Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ladd Mtn (W7W/PL-083) & ""Bug Hill"" (W7W/SO-106) SOTA & Other Recons

On Monday and Tuesday Nov. 10 & 11 I took full advantage of my days off for Veteran's day and headed out for a couple SOTA summits.

On the 10th I decided to do an easy 1 pointer near my house that had yet to be activated. ""Bug Hill"" was an easy hike and Colten enjoyed the time out with dad. Not much of a view but it just kills me to have a hill so close that has never been activated. There are a couple more of these nearby that will be done in the near future. This was an easy walk up / Drive if you are luck and the gate is open, summit. No view but an easy point.

Activation Details: Easy Hike up summit from right off of HWY; Verizon cell signal for spotting; No Views; KX1 (2.5 Watts) with 1600 mAh Li-Po Battery; 29ft Sloper Wire;

EveryTrail and GPX data: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=3033743

On the night of the 10th Peyton and I decided to head up to the hills, camp out, and do a SOTA on the morning of Veteran's day. After a quick look on the map and trying to keep the miles traveled to a minimum we decided that we would try W7W/PL-083 & PL090. I packed our bags, posted a quick alert and then hit the road. We arrived in the vacinity of the summits at about midnight. We found a place to pull over and headed to bed. In the morning we got up and made some breakfast and headed in the direction of the summit. We decided to do Ladd MTN (083) first. This looked like the easier of the two and I wanted to avoid being to far away from the truck at 25 degrees and a good wind. Ladd MTN has a road going all the way to the summit except for the last 100 yards. The road is well within the activation area but I have to see the true summit. Once on the summit I decided to use my MP1 Superantenna but was not very successful with this, the random wire works better I think. I threw the wire (29ft) up in a tree to the West and ran the counterpoise to the East. Signals were booming in and made for one heck of a pile up.

Three Summit to Summit Contacts. Thanks Dan, Mike, and Harold.
Activation Details: Cell signal with Verizon able to spot with SOTA goat; Temperature about 25 degrees with about a 10mph wind; Wooded summit with a slight view of Mount Rainier from the summit but nothing to write home about; Easy access probably even with a limited clearance vehicle; KX1 (2.5 Watts) with 29ft. Sloper Wire; 

Every Trail and GPX data Trip Link: http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=3033719

After Ladd MTN we headed down to check out Stahl MTN. It looks like there would be no trail heading to the top and most of the trip would be a fairly steep assent through old growth forest. I will let you know for sure here soon. Peyton said that his legs were tired so we decided to call it a day. On the way back down the hill I did some recon of some other roads and identified gates etc. There are plenty of summits to be done in this area and I hope to get a few of them done before the snow sets in.


  1. Happy Veterans Day Matt!
    I am hoping to get out and activate some summits this month, but this with the temperature outside being -3 right now I may have to wait for a week or so.

  2. Matt, great TR an activation. I noticed you used a KX1. Those are great little radios and still rank among my favorites for SOTA and camping.

    1. I Love the KX1 Frank! No matter what I try I seem to keep going back to it. Great Radio and light...not taking up to much room in the bag.

  3. Nice trip report. Have you used the SOTAmap option to show unactivated peaks, within a certain radius of your QTH?

    1. Yes I have Doug. Quite a few of them right around me. All one pointers but I will slowly get to them. I can't have a summit nearby that is unactivated! There is quite a few near Ladd MTN also. 4 pointers...which if I can get a good day I could probably hit a good amount of them if I move quickly.