third bowl.

Looking SW from summit w/ Pyramid Buttes slightly right.

Looking NW at Lolo Peak proper and false summits - Could see all three lakes back here.

Looking directly West from Sweeney Peak

SW view

South view again at the St. Joe Peaks.

Joe coming up along the spine.


Probably let the snow melt out a bit from the road which was very spotty/impassible in places, and bare in others. Can't wait to revisit the two lower NE bowls later this spring!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Sweeney Peak

Sweeney Peak (9,161’), about seven miles west of Florence, is not difficult to climb. Its summit is visited all year long, especially by skiers who believe this mountain’s slopes offer some of the best backcountry skiing in the Bitterroot Mountains.
The most-used route to the summit uses the Sweeney Creek Trail for the initial 2.3 miles. Shortly after leaving the trail, the route closely follows the crest of the east ridge, all the way to the summit—a fairly easy Class 2 hike.
The Sweeney Creek Trial sees lots of hikers during the summer months (especially on weekends), though few bother to visit the summit to experience the wonderful views.
Another, more difficult and strenuous route, approaches the summit from the west along a long ridge which connects Sweeney and Lolo peaks. If a climber stays close to the ridge-crest, this route has one section which provides lower Class 5 climbing. However, it is possible to keep this entire route at or under Class 4 by dropping farther off the ridge around the most difficult section.
Michael Hoyt

SOTA-6-1415, W7M/RC-017, Sweeney Peak

ETA - 1600 UTC (1000 Local), 5 August, 2014
Frequencies - 146.520-fm, 145.000-fm, 147.420-fm, 145.010-fm

Sweeney Peak is 9,161 feet ASL
From trailhead to summit is a distance of 4.5 miles, with a 3,417 foot elevation gain.

Wish us luck.


New Activation, 29 July, 2014 - W7M/RC-123, Deer Mountain

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After 4 hours of playing with antennas, reprogramming radios and leaning into the wind we finally activated W7M/RC-017, Deer Mountain.
The last 2 hikes have not been very productive. Sula Peak only produced 2 contacts due to a ridge to the north masking my signal. St. Mary's Peak was a bust because my antenna problems were just in the early stages. No matter, the third time is the charm and we now have activated Deer Mountain. Next up Sweeney Peak.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

15 July, 2014 Alerts

17:00KG7KGL on W7M/RC-138146.520-fm,145.000-fm
Sula Peak (Posted by KG7KGL)
18:30KG7KGL on W7M/RC-132146.520-fm,145.000-fm
Elk Point (Posted by KG7KGL)

8 July, 2014 Activations

On the 8th of July my son and I set out to activate W7M/RC-070, Palisade Mountain. After driving 90 minutes on a teeth chattering, kidney bruising road we finally reach the trail head. There is still a lot of snow drifts at 8,000 feet and above.
The dog loves the snow banks. She just sits there eating snow as long as you let her.
Anyway, it was a pretty short hike of maybe 2 miles. The summit is an easy climb but the view is wonderful. He sent up the antenna, and started making contacts. In just over an hour we had our four contacts. I also found out that my mic is not working properly so I need to take care of that. There is nothing worse than a "hot mike."
My plan with SOTA is to try to activate a summit a week. We'll see if I can make that happen.


1 July, 2014 Activations

My first summit was W7M/RC-094 which is Hilltop 8186 in the Sapphire Mountain Range. What made this first contact so special is that it was a summit to summit with KF7PXT. So I became a Activator and a Chaser all in one contact.
Pretty Cool.
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After I made my four contacts, it was a simple "down and up" that kicked my butt and my dog's butt. We finally made it to Skalkaho Mountain about mid afternoon. I didn't put up the antenna, I just used the stock hand held antenna to make my contacts. After I made five contacts I headed for home.
I was tired but I had a great time and I am hooked. The dog on the other hand just wanted to cool off in the snow.
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SOTA is a lot of fun.