Red Lake Peak, W6/NS-062 and Stevens Peak, W6/NS-375

Activation Date: 5 August 2017
Transport: Run/Hike/Climb Distance: 10 miles
Elev. gain: 2750ft Time: 5 hours
Rig(s): FT-817, VX-2R Band(s): 40m, 20m SSB, 2m FM
Antenna(s): End-fed half-wave, 12.5 inch flex whip
Cell Service: Good (T-Mobile)
Parking: Big Meadow Tahoe Rim Trail Trailhead
Trailhead: Round Lake
Fees/Permits: None
Route: Tahoe Rim Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Off-Trail
Dogs: Yes  Toilet: No

While on a backpacking trip to Round Lake with friends, I wanted to see if I could squeeze in a little bit of summit action.  Originally, I was only going to attempt Stevens Peak, by heading up to a nearby ridge and approaching from the north. Upon doing some more research, I realized I could add a little bit of distance and grab both Red Lake Peak and Stevens Peak in one go.  I looked at several trip reports on—most of them consisted of a day hike to both peaks, approaching from the south. So I put together a hybrid of that approach and planned to get an early start on the second day of our backpacking trip, and do it trail-running style.

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W6/NS-170, Black Buttes

Activation Date: 22 July 2017
Transport: Hike/Scramble Distance: 9.5 miles
Elev. gain: 1160ft Time: 4-5 hours
Rig(s): FT-817, VX-2R Band(s): 40m, 20m SSB; 2m FM
Antenna(s): End-fed half-wave, 12.5 inch flex whip
Cell Service: Solid (T-Mobile)
Parking: Grouse Ridge Campground Area
Trailhead: Grouse Ridge Trail
Fees/Permits: None
Route: Grouse Ridge, Glacier Lake trails, cross-country
Dogs: Yes  Toilet: Maybe

Several years before I became a ham, when I first camped at Glacier Lake, this group of peaks called to me. I didn’t get around to climbing any of them that first time, but came back a couple of years later to camp at Glacier Lake, and decided to go for it. We chose the highest peak, since it had the most obvious approach, and it’s a short hike if you happen to already be camping at the lake. It’s a steep hike, followed by a scramble to the summit.

Once I started getting into Summits on the Air, it wasn’t long before I checked to see if this summit qualified. What a great excuse to go backpacking to Glacier Lake again!  Black Buttes became a must-do part of the itinerary for my backpacking trip with a group of friends, though I would end up being the only person in our group to do it.

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