Recent SOTA Activations

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Wild Horse Mountain (W7M/FS-180) SOTA

Wild Horse Mountain SOTA (W7M/FS-180)

Date: 23 June 2022  

Summit Name: Wild Horse Mountain  

Summit Coordinates: 48.05624, -114.39098

Distance: 5 miles round trip   Start Elevation: 4,915

Prominence: 510'   Summit Elevation: 5,210'         

Elevation Gain: 564'          Elevation Loss: 280'

Colten and I woke up around 6 and headed out to Wild Horse Mountain which was un-activated. We came in through the Kila area up towards Wild Bill and Emmons Creek Rd and then out through Kalispell on Patrick Creek. 

We parked at the gate at 48.04903, -114.36307. The walk was about 2.5 miles each way. The walk in on the roads are great but there is no real trail to the summit. There are plenty of game trails but you really just have to make your way up and find your way. I recommend staying to the ridge on the South east side as you can follow the edge of the thick trees and follow the ridge which is slightly less steep (not much). 

You can see that the area up to the summit is private. See below for information regarding this. 

Cell Signal: There was cell service at the summit and most of the way up. I relied on the reverse beacon network for spotting (Verizon).

APRS: I was getting out location reports for almost all of the trip (Driving and Hiking). Definitely would be able to use APRS to SOTA for spots and send messages from the summit.

Trail Conditions: Road was great...have fun on the last .5 mile assent up to the summit. Hopefully you can find a good trail.

Equipment Used: 

LNR MTR3B_LCD ( w/9v Battery 

QRP Endfed Antenna 30 meters ( I am going to make this a tuned multi-band antenna but I have to work on some traps. I may start bringing a tuner with me and another antenna until I can get this done. There is the possibility that I only do 30m for the near future though.

Yaesu FTM400XDR - KF7PXT-9 (Mobile APRS) (

Yaesu FT3D - KF7PXT-7 (Hiking APRS) (

Radio Log:

The highlighted track that goes to the North is the way that we hiked to the summit. I would not suggest this route as the trees on the north side of the summit are very thick and hard to get through after you enter private land.

The highlighted route to the South is the way that we came off the summit and back to the truck. It is about the same distance and we dropped steeply off the summit but were able to avoid the thick trees and all of the side hilling.

You can see that too the West of the State Land there is private and is labeled as "SPP Montana LLC." If you visit the website below you can see that this is permanent conservation land that was purchased "to permanently protect nearly 200,000 acres in Northwest Montana through “working forest” conservation easements." This company has bought a lot of land throughout NW Montana and it has many trails running through it. There are no signs preventing access. 

                               Summit View on Approach                        Echo hanging with us.

View of Blacktail on the way down.

Back at the truck

Thanks for Reading. 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Mount Conner (W7M/LI-091) SOTA

This is the only picture that I took on the whole trip…I need to get back on my game. I also hid a geocache on the summit. We will see how long until it is found. 

Date: 12 June 2022

Hiking Time: 3:43

Summit Name: Mount Conner

Summit Coordinates: N 48 19.649 W 114 51.126

SOTA summit designator: W7M/FI 091                      Grid Square: DN28Nh

Elevation: 6147 ft.                                                           

Distance: 5.2 miles round trip

Vertical Gain: 1,375 ft.

Cell Signal:There was no signal until just short of the summit…probably the last .5 miles. There is no cell signal at the parking area or the whole drive after leaving Marion, MT. Was able to get data out (SOTA Goat spots) at the summit. (Verizon).

APRS Signal: I left my radio off until the summit. Was surprised to find that I did not get an APRS spot on the summit. 

Trail Conditions: Well maintained. No other parties encountered during the trip. No wildlife spotted but saw plenty of Elk sign. 

Equipment Used: Yaesu FT3D for APRS and FM contacts. Elecraft KX2 was in my bag for HF but I did not have time to deploy because of weather. 

Radio Log:

Weather: I sat in my house all weekend worried about the flood watch and rain that we were supposed to get. I kept looking out at the sun and decided to make a go for it. We did not get any rain until it started to sprinkle on the summit. I had the HT out and made a few contacts as I watched dark clouds coming my way. The wind started to pick up as I was talking to N7LT and I decided it was time to go. Once we got off the ridge the wind stopped and we had a great walk back to the truck.