I had attempted this mountain in the autumn. Thanks to the government shutdown the area had been closed off. Now I returned, this time with my mountain bike. It was one of the few remaining summits in the San Gabriels not yet activated for SOTA.

Indian Canyon Road heads south up into the hills from Soledad Canyon Road. It has been closed to “civilian” vehicles for some years, and is gated. The Pacific Crest trail head is here also, but takes a different route. First I headed steeply up and rose 400 feet, then down (west) 200 feet into Indian Canyon itself. I left at 5:35AM, about 45 minutes before sunrise.

A nice waning gibbous moon and a brightening sky provided light
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Then a nice mile along Indian Canyon, rising gently. The road was sandy in places but not a bad ride. The birds were awake and singing so it was very nice.
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The road then heads right (west) and up to a saddle on the ridge above. The road had not been graded, I had hoped for a better surface. There was one other bike track in the road, and one vehicle track, I guess a 4WD since the road was so rough.

Snow Benchmark comes into view, a long ridge.
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At the saddle, a firebreak heads up (and down) the ridge. I guess people used to take their jeeps up here so it has been blocked off! On Google, there used to be a picture of a jeep on this firebreak but it is no longer posted. The firebreak is easily seen on Google Maps.
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The road now heads south on the west side of this ridge, so Indian Canyon has been left behind to the east. Peak 4054 (W6/CT-156) comes into view. It lies in the heart of the Magic Mountain Wilderness. I doubt that it will be activated for SOTA, since getting to the top would require much burrowing through very dense chaparral. Not my cup of tea, nor anyones’ I guess!
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Magic Mountain Wilderness high point, about 4700 ft
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Some nice flowers
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Looking up towards Snow, and the firebreak and Indian Canyon Road
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The road surface is generally pretty darn crummy. Often it is like a stream bed. I pushed the bike up a lot. Luckily, I found it OK riding down.
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More spring flowers
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After six miles and two and a half hours, I came to the Santa Clara Divide Road, which runs along the east/west ridge from Bear Divide to the west, up over Magic Mountain, past Snow Benchmark, then down to North Fork ranger station, up to Mt. Gleason, down to Mill Creek Summit, continuing east to Mt Pacifico and then to the Angeles Crest Highway.

View west to Magic Mountain
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View east to Snow Benchmark. The SOTA activation zone is half a mile long, take your pick of operating spots!
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The crazy steep fire break on the ridge below
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Peak 4054 in the center. Just to its left is a peak about 3800 ft tall. It has a prominence of 400 ft, so is not a SOTA peak
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After half an hour I left the road and pushed the bike up through grass to the benchmark. About 30 feet away there was a strange concrete square about 8 feet on a side with what looked like a drain in the middle, no idea why it was there. I think this is a thing I barely made out from the Google maps aerial view. I didn’t feel like taking a picture of this structure!
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The “new” 1962 benchmark says Trail Cyn! What happened to poor Snow Benchmark we will never know.
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View along  the ridge of Snow Benchmark as it curves south. I later biked along the curve in the road to the “Vista Point”.  Skyline is Mendenhall Ridge, high point Iron Mtn #2. Towards the end of my operation today a couple of mountain bikers passed by on the road heading east.
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Got on the HT and called CQ on 2 meters, talked with N6SRI (Ed) who was just beginning a hike in the area at Mint Canyon, and W6GEV (Eric) who was camping in Soledad Canyon. Then I set up the HF gear.
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Bike tied off one end of the dipole
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I was well before my alert time, so I just listened and tuned around and made a few non-chaser QSOs. The started calling CQ, and made contacts on 20m, then 30m. I took a break and talked with Frank KR6AL on the Catalina Repeater, the Brian AB6UI on the Hughes Aircraft Company (now Raytheon) repeater W6HA. I hadn’t heard anyone on the latter for years. Brian says they now have a net noon Thursdays and 9:30AM Saturdays so i think I will join in, since I used to be a member of the club before retiring. Then I went back to 20m.

2m FM: N6SRI W6GEV
20m CW: W7KOW NF8J W0RW NS7P KX0R K0LAF K6TUY KG3W KB7HH K1RO WA2USA WB5USB W5ODS WA9STI N4EX NE4TN NK6A KT5X K6TUY
30m CW: K6TUY W7RV AA5CK N5XL(s2s w7a aw-009) N0OI WA6RIC K6EL(s2s w6 nc-423) NA6MG(s2s w6 ct-023) K0YO W7CNL WD0EBZ VA6FUN

Radio bike packed and ready to head down
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Magic Mountain Wilderness high point, and Peak 4054
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The condition of the Indian Canyon Road sign matches the condition of the road!
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Indian Canyon Road at Quail Spring
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The road has a grade of 10%, so is steeper than I like to bike up hill. Ok for down though
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Indian Creek
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The ride down took one hour twenty minutes. After the hike/ride, I headed over to Blum Ranch in Aliso Canyon to buy honey and more peach jam. We will be going there again in harvest season to buy peaches and pears. It was founded by George and Magdalena Blum from Switzerland, in 1891!   http://www.blumranch.com

 

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Poppies at Clear Creek
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Now the statistics. Seven miles up, seven miles down. Took six pints of water, drank three, then had a coke and half a pint of water in the car. Temperature was about 60F at the top, 74 at the base, though of course seemed hotter in the bright sun. 2900 feet up, 200 elevation gain returning.

Thanks!
73!
Hal
N6JZT

This mountain is sometimes called “Iron Mountain #2″. It is in the Mt. Gleason region of the western San Gabriels. This distiguishes it from 8000 ft “Big Iron” which is near Mt. Baldy.

I had been looking at Iron Mountain #2 for a few months. To reach it is a long hike or bike ride: 11 miles up the Mendenhall Ridge Road from Dillon Divide off Little Tujunga Canyon road, 10 miles up the Yerba Buena Trail, or 15 miles or so of biking from Mill Creek Summit over Mt. Gleason and then down and up to Iron. I chose the Mendenhall route since it only has one mile of downhills and 10 miles of uphills on the way up, so returning is 10 miles of downhill on the bike! When/if the USFS opens the Mt. Gleason Road to Lightning Point campground the hike will only be 3 miles each way. The road has been closed to “civilian” vehicles since the 2009 Station Fire.

I used Patrick O’Neill’s hiking blog for more information; he has over 300 pictures of his bike ride up Mendenhall Ridge to Iron Mountain. Not only did he do Iron, he hiked up Mendenhall Peak, and also down from the ridge and up Mt. McKinley and back to the ridge to continue his ride to Iron! Patrick has been recently licensed and is KK6KUM. Less than a week before my Iron #2 ride he hiked and activated Big Iron.

http://thistrail.com/in/?p=987

His GPS track:

http://thistrail.com/in/?p=963

I monitored the weather forecast; I wanted a day in which the winds were from the West, not the North East so I could have a bit of a tail wind on the way up. Also a day that was not too hot. I saw from the daily graphs you can find for weather stations on “wunderground.com” that it would start to get much warmer around 10AM, so I wanted my uphill ride over by then.

 
I also checked the solar weather to check for quiet band conditions

http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/forecast.html

I started early at 5:20AM, the stars were out, it was cool in the 50s and very quiet and peaceful. Starting altitude at Dillon Divide is 2700 ft. After a little while I found I was more comfortable pushing the bike in the dark rather that riding by my headlamp on the dirt road. It had been recently graded and there were rocks and soft spots in places. I really don’t mind pushing the bike; I had a gallon of water and my radio gear, it’s easier pushing the bike than carrying that cargo on my back!

I reached my first goal, the power lines at Highline Saddle, 3630 ft altitude and 2.4 miles in.
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Magic Mountain in the background
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Recently graded road. At least the USFS had cleared any rock slides off the road! I pushed the bike alot on this trip.
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The next goal 4350 ft and just over 4 miles, the turn off to the old Mendenahall Peak road. Highway 18 apparently.
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From here you ascend along the south side of the ridge, then descend 150 ft over about a mile and return to the North side

Continue the ascent
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Snow Benchmark across Pacoima Canyon
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View of Mt. Lukens, with shoulder of Condor Peak to the left
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Finally I get a clear view of Iron Mountain, perhaps a mile or so away. The road is pretty gentle here which was good since my legs were tired by this point.
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Up to a saddle, Iron can be reached an easy half mile up the grassy ridge from here. I took this picture on the way down, since I chose a different route up…
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I rode a little further up the road, packed the gear in my day pack, then went up steeply to the ridge through brush. It was OK but at one point I scrambled up a burnt log to avoid dried out Poodle Dog bush on either side.
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Nice grassy ridge, elevation gain from the road to the summit is maybe 150ft
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Finally, the summit benchmark! There were a few signatures in the summit register.
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I turned on the HT and right there was Mike N6MKW who was near the summit of Peak 4202 W6/CT-150 above the Angeles Crest Highway. A few minutes later he was at the summit and we had a summit to summit QSO.

The antenna at the summit
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Thanks to all for the contacts!
2m FM: N6NKW, WB6EFL WA9STI
20m CW: AD7IR/M K7TQ W7CNL K5WI NS7P K7NEW NA6MG K6TUY WA2USA N7WM W0MNA W6BUX KF5J KF7WNS K8TE
30m CW: WA6RIC W7RV N7CW NK6A K0YO KK7EL AE9F K6EL K9ZMD

Mt. Gleason to the Northeast. The Mendenhall Ridge road goes down to Indian Ben Saddle, then up to where it will meet the Santa Clara Divide Road then on to the summit
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View back down Mendenhall Ridge to the West
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View South showing the route to Condor Peak, about 3 miles. I wonder if those water tanks have water in them?
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The same picture showing where Mike is on Peak 4202 W6 CT-150. If you click on the picture your browser should be able to zoom in. You can go to his blog and see if you can make out where I am! http://mikakw1sota.blogspot.com/2014/04/pt-4202-w6ct-150.html
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And I too was there, too.
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Magic Mountain and Snow Benchmark to the Northwest
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A snowy Mt. Baldy far to the East
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After another contact or two with Mike on 4202, and KR6AL Frank on the Catalina Repeater, headed back down to the road. The rocks and boulders looked rusty, so I guess maybe they really are Iron Oxide and there is Iron on Iron Mountain
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I had put the bike down for a nap so it would be well rested.
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Ready to head down
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Mendenhall Ridge
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I think this may be at Iron Mountain Saddle, but my geography is a bit weak. Snow Benchmark in the background
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View back East along Mendenhall Ridge
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Spring flowers
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New growth of chaparral since the Station Fire of 2009
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Now for a little uphill
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Kagel Mountain L and Los Pinetos (“Fernando 2 Benchmark”) R
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Approaching Highline Saddle
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Enjoying some shade and a nice road
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Almost down to Little Tujunga Canyon and the end of this adventure…
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The USFS road grader!
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During the ride, I drank five pints out of the eight I had taken. I immediately had a cold coke from the cooler in the Jeep when I arrived. The mid day temperature was in the low 70s on the mountain (with bright hot sunshine) and in the 80s back at the Jeep. I think if you were to hike this you would need two gallons of water.

It took four hours up the road to the beginning of the scramble to the ridge, and two hours to ride back down. Total elevation gain is about 3200 ft out, 300 ft back. 11 miles each way on the road, plus a little in hiking to the summit.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

I went up to Mill Creek Summit at 4900 ft 6 days ago with the intent of riding again to Little Gleason but the wind was blowing too strongly from the North, so I went over to Vetter Mountain for a ride, but didn’t take the radio up. Today was predicted with light winds from the south west, that’s OK; the first 2 miles of the ride are to the North. When I got to the start of the ride there was no wind, yay!

Start at Mille Creek Summit, this rest area is across the road from the start of the Mt. Gleason Road.
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There were many trucks heading up Mt. Gleason road, I think for HV line work. As I rode maybe a dozen pickups and one heavy truck passed but it was OK. Some of the pickups were towing trailers containing fuel for helicopter work, which I could see and hear later from time to time. On the HT, contacted Mike N6MKW who was just heading up Mt Emma W6 CT-029.

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A beautiful morning, sunny and cool.
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Up the paved road for five and a half miles, then the dirt road another half mile to the summit. Had to push quite a bit up the steep dirt road like last time. It was even harder as the rain a few weeks ago had formed channels in the road.

Looking back at a fallen burnt Coulter Pine, which I went around. I could see that 4WD vehicles used to service the microwave station had also gone around through the vegetation!
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At the top, worked Mike again on the HT, he had just got to the summit so we had a good s2s contact. Set up the mast and attached it with velcro to a small post.
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Started on 20m, then to 30m, then 2m and back to 20m. When I went back to 20m I heard NM5S just starting his activation so that was a good QSO!

2m FM: N6MKW, KA6AIL
20m CW: N7WM W0MNA W0ERI W7CNL VE7KBN NS7P K9ZMD NA6MG W7OIL K0YO K6TUY NE4TN N1EU K7NEW AA5CK WI2W NM5S(s2s W5N SE-011) K7SO
30m CW: W7RV K7NEW W7USA KB7HH N6GA K6TUY WB5USB

After I had packed up I worked Bob KB6CIO on the Catalina repeater, he told me Martin WN6E was on the air with a first activation of Frankish Peak W6 CT-151. Dang! I should have called Bob when I still had the HF set up. We tried 2m simplex but no go since no line of sight. Oh well, better luck next time.

Isn’t a bicycle a great piece of technology?
SAM_0036

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Verdugo Peak is an urban mountain, rising above Burbank, which lies to the south, and La Crescenta-Montrose to the north. I planned this as another bike ride. I first looked at Whiting Woods Road, but that is too steep (10%+ grade), so I decided on the “standard” way of Hostetter Road, which has an average 8% grade and elevation gain of about 1450 feet in three and a half miles. The “trailhead” is on the north side of Verdugo, at the La Tuna exit of the 210 “Foothill” Freeway. It was a new experience to start a SOTA trip right by a freeway with all the cars and heavy trucks going by. There is parking for maybe a couple of dozen cars, it must get packed on weekends; there were many cars parked there today which was a Friday.

Note the position of the radio mast. I guess I could raise it right up from the bike if I need to. Freeway is in the background.
010

The first half mile is on pavement, then steeply up a dirt road, where I had to push for a hundred yards. This was the only part on which I had to push the bike. Then up a bit and the road is level for a quarter mile, then begins a pretty steady ascent.

Mt Lukens to the north, where I was two weeks ago.
011

Hostetter fire road, fairly well graded though cut by many shallow water runoff channels.
014

On the way up talked with Bob KB6CIO who was over doing Cerro Negro Bechmark a few miles to the east (W6 CT-226) with Martin WN6E. We were also in contact with Mike N6MKW who was hiking up Kagel Mountain (W6 CT-170) to the west. We used the Mt Wilson repeater on 449.7 MHz.

View to the east along the ridge, from the top, after an hour and a quarter of biking.
015

There are many radio transmitters in these hills. The summit has a fenced area with four tall telephone poles acting as radio masts.
016

Today’s setup.
019

Worked Alan NM5S S2S in New Mexico, he was running stations so took a break and worked KB6CIO and WN6E simplex on 2m FM. Then back to 20m and waited until Alan QSYed to 40 meters, then I called CQ on the frequency and worked many stations. After a while, worked Mike S2S on 2m FM, then to 30m CW. During the operation several other mountain bikers stopped by, they thought the ham radio was pretty cool, they were very interested that I had worked as far as Pennsylvania (KG3W). Final QSO was 2m FM with Dan NA6MG who was at home today, not in the mountains!

As on Mt Lukens, the radio transmitters interfered with by 2m HT reception, the noise level on VHF was about S7 or so.

2m FM: KB6CIO WN6E N6MKW NA6MG
14 MHz CW: NM5S K6TUY K9ZMD K7NEW NA6MG W7CNL N4MJ KX0R WA2USA NS7P VE7KBN N7WM W4DOW N4EX AJ5C K8TE W0MNA W0ERI KI0G KG3W
30m CW: K6TUY W7RV WA6RIC W8FDV W7TAO

Topo from USGS database showing start (1661 ft) and end (3131 ft) elevations. The 3126 feet elevation in the title is from Wikipedia.
CT-034 map

Today’s activation was different than usual, I got to chat with runners, walkers and bikers along the way. Usually my hikes are in the wilderness and quite solitary. On the way down, just below the summit, I asked a female runner if she would be doing the LA Marathon on Sunday. She said, no, she would be working it because she was a police officer. She would be in Hollywood. I told her I would be doing the communications at the 14 mile medical tent, a few miles beyond her! So that was pretty cool, we chatted about the marathon for a while then I continued down.

Took half an hour to ride down, it seemed steeper going down than going up!

73!
Hal
N6JZT

After Kagel, it was obvious I needed a real mountain bike, with the capability of low gears to get up the hills. So I got one. It is a low end model, but is adequate for riding the fire roads in the San Gabriels. I decided to try it out on Mt. Lukens. I chose to start at 2900 ft altitude Grizzly Flats fire road, which after 4 miles connects with the Mt. Lukens Road. The latter is a well graded dirt service road for the vehicles that maintain the antenna farm on the summit. The total elevation gain is something like 2200 ft, and 6.6 miles one way. Any other road would have started lower and meant more elevation gain!

The Grizzly Flats Road starts at a turnout on the left at mile 30.5 on the Angeles Crest Highway, about 6 miles from La Canada. I parked there, and the gate is around the corner to the left about 50 yards up the dirt road.
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I talked with Bob KB6CIO on the Catalina Repeater, he and Martin (WN6E) were driving up to activate Occidental Peak and were going to use the Mt Wilson repeater so we switched to that. I started off, and yes, the bike was much easier to pedal up hill in the lowest gear! After about 0.8 mile, I came to the junction with the Hoyt Mountain Road, which went off to the right. Then shortly to a saddle and some downhill before resuming the climb. The fire road was pretty easy to ride, a little rocky in places but OK. Also becoming more like a single track rather than a road here and there. There are outstanding views on this ride/hike.

Condor Peak at sun rise, across Big Tujunga Canyon
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Quite a bit of shade from scrub oaks along the way on Grizzly Flats road
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The new bike with telescoping jackite antenna mast attached with bungee cords. This is after 4 miles, at the intersection with the Mt. Lukens road. I think from here there is another 1000 feet or so of elevation to go. No more shade.
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Mt. Gleason
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Summit of Lukens in sight. I worked Bob about every half hour on the way up, on the Mt Wilson Repeater.
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Antennas. A bit of trivia is that Mt Lukens is the highest point in the city of Los Angeles
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Just before the antennas there is a short use trail to the summit
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I took the bike the final 50 yards to the summit. It took just under 2 and a half hours all told, I guess I pushed the bike a total of 5% to 10% of the way which is way better than Kagel where I pushed the old bike 90%!
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Had a bit of difficulty with the mast. I tried to set it in the little rock pile at the summit register, but it kept falling over. So I velcro strapped it to a burnt tree finally. Then when I started on 20 meters, there was a buzzing S2-3 noise level. I wondered if it was from the antenna farm or the elevated solar activity which had been predicted. I called CQ for 15 minutes or so, with no luck. I saw later that RBN had got me twice but was not reported at all as a spot to the SOTA page.

I switched to 2 meters and talked with Dan NA6MG 2 meter simplex, so at least I had achieved one QSO! I told him I was going to 30 meters, and I saw later that the RBN-SOTA spotted me OK. There was no noise on 30 meters, and W7RV came back 599 for the first CW QSO. 30m was excellent, it sounded like there was a pipeline everyone was so loud.

After this, Dan told me Bob and Martin were at the summit of Occidental, so we tried 2 meter simplex. They could hear me 59+ but they were in the noise at my end, even when Martin cranked up to 20 watts. I don’t understand this as we had line of sight. Maybe the antenna farm was desensitizing my HT, or there is an attenuator set in my VX6 HT that I don’t know about. Very puzzling. In a separate writeup about climbing Mt Lukens the author stated his cell phone was messed up for half an hour after leaving the summit, he figured the antenna farm had done it. Now Tim K6TW has told me his HT and HF rig suffered from RFI up there so maybe that was it.

Went back to 20m, the noise was gone now. Dan spotted me in case the RBN-SOTA spot didn’t work. Now 20m was “working” and made some QSOS, including two summit to summit. Thanks to Dan for helping me, Bob and Martin today!

144 MHz FM: NA6MG
10 MHz CW: W7RV NA6MG W7CNL W7/DL1UF NK6A W7USA N7AMA NS7P K0YO WA6RIC(Rick “assisted” on the key by his cat Obie!) AE7UT WA6JCH K6TUY AE9F
14 MHz CW: W0MNA W0ERI NA6MG N4EX KI0G K7NEW K6TUY N4MJ W7CNL AA5CK N7WM NM5S(S2S W5N PW020) KE5AKL(S2S W5N SI018)

The descent went quickly. Took about an hour to get down, even with breaks for photos and to admire the view

Josephine, Strawberry, Lawlor and San Gabriel
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Gleason
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Thanks to everyone for a great day! Back at the house, I chatted with Bob and Martin on the Mt Wilson repeater. I was sitting on the front porch and they were driving home. Gotta love ham radio!

73!
Hal
N6JZT

MtLukensMap

In England, a non-motorized bicycle is sometimes called a pushbike as opposed to a motorbike. This seems appropriate for today; it was too steep for me on this dirt road so I pushed the bike up the mountain about 90% of the time! There were a very few sections not so steep, and some downhills. It took an hour to get to the top. I brought the heavy IC-706 and the big 20Ah Lithium battery which weighs 7 pounds. All that combined with antenna and water made the load in the saddle bags about 20 pounds.

View of Magic Mountain
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Worked Bob KB6CIO on the Catalina repeater and 7 MHz SSB. He spotted me for 24 MHz SSB, thanks Bob! Made loads of contacts, including DX into England, Norway, Finland, Germany, Belgium and Poland. The big battery gave me the luxury of operating 100W on SSB.

7 MHz SSB: KB6CIO
24 MHz SSB: LA5WKA W0MNA W0ERI KI0G N7UN K6TUY G4OBK W6UB K0LAF VE2JFM DJ5AV VA2LU N4MJ ON4FI KK1W OH9XX AB5RT KB1RJD KB1RJC SP2XDW KF4MH
10 MHz CW: NS7P N7AMA W7RV NA6MG WA6RIC K7NEW W7CNL WB5USB AA5CK VE7KBN K6TUY KB7HH
14 MHz CW: NK6A K0JQZ AD5A(S2S W5N PW-037) AE4FZ W8AQ KG3W W7CNL K9ZMD W4DOW
14 MHz SSB; N6MKW (Mike) s2s on W6 CT-019 San Gabriel Peak, line of sight about 20 miles away

Very comfortable operating position. The temperature was mild (80 degrees when I got back to the car!) and the trees provided some nice shade.
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Yes, this is a weird picture, the camera was on the ground, the wind sock is for the hang gliders
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Mendenhall Ridge
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The road back. It took half an hour to get down. My hands were tired from gripping the brake levers hard to keep my speed safe.
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Thanks everyone!

73!
Hal
N6JZT

A nice walk to this easy-to-access point 500 feet above the Angeles Crest Highway. I brought the IC-706 so I could try 24 MHz, which I have never worked from the mountains before. The weather was predicted partly cloudy; it was at first but then became totally sunny and warm.

The trail starts just to the right of the small Clear Creek Ranger Station (to the left out of view), at the junction of the Angles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway.
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A wisp of cloud clearing from the summit
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The summit is only half an hour from the road. Here is a view of Condor Peak (W6 CT-027). It is either a 16 mile round trip hiking from the valley with 3000 ft elevation gain, or a 12 mile bike ride up 3000 feet elevation gain, a 5 mile round trip hike, then a 12 mile bike ride back: very tough!
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I put the mast and dipole up, and tuned the 20m dipole to 24 MHz with the little MFJ travel tuner. Band conditions were great!
24 MHz CW: KG3W, W4DOW WA2USA/4 NA6MG K6TUY W0MNA W0ERI N4EX EA2LU KB7HH KI0G W5RST NE4TN AA5CK VE2JFM N0EVH W5ODS AE4FZ N1EU
10 MHz CW: WA6RIC NS7P W7USA N7AMA W6AH (S2S on W6 ND257) K6TUY K0JQZ N7EDK K5DEZ W7JET W7AUM AE9F
144 MHz FM: KR6AL

Worked Bob KB6CIO on the Catalina repeater, we tried simplex but he couldn’t hear me. Also worked Frank KR6AL on the repeater, we had a successful simplex QSO.

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73!
Hal
N6JZT

A nice hike today with Dan (NA6MG) and Bob (K6TUY). We met up at Eaton Saddle and began our walk at about 0630 or so. Chilly with high clouds, a beautiful sun rise. The Los Angles basin was covered by low clouds.
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Through the tunnel
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It was rather chilly, I should have worn my wool shirt rather than a cotton one. If there had been plenty of sunshine I would not have felt the chill. But the clouds and mountains looked very beautiful.

I brought the IC-706 so that I could operate SSB, here I am on the microphone. I also operated 20 meter CW.
20m SSB: W0MNA WN6E N7CNH KI0G K6SSS KA5PVB W7CNL
20m CW: K7SO KE5AKL WA6RIC NS7P WA2USA/4 W4DOW AA5CK N0EVH W7CNL
Congratulations to Dow for making 5000 chaser points today!
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Bob operated mainly 40 meter CW
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Dan set up his station among the dried up Poodle Dog bushes. He made many contacts, including several into Europe. He even broke his CW tradition and operated SSB!
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Sounding a bit like a broken record: another Nike base. This is Mt. Disappointment below us which was the Nike radar station site for LA-09. Mt. Josephine (L) and Strawberry Peak (R) in the middle distance.
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And Barley Flats (ridge in middle distance) housed the launchers. Nike Ajax rather than Nike Hercules, I believe.
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A nice hike down. After our drive down the Angeles Crest Highway we stopped for some delicious Tacos at “El Charro” in Montrose. Bob’s wife Bunny met up with us there. A great day!

73
Hal
N6JZT

During a normal winter, the road closure would mean a 5 mile hike or snow shoe up the road to the ridge, then a strenuous (and perhaps dangerous) snow shoe hike up the ridge to the summit. With the present lack of snow, the road is open and there is very little snow on the ridge.

There is some snow on north facing slopes
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Pleasant hike in the cold mountain air
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Very pretty, but a normal winter would put 3 to 6 feet of snow here
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Brought the mast so I didn’t have to throw the antenna up in a tree! I had a nice log to sit on
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It was nice to make some 2 meter contacts, including summit to summit K6TW Tim and XYL KK6HME Meav on Mt Waterman (W6 CT012), and N0PCL Nate on Tahquitz Peak (W6 CT007). NA6MG Dan at home, KB6CIO Bob from his car in a parking lot at a Brea coffee shop.

2m FM: NA6MG K6TW KK6HME N0PCL KB6CIO
10 MHz CW: W7RV KU6J K6TUY KF7PXT KH2TJ K6EL(S2S W6 NC407) KK7EL W7CNL
14 MHz CW: WA8REI WOERI W0MNA N0EVH KF4MH N1EU N7UN N4EX K6TUY AJ5C WA2USA/4 NS7P K6SSS AA5CK KG3W K5WI NE4TN NA6MG

After a nice hike down, I met up with Tim, Mev, Tim’s nephew Jonathon, and SOTA dog Mira at the Mt Waterman trailhead. We all then went to Newcomb’s ranch and had a nice lunch together.

BTW Mira is a real SOTA dog and accompanied Tim on his 14 mile Pallett Benchmark hike. Wow!

By way of comparison, here is what the road to Throop Peak looked like in April (Spring!) 2009. Miriam and I hiked the 5 miles from Islip Saddle to Dawson Saddle, where the trail begins to Throop. And after we hiked the 5 miles up, we hiked the 5 miles back down… We then had a nice steak dinner at Newcomb’s!
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73!
Hal
N6JZT

No snow! Very strange here in the San Gabriels for mid January. So continues our third year of drought, though so far this year is much drier than the previous two.

Also, yesterday, HRO delivered a Wouxon HT for 440 and 2 meters. I set it up for the Mt Wilson repeater frequency 449.7 MHz, so my wife Miriam could hear me from the mountains. She is not a ham, but every so often I could call out my location so she could hear it in our living room at home. During my trip today this worked very well.

This slope on the hike up should be completely covered in snow!
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I set up at the summit. The antenna was lower than usual, so I don’t think I got out as well as previous activations.
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My first QSO was with KE6UPI, David, on Palomar Mountain, CT-020. This was using the HT on 2 meters FM. He is not a SOTA activator, so I confirmed that he was actually on the summit. There were the NA QSO Party and Straight Key contests today so things were hectic on 20 meters. While I was operating on 20 meters, one of the wires to the morse key broke just as N4EX was calling me. I stripped the wire using my teeth but didn’t get back on frequency in time to work all the chasers who were around, and was unable to complete the contact with N4EX. Later, worked Gary K9ZMD who was in the SKCC as K3Y/7.

18:27z KE6UPI 144MHz FM s2s palomar W6 CT-020, David
18:33z WS0TA 14MHz CW s2s W5N SE-040
18:49z NS7P 14MHz CW
18:50z W7CNL 14MHz CW
18:52z AJ5C 14MHz CW
18:53z N1EU 14MHz CW This is when the wire to the key broke at the terminal!!!
18:57z KX7L 14MHz CW
18:58z N7WM 14MHz CW
18:59z N7CNH 14MHz CW
19:14z K6EL 10MHz CW
19:17z W7RV 10MHz CW
19:17z KU6J 10MHz CW
19:19z KF7PXT 10MHz CW
19:20z K7JFD 10MHz CW
19:22z K0YO 10MHz CW
19:22z VE7KBN 10MHz CW
19:24z N7CW 10MHz CW
19:26z W7LXN 10MHz CW Myron AZ 100W 3el
19:32z K6TUY 10MHz CW
19:33z AE9F 10MHz CW
19:34z WA6RIC 10MHz CW
19:41z K3Y/7 14MHz CW Gary – K9ZMD
19:47z WG0AT 14MHz CW

So a pretty nice activation, sunny and a little wind, temp about 50F. View of Pallett Benchmark (L) and Will Thrall Peak (R)
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Up the road, the Mt. Waterman ski area is bereft! Can anyone remember no snow in mid January???
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73!
Hal
N6JZT

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