Monday, June 30, 2014

Rainier W7W/RS-001 SOTA

In early 2014 I proposed a trip to the west coast to my climbing partner Jeff Hudick.  My intent was to climb Mt Rainier, after a failed attempt 20 years ago, and to hopefully activate the Peak for the first time for Summits on the Air, SOTA. We settled on the last 10 days in May, as the window that met both his schedule, and would coincide with the time off my wife had between the end of the semester and and teaching summer school.

We used credit card miles for all the tickets and flew on different airlines, but arrived within a few hours of each other. We picked up a very expensive rental car, and did our bit to pay for the new stadium ;-). It seems that Washington has a 44% tax on rental cars to pay for their new stadium :-( My wife Suzanne, Jeff and I spent the first night in the Mt Rainier National Park at National Park Inn at Longmire.
 Our first up close view of Rainier
National Park In at Longmire
 Gearing up at Paradise.

 Our view as we set off in perfect, if somewhat  warm weather.

 Adams from Muir snowfield
 We arrived at Camp Muir about 1400 and set up our tent.   We melted snow for 3 hours.  We were very dehydrated from the hike up in the unseasonably warm weather, and we needed water for the climb that we intended to start at about 0100
 Trail of headlamps

We over slept, not getting up until 0030.  Jeff, said "do you hear that?"  No I replied, there was not a breath of wind.  Up and at 'em.  We were on the trail at 0140, 40 minutes behind schedule.   The side of the mountain was strung with a trail of rope teams climbing with their guides.
 First light
 At about 12500 feet
 Jeff Hudick and Doug Houston W1DMH
 W7W/RS-001 on the air!! :-)

When we arrived at Columbia crest, an amazing 4 minutes after my alert time, after flying across the country, two days of climbing, and I was 4 minutes late...that is not how my activations usually go.  I pulled out the HT and made a call on 146.52 FM. .  Pow instant reply from Matt, KF7PXT, it is official we have a contact, and Rainier is activated, lets get 3 more and get the points.  Matt wants to know what frequency and band I want to be spotted on.  I request 20 meters 14.340, with about 15 minutes for me to get set up on. Meanwhile I make another contact on146.52, and ask him to log my contact on as I do not even have the log book out yet.   By the time I get set up, stations are calling and Fred, KT5X is the first  in the log for 20 meters, and the pile up was on.
7 station

 Disappointment Cleaver looking at Little Tahoma
 Looking down on Ingraham Glacier with a string of tents.
 The fixed ropes at the base of Disappointment Cleaver. Snow bridge we crossed 2/3 of the way andto the right in photo.
 A weakening snow bridge.
 Little Tahoma.
 The crevasse
 Mt Adams.
 Post holing,  we waited till the evening for the snow to firm up,  but it never did.
 St Helens

Tired and back at Paradise. 
A few days later we enjoyed an eyeball QSO with K7ATN Etienne, Rachel K7NIT, and Linda AB7YL .
K7ATN Etienne and Rachel K7NIT  (Photo Linda AB7YL)

Will try to add some video of the activation later.
Photos J Hudick, S Pearlman , L Adams, D Houston