Skiing on the Air: Angle Mountain, W7Y/TT-052

I’ve been looking at the maps of Angle Mountain, W7Y/TT-052, for about a month. Angle Mountain is considered to be in the Wind River Mountain range, but some consider it part of the Absaroka mountain range. It’s near the summit of Togwotee Pass, Wyoming, and is haven for skiers and snowmobilers in the winter and grizzly bears in the summer. I don’t like hiking in grizzly country, especially because I’m usually hiking alone. Also, I’ve seen grizzlies near the Togwotee pass summit 3 of the six times I’ve been there in the summer. Luckily, I saw them from my car. My wife told me I should take bear spray, and I did. But I left it in the car when I saw how much snow there was. Plus, I didn’t want to carry any extra weight :wink:

Also, I prefer to ski peaks if I can. It’s much easier on my old knees. And even if the skiing is bad, which it often is in the spring, it still much easier than hiking.

This trip made me a little nervous. I’d never skied in the Togwotee Pass area before. Besides it’s reputation for grizzly bears in the summer, Togwotee Pass also has a reputation for high avalanche danger in the winter. But because it was early April, I figured I would find a spring snowpack that was isothermal and pretty much glued to the mountain.

There is no summer trail up Angle Mountain, so I planned a route that took the most gentle terrain to the summit. I didn’t want to get myself into avalanche terrain, especially since I’m not familiar with the area. Also, it had been snowing lightly for three days and the mountain had 6 to 8 inches of powder. Because of the firm spring base, the trail breaking was pretty easy. And my route of 2.5 miles and 1700’ of gain worked out well. Of course, I had to adjust it as I went. Sometimes you can’t see short steep pitches on a topo when the contour lines are 40 feet apart.

When I got to the top, it was snowing and breezy. I strapped my antenna mast to a small tree and held up the other end with a ski pole.

Then I climbed into my Bothy Bag, a warm, cozy environment on such a cold desolate peak. It’s amazing how Bothy bags, with their red light, make me feel comfortable. Good thing. I was up there for an hour and 45 minutes and had 80 QSOs, 23 of which were DX, and I was warm the whole time. I felt VERY lucky to have great band conditions and great snow conditions. It doesn’t get any better than that for Skiing On The Air.

Now for the bonus: a 2.25 mile, 1700 foot downhill run in fresh, light, untracked powder. I can see why this area is so popular with snowmobiles. The mountains here consist of coniferous forests and massive open, low-angle glades. That makes it easy and pretty safe to go wherever you want. And it makes the downhill skiing fun because it’s wide open.

The only problem with these massive, wide-open glades is that if it’s not sunny, you can’t see anything except white. It’s like skiing inside a ping pong ball.

There were times when I was going down and almost fell over because I lost my equilibrium due to the flat light. Because of these conditions, I decided to ski down my uptrack, and that track was the only thing I could see. It was like following the proverbial bread crumbs, but it got me back to the highway and I had some great powder skiing.

Here’s a 7 minute video I made of the ski tour and activation. Mostly it’s a ski video, but there’s a QSO section in the middle.


A great write up Pat. It’s always a pleasure to get you in my log, both on SOTA and WWFF. Stay safe my friend, 73 44 de W6LEN / Jess

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Great activity Pat! Tnx fer make the video.

Another great one, Pat. Your videos certainly don’t disappoint.

Did you see any bears? I thought they woke up hungry this time of year.

That’s brilliant. Not sure if it is an idiom or some other gramatical term, but perfect none the less.

Great video Pat !

Hi Jess. Thanks for all the QSOs. I appreciate it.

Thanks Paul. Hope we can do one together one of these days.

No, I didn’t see any bears. And yes, they do wake up hungry and grumpy.

I first heard it up at Grand Targhee aka Grand Foggy, the ski area on the west side of the Tetons. During the winter months, it’s often foggy up on the top 1/2 of the mountain and it’s like “skiing inside a ping pong ball.”

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Wow, I’m jealous of your local environment!

Can you share what brand of Bothy bag you have? I have only seen 2+ person bags.

Great report and activation! Real profi.
Impressive skiing.
I’ll try to activate as beautifully as you, Pat!

Hi Kelly. Yes, we have a lot of nice peaks around here, very few people, and sometimes good snow.

My bag is a two person Bothy bag and it works perfectly for one person. It’s much more comfortable if you use a pole to hold it up in the center. Also, leaning your pack against the opposite end helps too. Note: there are several brands, such as Rab, that offer a shelter that’s pretty much the same thing.

Thanks Vlad. I was very lucky to have such nice snow. Otherwise, it would have been a blood bath :wink: Plus, it’s much easier without a BIG pack full of camping gear :slight_smile:


Hi Pat,

Thanks for the insight into such a marvelous environment! This Easterner has never skied in powder (or other) snow, so it was particularly revealing to me that your skis ran under the surface of the snow sometimes. Live and learn.

I’d have liked to chase you up there, but I was in Indiana watching the eclipse - didn’t think to take a radio for some reason.

Thanks again for the video.

Andy, N4LAG

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Hi Andy. Yes, powder snow is pretty amazing. When it’s a foot deep or deeper, you don’t even see the skis except when they float up at the end of each turn.

By the way. I will be attending the W4 spring campout in Virginia at the beginning of May. Are you going? It would be great to meet you.

Also, thanks for all the QSOs.


Hi Pat,

Yes, Debbie (KQ4IAM) and I expect to attend, and we’ll both be glad to meet you. We also expect to attend the W7O Campout in July. I looked to see if you were going to attend, but it looks like not.

Let the QSO’s accumulate!

Andy, N4LAG

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Hi Pat,
Beautiful skiing and a well done video.
Growing up in the Arizona desert that is an unreal adventure to me.
Best 73,


Hi Dale. Thanks and good to hear from you. I guess if you grew up in Arizona, you’re not used to that much snow :slight_smile: It can be fun if you hit it right. Kind of like the band conditions: you never know.


I was pleased to hear your contact with Danny, ON4VT at 1:45 into the video. A good friend of mine and a great guy. de W6LEN / Jess

Hi Jess. Yes, Danny is a nice guy and avid chaser who has a great antenna. He started chasing me in 2021, but he has been very active in 2024. He’s the one who encouraged me to join WWFF, and that seems to bring in more DX :slight_smile:


Thanks for the activation report! I’m in BC, just to the north and west of where you are. My eyes are always peeled for bears as well and there are times I end up using a speaker over earbuds so I can hear more than CW!!

I wonder if I’d get comfortable in a bothy bag without being able to see all around me? You seem to have mastered any fear of that sort.

Congratulations on the activation and I will look forward to chasing you again as well as having you in my activator logs! 73


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Hi Bruce. I don’t mind being in the bag, but usually when I’m using it, I’m not worried about bears. Thanks for the QSO.

I also use earbuds. Once, in the summer, I was activating Black Tail Butte in Teton National Park. I got up during the activation to adjust my antenna and saw a black bear about 50 feet away run off. I don’t think he knew I was there.


Sorry I missed chasing you!! Wow great video the last 4-min of your downhill was magical on full screen I was there in your XC boots effortlessly-quietly-gracefully shushing my way back to the hiway! Thank You!! Will keep my eye peeled for your next SOTAdventure! 73 Steve/wGØAT

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