A great day in the hills - W7I/ER-056, Stouts Mountain

I had a lovely hike up Stouts Mountain, WYI/ER-056, yesterday for a SOTA activation. There was a lot of wildfire smoke haze, but it produced dramatic lighting.

The Summit of Stouts from the top 1/3 of the climb

I skied Stouts Mountain once in winter, but I have never been up it in the summer. The accent ridge was very pretty and strenuous: 2.7 miles and 2900’. There were large groves of flowering mountain mahogany on the ridge.

Mountain Mahogany

It had rained several times the day before so the air was cool and moist and the faint trail was damp and tacky on the bottom 1/3 of the climb.

The top of Stouts is a narrow ridge with a cliff along its eastern edge with some lovely ski terrain below that.

Also near the summit is a small memorial stone for Evelyn Courchaine, 1930-2019 and another more weathered stone for her husband Al. They both farmed and ranched at the Diamond H Ranch on the Pine Creek Bench in Swan Valley, Idaho. Stouts Mountain looks over Swan Valley, so it’s an appropriate monument for them. And they will always get a good signal up there :slight_smile:

Swan Valley, ID from Stouts accent ridge

Thanks to all the chasers who helped me activate this peak. I had 18 contacts on CW and then it went quiet. I spent another 30 minutes looking at all the peaks in the Big Hole range.

From the summit of Stouts, I spotted Black Mountain across the valley, another SOTA peak at the head of Fleming Canyon. Looks like that might be my next activation.

A view Black Mountain from Stouts summit

One of the nice things about the SOTA peaks in Idaho is that they are obscure and rarely visited. While looking for SOTA peaks, I keep discovering beautiful mountain areas that are close to me and that I have never visited.


Beautiful pictures. Antenna looks to be a SB linked dipole?

Beautiful region, unfortunately to far away from here.
Thanks for your nice report.

73 Ludwig

Thanks Ludwig. You certainly have a lot of nice peaks in Germany. I’d like to get there some day.

Thanks Matt. Yes, it’s a SB linked dipole. I like the antenna, but it’s difficult for Summit to Summit because I have to lower the antenna to change bands. I got the Elecraft T1 tuner to go with my IC 705. I’ll have to start taking that and leave the antenna in 40m mode for S2S.

Hi Pat,

if you know the time coming to Germany please let me know. A meeting would make a lot of fun and also a joint activation.

73 Ludwig

The SB linked DP was my best performing antenna until the mast fell over in high winds and broke the plastic connection card about a month ago. A buddy had his break in the same place. Martin @ SB said they could do a repair but shipping is gonna be spendy.

Hi Matt. I’ve had my 7m Spiderbeam mast fall down several times while operating but no breakage yet. I don’t find the recommended method for holding up the mast to be very stable; eg, having the ends of the antenna providing two of the 3 point guying system (based on video on Sotabeams site). I have much better luck when there is a small tree or stump to tie the mast to. I might make a mast guying ring so I can support the mast with 3 or 4 guy lines about 5’ up the mast. I can see how that plastic plate at the antenna center could break, especially on rocky peaks. Thanks for the heads up. Other than that, I’ve had great results with the antenna and 5 watts.

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Ludwig. Thanks for the invitation. I won’t be coming to Germany this year due to COVID restrictions, but maybe next year. A joint activation would be fun.

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