After many years here in LA, I finally hiked Mt Baldy. A more formal name for Mt Baldy is Mt San Antonio, named after San Antonio de Padua.

In the 80s I hiked a lot in the Sierra Nevada, but never in the “local” San Gabriel Mountains. I should have hiked here too but never did. Well, now that I am retired I am making up for it!

As is my usual way now, I got up early and started the hike at 0445, about 2 hours before sunrise! I had parked at Manker flats, and set off by headlamp up the jeep road to San Antonio Falls. After about half an hour I came to the un-signed turnoff to the ski hut trail. There is a post that must have held a sign, and a Spanish Bayonet plant. I guess every time a sign is put there it is vandalized because I have seen photos of signs being there in the past. Up and then a switchback and you come to a metal tray and register, so I knew for sure I was on the right path. Tim K6TW had told me about the register.  A nice walk in the dark and turned off the headlamp at 0600. Arrived at the Sierra Club ski hut.

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The trail is pretty good up to this point but now gets rocky as you go across the bowl (=cirque in French = cwm in Welsh)
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Then steeply up through the trees
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At the crest of the ridge, I met the strong wind wind that had been forecast. The trail now becomes “trails” as there are many use trails which proceed upwards, leading along the west side of the ridge. The ridge across the way further right (west) in the picture has the trail that leads from Mt Baldy Village, which requires 6000 ft of elevation gain to the summit.
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Just keep going up and up and up…
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Almost at the summit, I met a hiker coming down. And then the summit, after almost 4 hours of hiking!
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Beautiful day, but cold in the mid 40s F and very windy
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This scrub pine provided a windbreak to set up the 2 meter slim jim j-pole
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Several hikers passed by coming up, then quickly passed by again heading down after they had quickly tagged the summit. Called Charles KM6CEM on the HT, he came right back and kindly spotted me on 2 meters. A great location for VHF, being up so high. Made 17 VHF QSOs, a 2m SOTA record for me. Including Ken KN6CCW and Bob KB6CIO, both operating on Onyx Peak W6 CT-044. Roy KR6RG was two miles north of the US-Mexico border, a distance of 123 miles, almost 200 km.

2m FM: KM6CEM K6QCB WD8BDN KK6EHQ NA6MG KK6IUF KB6RG KQ6PK WA6SDB AG6ZR KR6IJO W6AAX KN6CCW KB6CIO KJ6KHF AC6DX VA3CC/W6

Also a 2m QSO with Chris K6CMG after I had left the summit

Operated for almost 45 minutes and was getting cold. I went back to the summit and said hi to 4 young endurance runners who were sheltering behind one of the rock windbreaks. I went down the north slope a little to see if I could find another operating place out of the wind, but I could not. I decided not to set up for HF because I did not want to spend another hour immobile and getting colder. The bright sun wanted to warm things up, but the air temperature and strong wind wanted to keep things cold. Asked Charles to add a spot that I was cold and not setting up for HF.

Started down to the east towards Mt Harwood and the Devils’s Backbone trail. The path traverses to the right on Mt Harwood
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Endurance runners catching up
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This route is very scenic
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The backbone has begun. Very exposed in places
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Enter the Dragon!
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Mt Baldy Notch below. You can take a chair lift up here from just above Manker Flats.
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From the notch, a gravel road leads back to Manker. I took this and made good time
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Back at the start of the ski hut trail, less than an hour from the Notch
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San Antonio Falls. More spectacular in the Spring when there is more water. I’m glad I started in the dark so I couldn’t see how far away the ridge is!
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And back down. Stats: 1h 50m to the ski hut, 3h 45 m total to the summit from Manker Flats. 4.3 miles, 3900 feet elevation gain. Then 1h 30m from the summit to Baldy Notch, and 1h 10m to Manker. 7 miles, of which 3.2 is from summit to Notch. Took 5 pints of water and drank 2, with a coke back at the car.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Unbelievably, even after 34 years here in the Los Angeles area I had never been up Mt Baldy Road and the trail heads to the big peaks there: Mt Baldy (10064 ft), Thunder Mountain (8585 ft), Telegraph Peak (8985 ft), Timber Mountain (8303 ft), Ontario Peak (8693 ft), and Cucamonga Peak (8859 ft). So it was finally time! I planned to do the lowest of them, Timber Mountain. The trail head starts at the bottom of Ice House Canyon (4980ft) where there is a parking lot.

19 September 2014. After setting off in the car at 0345, I drove the freeways to Claremont and then headed into the mountains. Seemed strange to be doing so much freeway driving, not used to it. Then up Padua Rd and Mt Baldy Road, much easier drive, and less winding than the Angeles Crest Highway.  Through Mt Baldy Village and to the trail head, where I arrived at about 0500. Set off in the dark at 0520 by head lamp, temperature was 53F. There are cabins every so often for the first mile or so. The trail was mostly easy to follow in the dark, except one place where the flooding of a couple weeks ago had cut the path. Turned off the headlamp around 0620, sunrise was at 0639. Came to a washed out area that was about a quarter mile long. At one point I lost the trail and got out the map and compass to decide which way to go, since I was not familiar with the area; it worked and I found the path half a minute later!

A little further on I stopped to allow a young couple in their 20s to pass me. They were going twice my speed!

View down Ice House Canyon after 3 miles
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Then another 0.6 miles to Ice House Saddle, 7600 ft.

Weather beaten map at the saddle
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Then head left up towards Timber
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After about 10 minutes I heard K6QCB on 2m, called him and said I’d be on the summit in 15 to 20 minutes. The trail traverses around Timber, then the final part you head back east and up to the summit.

Sign points the way for the last quarter mile on the side trail
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Set up the 2m slim jim j-pole and made some nice contacts with the HT:  Jeff K6QCB, Charles KM6CEM, Bob KB6CIO, Ken KN6CCW, Dan NA6MG, and Mike N6MKW summit to summit on Mt Islip.  Mt Islip is not line of sight, so I guess we got some diffraction over one of Baldy’s ridges that blocked the “view”.  Mike was scratchy at 55. Jeff spotted me and also wrote a comment that I would be on 14.062 MHz CW in half an hour or so. The temperature was in the 40s, I was chilled from sweat so am thinking it may be time to wear my warm wool shirt again. Luckily there was no wind and I warmed up in the sun pretty quickly.

Station on a log
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HF conditions were good
20m CW: K8LJG NS7P N7KRN NA6MG K6TUY NE4TN N5XL K4PIC KE5AKL W7CNL W0MNA WA2USA W0ERI KG3W (S2S W3 ER-001) K0LAF W4DOW K7NEW WA8REI/P

10m CW: W7RV K6EL N7AMA N7EDK K8TE W6BUX AE9F WA6IAF AE5B

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Mt Baldy (left) and Telegraph (center right). In the center is a subsidiary peak of Telegraph
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The way down.
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Met another hiker on his way up; he had climbed Baldy yesterday, and was doing Timber today. He planned to do the monster hike from the desert to the summit of San Jacinto, something like 10000 feet of elevation gain!

Ontario Peak, which is another 2.5 miles after you get back to Ice House Saddle
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Cucamonga Peak is about 3 miles from Ice House Saddle.
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Beautiful grove of Cedars below Ice House Saddle.
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On the way down I ran into about two dozen hikers coming up. This area is obviously very popular. There must be hundreds of hikers on a summer weekend!

There are perhaps a couple of dozen nice mountain cabins in the lower part of the canyon. There is no road to them, I guess they pack supplies in. The cabins do have electricity
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Stats: 3300 feet elevation gain, 3h 15 min up, 1 hr 55 min down. 4.5 miles each way. Took 5 pints of water and only drank 2, I needed to hydrate more by the time I got down.

I drove up the hair pin turns to the Manker Flats trail head for Mt Baldy, and then drove a little further to take a look at the Mt Baldy ski lift at the end of the road. The lift operates weekends during the summer.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Well, there are no strawberries on Strawberry Peak. It is a desert mountain! It got its name from being shaped like a strawberry resting on its base, apparently.

View of Strawberry Peak from my Josephine bike ride. The easier route I took is on the right(east) ridge. The left(west) is Class 3.
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I got up early, and started the hike at 0515 in the dark. It was nice to see the stars against a black sky. The hike begins at Red Box (Mt Wilson Road turn off), and is the same as taken for Mt Lawlor. I used my headlamp for a while. Temperature was cool in the mid 60s. At the Strawberry/Lawlor saddle took a use trail west up the peak, quite steep in places.

On the ridge
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There are a few bumps to go over on the way up. Looking back at the false summit from the high point
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At the summit, the 2m noise level was high from Mt Wilson, but made quite a few QSOs on 2m anyway, the first being with Mike N6MKW on Frazier Mountain CC-003. I could hear Charles KM6CEM, unfortunately he could not hear me. Then HF, 20m was OK but not much on 30m. Dan NA6MG kindly spotted me on 2m and 20m. Worked Chris K6CMG just as he was pulling in to work, he put out a call on 2m to see if anyone was on a summit!

Dipole with 30m links. The orientation was E-W since that’s the way this narrow summit runs
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2m FM: N6MKW KW6ACK KN6CCW K6QCB NA6MG K6CMG
20m CW: W0MNA W0ERI NS7P WD4EXI K6TUY WA2USA NE4TN N4MJ AE4FZ
30m CW: K6TUY

View towards Condor Peak and Iron Mountain. Josephine just on the left of the frame. The chaparral is regenerating. The pine tree below didn’t die in the fire so is regenerating too.
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It was starting to get hot when I headed down at 1000. Very bright in the sun!
Trail contours these rugged spurs
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About 6 miles RT, 1600 feet gain. Took me 2h 15m up, 1h 40m down. Drank 3 pints of water on this hike. Temperature was about 82F back at Red Box

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Got up to the area in the dark, so I enjoyed the stars in the dark sky near Switzer picnic area before heading back a few miles to the trail head as the sky lightened. Started the hike at 0530 with my head lamp for a little while until it got light enough to see without it. Took about 45 minutes to get to the top.

Condor Peak
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Set up the mast and 2 meter J-pole and worked Kenan KR6J who was mobile. I put out a call for Bob KB6CIO on the Catalina Repeater, and it was a nice surprise that he came back, he was helping some people in Palos Verdes with geocaching. We moved to simplex, then also worked Neil K6KWI. Then set up for HF.

Yucca
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Though I was told later that the K and A indices were very high, conditions on 20m and 30m were good at this early hour and made lots of QSOs.

2m FM: KR6J KB6CIO K6KWI W6MTM NA6MG KM6CEM

20m CW: W0MNA W4DOW W0ERI N4EX NA6MG K4PIC NE4TN N0EVH K6TUY WA8REI NE1SJ(S2S W3/PO-001) N4MJ VE2JCW K0LAF

30m CW: NS7P W7CNL WA2USA/0 K6TUY WB5BKL

The activation was a pleasant one, the temperature was about 75 degrees with a slight cooling breeze, then starting to get hot when I left at around 0900.

Yep, I know, I know, but the boulders don’t care if I need a level one on which to put the camera…
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I then headed to Aliso Canyon and Aliso Arrastre Cutoff Road to have a look at a mountain (Peak 3819 as marked on the old paper topos) just south of Peak 3788 CT-167. The US Geological Service National Map shows it has a prominence of  520 feet so we need to make this a SOTA peak. If you take its spot height of 3819 feet and go to the nearest 40 foot topo contour of 3320 feet you get 499 foot prominence, which is incorrect; the low prominence is just an artifact of the 40 foot contour interval on US topo maps. The USGS National Map uses the National Elevation Dataset (NED) which includes all available measurements. BTW, List of John says prominence is 519 feet http://www.listsofjohn.com/searchres?textsearch=3819&Search=Name&State=CA

The peak from Aliso Canyon Road
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US Geological Service National Map shows summit as 3818 feet.

http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer/?q=34.43718,-118.16248

Peak 3819 summit
Map courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

Key Saddle is 3298 feet. Note the nifty tool for determining elevations. Horizontal granularity is 1/3 arc second: about 35 feet
Peak 3819 Saddle
Map courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey

At the saddle, looking west
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And looking east from the Saddle. I have other photos looking in different directions, the terrain looks as you would expect from the maps.
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GPS position on the tablet. GPS elevation tends to wander around some, and I don’t know what vertical datum it uses. The USGS uses NAVD 88.
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National Elevation Dataset FAQs may be found at http://ned.usgs.gov/faq.html
NED versus Space Shuttle’s lower accuracy measurements may be found at http://ned.usgs.gov/faq.html#SRTM

I then went over to Blum Ranch and bought 50 pounds of peaches for 16 dollars. They were seconds so they were cheap. When I got home I peeled 10 and made a peach pie! Today I made another peach pie. I have a lot of peeling ahead of me; I will freeze most of then after I peel and chop them up.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

I had ridden up Mt Vetter earlier in the year, but didn’t take the radio. At that time, I met the USFS Charlton Flat volunteer Terry who cut back a lot of the Poodle Dog Bush around Charlton Flat, which is the picnic area on the way to Vetter. Since my thighs were still sore from last weeks descent down Volcano Gully, I thought I’d go back to Vetter which is an easy 2 mile each way with 500 feet elevation gain. Got to Charlton Flats just before 0600. The gate was closed so I parked just off Angeles Crest Highway. Then Terry opened the gate at 0605 so parked in Charlton Flats picnic area.

The temporary fire lookout now has a hard roof
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And they are starting to rebuild the real lookout! Here is the foundation
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Got on 2m FM (noise from Mt Wilson again) and Charles KM6CEM was right there. He always has a strong signal. Then Jeff K6QCB and Frank KK6EHQ

Set up for HF with the 5W HB1B
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The propagation was good, maybe also due to being earlier than I usually am. The RBN list shows my 20m signal was making it to the east coast and mid west
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Lots of Qs on 2m, 20m, and 30m

2m FM: KM6CEM K6QCB KK6EHQ KN6CCW KW6ACK KB6CIO K06N

20m CW: W0MNA ND0C W0ERI W9FHA W7RV N4MJ WA5AFD KG3W N7WM N4EX/p S2S W4K/KA-002 W0/DL6AP/P S2S W0C/FR-063

30m CW: W7CNL K6TUY K6EL S2S W6/CC-072 NS7P W0/DL6AP/P N7EDK N7CW K6XM W6IYS WN6E (his first SOTA CW QSO)

Then a nice ride down, noticed that where Terry had cut the Poodle Dog it was growing back! I think we will just have to wait till it gets choked out by regenerating chaparral.  Then breakfast of scrambled eggs, hash browns and toast at Newcomb’s Ranch. Latest news is that Darren and Danielle are engaged! Also, Dr Rundall made it to the 75th Newcomb’s anniversary party last Sunday though he is quite frail.
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After this, I went up to Three Points for a 2 mile walk on the Mt Waterman trail, this takes you on the south side of Waterman above Devil’s Canyon. It gives a longer hike to Waterman and Twin Peaks than the normal route which starts higher. I may take this route next time to add variety to my hiking.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

I thought I would learn a little more about “The Volcano” aka “Don’t Do It Peak”, as named by Tim K6TW. He and Bryan N0BCB activated it back in 2013 and it was a tough climb. I wanted to see if it was possible to traverse at the 5800 foot contour from the gully a third of a mile over to the saddle between Kratka and the peak. The descent down the gully would then only be 900 vertical feet. The traverse would avoid descending another 300 feet down the gully. Yellow track shows Tim’s and Bryan’s route.

map2

Started from the road at dawn, headed down the gully at 0555. It was fairly steep but straightforward and fairly easy. I did not have my full SOTA gear with me, only the HT, since I wasn’t intending an activation of CT-083.

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Also very scenic

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The view down, after descending several hundred feet in elevation

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View back up

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The GPS said this was around the 5800 foot level: a 20 foot smooth rock wall from one side of the gully to the other. I saw that the traverse was not possible: the sides of the gully were too steep. One would need to continue on Tim’s and Bryan’s route. If I were to attempt it, I would leave a rope here to make sure I could climb back up! Probably could do it without a rope, but…

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View of The Volcano from near the rock wall. The vegetation in the gully up to this point had not been a problem at all; Google Earth shows it gets much thicker below this point. Also, I tried the HT here, could not access any repeaters (Catalina, Mt Wilson, San Dima WIN, PAPASYS), I guess not a surprise.

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Sat and had a Clif Bar and water for breakfast, then headed back up. The weather was nice and cool and sunny.

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Today I wore my old rock climbing helmet to provide some protection against potential rockfall

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I had noted from the GPS that these smooth boulders marked the point of 150 meters elevation below the top of the gully

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View back down the gully. The Volcano to the right

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Near the top of the gully

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View down into the San Gabriel Wilderness

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It took about 50 minutes to get down the gully to the rock wall, and about an hour back up. The walking and scrambling was pretty easy.

Passed by Newcomb’s at 0830, they weren’t open till 0900 so continued down. Further down at the viewpoint of Waterman, Twin, and Baldy got out the HT and talked with Charles KM6CEM. He was able to relay to Jeff K6QCB that I was on the way home and wouldn’t be activating anything today. I could hear Jeff but he couldn’t copy me. I wanted to get home by 11 to meet some fellow retirees for lunch at Thai Top in Hermosa Beach…

73!

Hal

N6JZT

I was thinking of hiking Timber Mountain over by Mt Baldy. However, this past weekend there was severe flooding over there so I will wait a while. I hadn’t been to Josephine Peak before, and it is only an hour’s drive from my house. Plus it is a bike ride. The three “Strawberry” mountains – Josephine, Strawberry Peak, and Mt Lawlor are now open after having been closed 5 years due to the station fire. I hiked Lawlor the day it opened a few months ago! Close by are Occidental Peak and San Gabriel Peak so we have some nice mountains all pretty near each other.

I parked in a gravel area off the Angeles Forest Highway above the Clear Creek USFS fire station. Started along the Josephine Road about 0600. The road is down the AFH a hundred yards on the right.

The road is pleasant and hard packed
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I ended up riding about half the time, pushing half the time. My legs were OK, but my cardio is a bit weak not having ridden for a while. I found as the hike progressed I could ride steeper and steeper sections. Reached Josephine Saddle after about an hour.

“I ride my bike I roller skate don’t ride no car. Don’t go too fast but I go pretty far.”
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Iron Mountain #2 far left, Mt Gleason the big lump right of center
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Near the top. You can see some of the gear at the summit. There is a small microwave tower, and a USFS webcam that Bryan N0BCB installed in 2013. ( http://www.fsvisimages.com/fstemplate.aspx?site=saga2 ) The road doesn’t go all the way to the top, it ends maybe 50 feet down from the summit.
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View towards Mt Lukens
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A nice operating site. Dipole was oriented roughly E-W.
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Soon after getting to the top worked Mike N6MKW who had ridden his bike up Mt Pacifico CT-015. Then a few more 2m contacts, including Jeff K6QCB on Jurupa Peak CT-212. On the 2m HT, there was a high noise level unless I shielded the radio from Mt Wilson.

2m FM: N6MKW KM6CEM AG6ZR K6QCB

30M CW: W7CNL W7RV K1JD N7CW W0MNA W0ERI K7ZX

20M CW: K2JB NE4TN NS7P N4EX KG3W W7CNL N0OI AE4FZ K1JD

As I was packing up three more hikers arrived and we chatted a while.

Then down, a breeze on the bike. Looking back up the road near the top
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Strawberry Peak. Hope to hike this peak in the next few months, when the weather gets cooler.
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Good road. I noticed that the wheel rims got pretty hot due to braking. I’ve read that the tube may fail if the rim gets too hot.
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Fire fighters’ memorial. For the 19 fire fighters lost in Arizona
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The temperature had been about 65F when I started, and 80F when I returned. Drank 3 pints of water. About 4 miles each way with about 1800 feet elevation gain.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

 

I had the nice Nissan Altima rental car for one more day, so I thought I would go for a drive to Big Tujunga and Little Tujunga Canyons. And perhaps an activation of CT-158 Los Pinetos Nike Site during the Little Tujunga part.

Left the house at 0500. Up to Big Tujunga and checked out the Wildwood and Vogel Flats day use areas. The river was flowing and not dried out. Then parked at mile marker 4.5 and took a trail along and above the canyon for about an hour’s walk. The weather was overcast (thunderstorms yesterday) and 74 degrees.

Looking down Big Tujunga Canyon near the start of my walk
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Condor Peak far above
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Then over to Little Tujunga and up the road to the hill. Near the top, as I started my short walk, the tech for the antenna test range arrived in his pickup and we said good morning to each other.

HT and J-pole operating site on F2 Benchmark Los Pinetos
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Had some nice 2m QSOs with
N1CY Hassan walking his dog in Blackstar Canyon near Irvine Lake
WB6AJE John mobile going to work
K6GKA Gordon at work in Pasadena
N6HOY John in San Diego, 200 foot elevation, 130 miles distance
W6CJ Jay in Arcadia

I wasn’t able to work any of the usual SOTA 2m chasers, they may have been hidden by hills. Hassan said someone was calling me, this may have been a chaser I couldn’t pull the call out of the noise.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Another great activation with lots of 2 meter and summit-to summit QSOs. For this activation, I had built a light weight half wave dipole for 20 meters, with extensions for 30 meters. For the center, I used a chassis-mount BNC mounted in a small piece of PVC tube. For the end pieces I used small pieces of PVC tube with banana sockets installed, so I can plug in the 30 m extensions. All 24 gauge wire.  I also made a 2 meter J-pole out of 300 ohm line.

I wanted to start from Islip Saddle (about 6500 ft), since this gives a longer hike than driving up the road and heading straight for Windy Gap. Set off at about 0600. About 5 minutes later a few hundred feet below a pickup passed by, with a dog in the back. Quickly called Mike N6MKW on the HT, since I suspected it was him; he was planning to activate Throop Peak (W6 CT-005). It was indeed Mike and his dog Roxy, he turned around and I waved down to him, then he headed up to his trail head at Dawson Saddle.

View towards the Mojave Desert
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Morning shadows on this nice hike
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After 2.1 miles and just over an hour, passed by Little Jimmy Trail Camp. No one was camping at this nice forest camp site. It has access to water; Little Jimmy Springs. Then a quarter of a mile further on reached Windy Gap. The weather was cool and sunny, with a little bit of wind. Then on up to the summit just under a mile further.

At the summit, I set up the mast and slim jim, and made contact on 2m FM with Mike over on Throop, as well as Charles KM6CEM (a new chaser), Jack NL7SX at Walker Pass between Lake Isabella and Ridgecrest, Troy KQ6PK, and Chris K6CMG. Jack said he was happy to hear some 2m simplex activity. The new antenna seemed to work pretty well.

Set up the 20m dipole
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Started on 20m, pausing now and then to work on 2m FM – but with the HT whip since my one coax was feeding the dipole. The new dipole worked well too; the RSTs of the 20m contacts seemed pretty much the same as with the old dipole.  Worked Ken KN6CCW over on Keller Peak with Bob KB6CIO and Martin WN6E. Switched over to 30 meters, then back to 20m and worked Frank K0JQZ sumit to summit (W0C FR 030). Finally, put the slim jim back up and worked Bob and Martin on Keller Peak.

2m FM: KM5CEM, N6MKW(s2s) NL7SX KQ6PK K6CMG KK6EHQ KK6IZC KN6CCW(s2s) NA6MG KB6CIO(s2s) WN6E(s2s)

20m CW: NS7P VE2JCW WA2USA N4EX N5URL W7CNL KG3W W0MNA N7WM W0ERI WB5BKL N7AMA KB4BKR NA6MG K0JQZ(s2s)

30m CW: W7RV N9KW K6TUY N7CW NM5S

The new HF dipole worked as well as my old one that has heavier gauge wire.

Looking into the San Gabriel Wilderness. Telephoto shot shows Monrovia Peak (W6 CT-028) on the skyline. In front of it is Pt 4654 (W6 CT-127) which I will call the most difficult 4 point activation in the San Gabriels; it looks very rugged with no trails up it. It has not been activated for SOTA and is likely to remain so, I think. Monrovia has not been activated but has trails and a dirt road almost to the summit; it’s “just” a very long hike or bike ride.
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Headed down, took the short turn off to Little Jimmy Springs
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Little Jimmy Spring. The water is nice and cold. Despite the drought, I was happy to find it still flowing
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Flowers at Little Jimmy Spring
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On the hike down a giant Cedar. I wonder how old it is?
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Reached the trail head, then drove west up Angeles Crest Highway half a mile to a small picnic area on the left. There is a nature trail here too. Called Mike on the HT, he came right back and said he was heading down in the truck and only a mile above Islip Saddle. He arrived a few minutes later and we had a nice chat. All us  Southern California activators need to get together some time. Maybe at Newcomb’s Ranch before or after some activations!

Mike and Roxy
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73!
Hal

N6JZT

This was a nice activation, with a lot of summit to summit and 2 meter activity. Left the house just after 0400. The Jeep was getting a new computer “brain” installed, so drove a new Nissan Altima rental that Budget was giving me for only $105 a week! Much quieter and more comfortable than the Jeep, I must say.

Sunrise from the Angeles Crest HighwaySAM_0278

Started around 0600 at the Pacific Crest Trail at mile marker 62.5. Nice hike up, working Neil K6KWI along the way. He was already at W6 CT-158 Los Pinetos (aka “Fernando 2 Benchmark”), along with Bob KB6CIO and Martin WN6E.

Reached the central summit, and worked on 2 meters for 15 minutes: K6TW Tim mobile heading to the southern Sierras for some SOTA, KK6JRX Albert, Martin WN6E, Mike N6MKW who was not yet on the summit of Little Gleason, Bob KB6CIO and Neil K6KWI.
SAM_0280

I then decided to go over to the north summit (5 minutes away), since I had not operated from that point before. Both the central and the north are in the activation zone, but the south point which you hike over first, is not.

Continuing on 2 meters, worked Hassan N1CY and Mike N6MKW who was now at the summit of Little Gleason W6 CT-087. Mike was shadowed by Mt Pacifico, but we managed to complete the QSO. Then I set up the 20m dipole, putting the mast about 3 or 4 feet up in a tree.
SAM_0281

My first QSO on 20m was with Jean-Francois VA2VL in Quebec on VE2 LR-006 Mont Kaaikop. At home, I have never been able to hear JF because of my high “city” noise level.

20m QSOs: VA2VL WD9F N0OI K4PIC W7CNL W7RV KG3W WB5USB NS7P W0MNA W0ERI KB7HH KH2TJ K7TQ WB0USI K6TUY

30m: W7RV K6TUY N7RRR

2m: K6TW WN6E KK6JRX KB6CIO K6KWI N1CY N6MKW, then after HF operation KW6ACK (Ducky) AG6ZR N0OI

It was quite an activation with a lot of good 2 meter and summit to summit activation. Neil was working station after station on 2 m; he had a beam and was running 50W. I really need a better 2m antenna rather than my 1/4 wave HT whip.

View down into Bear Canyon. The long ridge leading from left to Monrovia Peak (W6 CT- 028) on the right. In the center you can see a small rocky ridge that leads up to the right; Pt 4654 W6 CT-127 is at the right end of this ridge but is not visible behind the ridge leading to Twin Peaks in front of it.
SAM_0287

Then a nice hike down. Here looking back up to the Mt. Williamson summit ridge
SAM_0289

Twin Peaks W6 CT-064
0290

73!
Hal
N6JZT

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