Sunday, July 22, 2018

Big Arm Point (W7M/LM-168) SOTA Activation

On Friday 16 March Kimber and I were making a trip to Missoula to pick up my daughter. I decided that it had been a while since I had the radio out and wanted to enjoy the good weather that we were having. I made a decision not to post an alert for this summit as I did not know if it would actually happen, depending on the road conditions.  I also  knew that I would have cell signal to self spot, I had been up on this summit 2 times prior. This summit is a drive up as there is TV and other misc. towers at the top and they keep it plowed most of the time. There is a Dozer at the bottom of the hill that I presume is there to keep the road open in the winter. Even though they keep this road plowed it can still be very bad at times and most of the winter would still probably require chains to get to the top. Mid winter I took the expedition up there with no chains and was in 4wd for the entire trip. There was a couple shady times that I would have preferred chains for traction. There are sections that warm up in the sun and create a sheet of ice that can cause you sliding towards the edge...which at time is very steep. In the summer about any car can make it to the top with some easy driving and maneuver around some larger rocks. I had my Subaru Impreza outback up there last summer. Today I was able to drive most of the way in 2 wheel drive but periodically put the Expedition in 4 wd in order to get a little more traction on the steep icy spots.



Cell Signal: 
I use Verizon and had great cell phone signal from the summit. 

Trail Conditions
This is a drive up and on a gravel road to the summit. I parked on the second to last switchback and walked the rest of the way to the summit. 

This area requires a tribal use permit for non-tribal members. You can pick these up at the Walmart in Polson or at Ronan Sports and Western. 

Did not use APRS today.

GPS Tracks:

This link will take you too my driving tracks from where I parked to HWY 93. If there is an issue with the link let me know and I will try and figure it out. 

Driving Directions:
HWY 93 just north of Polson, MT will take you to where my GPS tracks start. Link above.

Summit information and resources used for planning

I use this free website to estimate distances of new trails.

Here is one of my secrets!!! Even if you don't do geocaching take a look at the map. If you manipulate it right up can see every summit out there. If there is a geocache at the top, there is a way to get there. Sometimes if you click on the cache it will even give detailed directions to get there and some good pictures.

Here is an example of some decent directions learned from a geocache. The information was out dated but much of the time it is not.

I link to this site from my blog and from my blog to this site. This site is great because it posts the necessary information straight to the Summit Page.
Adventure Radio Map View - I like this map as a way to see the summits. It seems more user friendly with filters then the SOTA mapping software.
NOHRSC Interactive Snow Information - This is a great tool to see where the snow levels are and what they have looked like in the past on certain dates.
Put in a route in this site and it will give you a gps file for the information you provide. This works if you want to draw and upload a route into your GPS for use on the trail.