Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Summits On The Air

People come to Perrot State Park for it's beauty, a breath of fresh air and now I find that amateur ham radio operators have their sights set on two summit peaks at the park. Trempealeau Mountain and Eagle Bluff are worth points in the game of Chasers and Activators.

Ok you say, what is that all about. Well I've been doing some reading about "Summits On The Air" which happens to be an organization of Ham Radio Operators with associations across more than 100 countries. It's an awards program and the scores can lead to the prestigious "Mountain Goat" and "Shack Sloth" trophies.

Organized in 2002, members (Activators) hike and back pack their radios, batteries and antennas to designated summits where they set up the equipment and try and make contact with (Chasers) who are listening in at their home base. Of course the higher the better, then the more you can hear.

Points are based on elevation and Trempealeau Mountain gets a mere 1 point and Eagle Bluff 2 points. Perrot has just two of the 40 some designated locations in Wisconsin. Some summits require extensive physical efforts and some may be just a drive and short hike.

CAUTION: If you are an "Activator" please note there are no maintained trails to either location in Perrot. Trempealeau Mountain is also a designated State Natural Area, visitors need to tread lightly to help preserve this important place. Please respect these sensitive areas.

The only legal access to Trempealeau Mountain is by watercraft. The railroad considers walking along the tracks as trespassing and is quite dangerous and the dike road from the National Wildlife Refuge is a federal property posted with a barrier for no foot traffic beyond a certain point.


  1. Now there's something I've never heard of.

  2. It was a first for me too! Kinda like geo caching on steroids.