Yesterday my wife and I walked up to St.Mary's Peak. The walk starts off at (depending on what book you read, how good your gps is or what mapping software you use) around 6850'. For the next 3.1 miles you climb pretty steady to 9351'.
Along the way are some great vistas of the Bitterroot Valley.
For the last mile you are able to see St. Mary's Lookout. This is either a welcoming sight or spirit crushing omen depending on how you feel leaving the tree line.
Of course, once you have reached the summit everything is good with the world again. For me it is time for the really purpose of the climb and that is to make contacts with my radio.
"CQ, CQ, Calling CQ...
Rita on the other hand is busy taking pictures, and just enjoying the moment. Once the summit was activated
I even got to take some a picture of my beautiful wife and my great little back country antenna.
Next summer I want to activate W7M/RC-014 Heavenly Twin South at an altitude of 9282'. As you can see it is a bit more technical and will present quite a challenge. Just getting there will be a butt kicker. I will discuss that at a later time.
It was a good day to "go climb a mountain." Coming down is always harder than going up but we made it home just fine. I am not sure what summit we are going to visit next week. Rita wants something in the 6,000' to 7,000' range. In this valley that isn't so easy, but we'll see what we can do.
Well today I activated SOTA Summit W7M/GA-036. Rita Mason and I left the Excursion at an altitude of 7360' and climbed to summit which is at an elevation of 8,495'. I made our station time of 1830 UTC.
I made 5 contacts on 146.520 (2 mobiles in Missoula, MT - 45 miles, 1 base in Anaconda, MT - 37 miles and 1 base in Hamilton - 25 miles). My little BaoFeng UV-82L did pretty well hooked up to a home made vertical dipole antenna.
Rita was the expedition's official photographer. She took these action photos as I worked my contacts. The terrain is pretty rugged to the south and east of this summit.
This was my first activation of 2015, but we are going to try to do one every week weather permitting. It was a great activation, so until next time, 73 KG7KGL Doug Mason