On vacation in the Valais region of Switzerland with my family. They wanted to visit: a cheese-making farm, a watch factory, and a chocolate factory. I think they had to accept just cheese-making in this area! I also wanted to climb and activate at least one SOTA peak. We had rented a chalet for a week in the mountain town of Haute Nendaz.

I managed to find some information on the web about dairy farms at the Col du Lein (Alpage du Lein), and also near the Col du Tronc (Alpage du Tronc).

I had seen that the mountain La Crevasse could be hiked easily from the Col du Lein or the neighbouring Col du Tronc. Elevation gain 200 meters. La Crevasse has an elevation of 1808 meters, 5932 feet. I think it is named La Crevasse because it has a 1000 foot sheer drop from the top!

So on Tuesday I managed to reconn the hike; we made a family drive from Nendaz, down to the valley then back up the mountains at the town of Saxon, to the Col du Lein. Following signs for Sapinhaut and the Col du Lein.

Swiss leprechaun at the Col du Lein?

SAM_2054

The Alpage du Lein is a dairy farm where we had a nice lunch of bread, cheese and soup at their “buvette”. Many farms have these small restaurants. At this buvette, you can also get other simple dishes, and coffee, wine, etc.

SAM_2055

And they make cheese on the other side of the window!

SAM_2057

The buvette and barn

SAM_2058

We went for a walk from the Col du Lein to the Col du Tronc, about a mile each way. We were in clouds much of the time but luckily it did not rain. At the Col du Tronc there was a sign indicating the Alpage du Tronc would be further down the road.

We returned to Nendaz. Kurt, HB9AFI had emailed me to welcome me to Swiss SOTA. It rained during the night and I wondered whether I would be able to hike in the morning; when I got up at 5AM the rain had stopped and the sky was partially clear. So I drove up and parked at the Col du Lein again.

Walked from the Col du Lein to the Col  du Tronc

SAM_2065

 

Good sign posts! There were also yellow blazes on the rocks and trees to help me follow the path through pasture, forest, and meadow

SAM_2066

 

Nearing the top, a brisk 30 minute hike from the Col du Tronc

SAM_2073

 

Small tower at the summit

SAM_2074

 

Set up the station and EFHW for 7 MHz. Signals from Germany were very strong. With my old straight key and ratty sending of my long call sign HB9/N6JZT/P I was never picked up by the reverse beacon network. I made two QSOs with non SOTA stations in Germany, then OE7PHI in Austria came back and spotted me; he must have seen my alert. Thank you Hansjoerg!

7 MHz CW: DL5YCI DL2IAD OE7PHI  DM3SWD OK1ZE SP6DMJ DL6WT OK1ACF DL2HWI PA0WLB PB2T HB9AFI DL3HXX ON4FI G3RDQ DL1DVE

After this I was starting to shiver in the clouds and cold (5C), so I apologise for not operating on 10 MHz and 14 MHz too.

SAM_2075

 

Rosika, another hiker came by. It was her day off from work.

SAM_2076

 

The radio

SAM_2077

 

A good fence so you will not fall!

SAM_2078

 

Great views, a long way down!

SAM_2082

 

There is a tall mountain over there so the views must be even more spectacular when the weather is clear

SAM_2087

 

Then a nice hike down

SAM_2094

SAM_2095

 

Walk from the Col du Tronc back to the Col du Lein

SAM_2098

 

Sounds of cowbells from the pasture below

SAM_2101

 

Plenty of parking space at the Col du Lein. Also picnic tables, WCs, and wash water. There is also room for a few cars at the Col du Tronc if you want to hike from there.

SAM_2102

 

73! Hal N6JZT

 

Did some shorter hikes and started early because of the hot weather we have been having.

Kratka Ridge (W6 CT-014) 22 July 2016

I saw Mike had alerted for Mt Waterman (W6 CT-012) so I thought I would go hike Kratka again for a summit to summit QSO

View into San Gabriel Wilderness, and the cone shaped W6 CT-083  (Don’t Do It Peak, aka The Volcano) It was climbed again, this time in June 2016 by Dave Benson; at the waterfall at 5800 feet where I stopped, he climbed 100 feet up the side of Vulcan Gully and then down into the next gully to the east; then a traverse to the saddle then straight up the peak.

SAM_2002

Passed a small but new burned area, with pink fire retardant from an air drop

SAM_2005

Set up the EFHW at the summit, got some weird readings on my SWR meter but must have worked OK since made a lot of HF QSOs

SAM_2006

2m FM: NA6MG N6MKW S2S   NG6R KB6CIO

20m CW: W4DOW KA5PVB AC7P N4EX NE4TN W0MNA W0ERI N9KW N8BB N4MJ KC9TYA NA6MG

40m CW: K6HPX W7RV W6JMP K0YO

30m CW: W0RW W9MRH

Back at Buckhorn picnic area after the hike, Mike N6MKW and I chatted for half an hour

 

28 July 2016 Mt Lowe, Cerro Negro Benchmark (W6 CT-226) , Flint Peak (W6 CT-225)

A pre dawn hike to Mt Lowe while it was not too hot. Mt Lowe is not a SOTA peak

SAM_2010

2m: Charles, KM6CEM

Back to the car just after 0700, then drove back down to La Canada Flintridge. Just operating 2m FM to keep the activations short due to the hot weather

Set up on the memorial on Cerro Negro

SAM_2012

2m FM: KG6BPY KM6CEM KK6PIP NG6R N6HEG KK6URY KJ6TOA NA6MG WA6HOO N6VHF

Then a quick drive and a short hike up to Flint Peak

2m FM: NA6MG KJ6TOA K6LEN KM6CEM WB6POJ NG6R KK6RNH N6HEG NK6A KK6OTJ KJ6YQW

San Gabriel Peak (W6 CT-019) is the “funny looking” peak right in the center, the lump just to its right is Mt Lowe

SAM_2016

 

Over the next weeks I hopefully will have some SOTA activity in Chamonix France and the Valais region of Switzerland…

73! Hal N6JZT

Burnt Peak is at the far north western end of the Angeles National Forest. For me, quite a freeway drive up I405 and then I5, exiting at Lake Hughes Road, then left at Elizabeth Lake along Pine Canyon Road. Then up USFS dirt road 7N23. It is really no further than the drive to, say, the Throop Peak trail head on the Angeles Crest Highway. It just feels further since I am less familiar with it.

Entrance to 7N23 (photo taken later in the morning). The parking area is about 3 miles up the road. The road is in good shape, you do not need 4 wheel drive. It would be OK for low or high clearance vehicles.

SAM_1999

At the parking area, 7N23 continues on to the west. To the east the road towards Sawtooth Mountain (W6 CT-117) is gated.

The road towards Burnt Peak is also locked and gated

SAM_1982

This road is in better shape than the road I had just driven up. Perhaps because the operators of the electronics site at the top pay to have it graded. Most of the ride is OK with some ups and downs; I pushed up a steep part. The ascent is about 3 miles and 600 feet elevation gain (100 feet on return)

SAM_1984

At the top is a FAA site

SAM_1986

Set up the j-pole and EFHW. Since I was so early I answered the CQ of Leo N6SEI  in Los Angeles, we had a ragchew but unfortunately my pen ran out of ink towards the end of the QSO! After I got another pen out of my back pack,  called CQ on 2m FM and Mike N6MKW came back, he had just reached the top of Kratka Ridge W6 CT-014. CQ on 20m, the RBN must have spotted me pretty quickly since W0MNA came back almost immediately.

2m FM: N6MKW

20m CW: N6SEI W0MNA W0ERI NG6R N9KW NE4TN K4MF K8TE N1GB W9MRH

40m CW: W7RV NS7P K6HPX

30m CW: WW7D

Site after I took down the EFHW at the end of the activation. There was good cell service and no RFI on 2m.

SAM_1987

View back the way I came

SAM_1989

Redrock Mountain (W6 CT-139) to the west and south. This summit has not been activated, it is fairly tough. Most hikers stop at the benchmark at the left (south) end of the ridge. Sometimes someone will continue one and a half miles along the ridge to the true summit 500 feet higher. I see on peakbagger.com that Dave Benson did this

SAM_1990

The ride down

SAM_1991

 

Liebre Mountain W6 CT-095) to the west and north. I wanted to continue on 7N23 to see about a potential bike ride; I figured the road was gated closed at the deep saddle.

SAM_1985

 

Back to the parking place. This is Sawtooth Mountain W6 CT-117, activated once by Dan NA6MG/WO6M. It is kind of annoying to hike, as you have to descend to it to climb it, then descend and hike back up! A sign at the gated dirt road says that area is closed for habitat restoration; I do not think it is really closed anymore since the legal closure order expired in October 2015. http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3820983.pdf. Probably worth a call to the USFS if you want to hike there.

SAM_1992

Anyway, I put the bike on the Jeep and continued along 7N23, the road is worse now and a high clearance vehicle is probably best. Though 15 years ago I would have driven my old Mercedes 380SE on it. I always figured those Mercedes sedans were built pretty tough! I stopped to check out the Sawmill Campground, looks like no water but shade from the Oak trees

SAM_1993

Continued the descent to the saddle through an oak and pine forest

SAM_1994

Yes, the road was gated closed at the saddle. The bike ride would be very steep; I think hauling my bike here and then pushing my bike up steeply for 1000 feet would be more trouble than it is worth. I think it better to hike Liebre on the Pacific Crest Trail from the north.

SAM_1996

While I was at the saddle and then heading back a couple of big green USFS crew vehicles came long, followed by a stake bed truck full of chainsaws. I guess they had some work to do, as I saw them unlock the gate and go up Liebre.

Pretty oak woodland

SAM_1998

After getting back to Pine Canyon Road, I decided to take the slow way home through the canyons, rather than the freeways. Elizabeth Lake, Green Valley, Spunky Canyon, Bouquet Canyon, through part of Santa Clarita to Sand Canyon, Little Tujunga Canyon and finally hit the 210 freeway. I was lucky I did this, since part way along I heard on the radio that I5 had a tremendous traffic jam as they were trying to retrieve a tanker truck that had gone over the side! I sure do not like freeway driving, you can never tell what disaster is just around the corner!

73! Hal N6JZT

 

 

 

Winter activation:https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/a-tiring-day-on-mt-islip-ct-010-1-march-2012/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/na6mg-k6tuy-k7so-and-n6jzt-on-mt-islip-ct-010-and-table-mountain-ct-067/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/islip-saddle-to-mt-islip-w6-ct-010-8250-ft-25-july-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/mt-islip-w6-ct-010-8250-ft-6-june-2015/

This time I added a bit of variety, started from Islip Saddle up the Pacific Crest Trail, then on the jeep road to Little Jimmy Camp, then took the trail from Little Jimmy and bypassed Windy Gap

Start at 0640

SAM_1969

The road to Little Jimmy. I last hiked this on snow shoes! Today it reminded me of the logging roads in New Hampshire I used to walk along

SAM_1971

Nearing the top

SAM_1972

Set up the shortened EFHW over the rocks, and the j-pole in a tree. The EFHW was set up as an inverted L, with the long side running down to a tree branch about 4 feet off the ground.

Made 4 QSOs on 2m, then started on 20m CW. My signals received by the chasers were not too strong, probably due to both poorer propagation than I am used to in past years, and the EFHW is probably somewhat less efficient than the center fed dipole. RBN picked me up on 20m, 40m, and 30m, and I was automatically spotted in addition to spots by chasers Charles KM6CEM and Dan NA6MG. I got the best signal reports on 30m today.

2m FM: KD6CQS KI6AZQ KM6CEM N6HEG K6CMG KX6A (S2S W6 CT-O39)

20m CW: NA6MG WW7D NS7P N4MJ WA7SB W0MNA W0ERI W6WTD

40m CW: K6EL W7RV

30m CW: WA7SB NK6A AI8Z K7ODX NN5K (S2S W7U NU-024)

After the activation chatted with a couple of hikers on the summit, they were training for Mt Whitney.

Beautiful weather today

SAM_1976.JPG

From Mt Williamson this looks like a nice meadow, it is really thick Buckthorn, which has 3/4 inch (2cm) long thorns! You need a saw to get through it.

SAM_1977

Looking down to the closed Highway 39 and Bear Canyon. LA County plans to never reopen the road; maintenance is too expensive. In the middle distance the mountain lump is Peak 6340 (W6 CT-083) aka “Don’t Do It Peak, aka “The Volcano”. The skyline center and right is Twin Peaks, W6 CT-064.

SAM_1979

A nice hike today! 73! Hal N6JZT

Today I followed the approach from the south and west, rather than the east, as described by Mike N6MKW   http://mikakw1sota.blogspot.com/2015/11/hoyt-mtn-w6ct-146.html

It is about 2.5 miles, and elevation gain is about 1400 ft. The start is at the Grizzly Flats trail head about 3 miles above the Fire Station on the Angeles Crest Highway. I have also used this trail head to ride my bike to Mt Lukens.

Started the hike at about 0545, wanted to hike before it got too hot. After 15 minutes or so you come to a fork, the left goes to Mt Lukens, the right is a power line “road” that heads towards Hoyt. I thought this power line road would be OK to ride, but it has not been maintained in a long time so it is good that I did it on foot today. At one point I climbed over a tree that had fallen across the path.

Clouds below

SAM_1950

After an hour came to the saddle between Hoyt and Pk 4253. Then steeply up a use trail/deer trail

Looking back to the power pylons at the saddle, and Pk 4253. Mt Lukens W6 CT-030 in background

SAM_1953

Reached a small false summit, then the real summit after a total of 1hr 40 minutes or so from the trail head. Set up the 2m jpole in a bush, then the shortened EFHW with the SOTAbeams Mountain Tuner. Worked a few stations on 2m, including Dan NA6MG and Jordan WC6J both on Saddle Peak W6 CT-274. The EFHW worked well on 20m and 40m, I also got picked up by RBN on 30m OK, but it was getting too hot so I did not stay long enough to make any QSOs on 30m.

2m FM: KK6VIT KK6PIP NA6MG WC6J

20m CW: N0DA WW7D NG6R NS7P KV6Z WD4MSM WG0AT K6TUY KA5PVB K6TUY

40m CW: W7RV K6TUY N6PKT K6HPX K6EL

After packing up

SAM_1956

False summit ahead on the descent. I did not like the steep and brushy use trail on the way up, but on the way down I thought it was OK. It took only 20 minutes to descend the 600 feet from the summit to the saddle.

SAM_1958

From the saddle, Condor Peak W6 CT-027 left of center, Fox Benchmark W6 CT-254 right of center.

SAM_1960

The power line “road”

SAM_1961

Looking back to the saddle

SAM_1962.JPG

Continuing on, as you can see, the road is what it is!

SAM_1964

And this is looking up, at the road junction. Left to Lukens, right to Hoyt. Bicycle tracks on the left route, so that road still seems pretty good.

SAM_1965

Rain water cistern

SAM_1966

Looking back up to Hoyt Mountain upper right, from above the trail head

SAM_1968

73! Hal N6JZT

There is a SOTA rule that if the latitude and  longitude of a summit changes too much, a new mountain appears! I forget what the exact criteria are. Anyway, several mountains disappeared and reappeared with new references with the new W6 summit update. Mt. Williamson is one of them; the former summit was W6 CT-011 and was actually the lowest of three summits, at the south east end of a half mile (800m) ridge. The highest summit is at the north west end of the ridge, so this is W6 CT-247.

Started the hike on the shady west side from the so-called “un-named saddle” on the Angeles Crest Highway. The other route is on the sunnier east side from Islip Saddle, which I tend to do when the weather is colder. Today it was predicted to be hot.

I saw that Mountain Goat Oleh KD7WPJ was going to activate the summit, so I would probably meet him. Also, it was Field Day so a lot of stations would be around on the air prior to the contest start at 1800Z. I would be testing my shortened EFHW 20m/30m/40m wire antenna.

Looking west from the start point along the Angeles Crest Highway. The trail begins behind me to the right.

SAM_1936

Smoke from the San Gabriel fires we are having. From left to right, Mt Waterman (W6 CT-012), Buckhorn Peak, Winston Peak

SAM_1937

Just under 2 hours to the north summit. Set up the EFHW, first running up the mast about 10 ft, then sloping down to the ground. Also hung the 2m j-pole in a tree.

SAM_1940

SOTA Beams Mountain Tuner. I have found that the 10ft (3m) coax shield is adequate as the counterpoise. So I do not have a separate one hooked to the black terminal.

SAM_1942

A coil at the end of the 20m half wave wire, then about a meter and a half or 2 meters of wire after that. The coil is 63 turns of narrow gauge wire (24?, 26 AWG?) on a 3/4 inch PVC pipe (1 inch OD); I had exactly that much wire hanging around in the junk box, so should be about 30 uH according to the online calculator. Coil is about 3 inches long. I got the idea from the PA3HHO website where he used 34 uH and about 2m after the coil.  https://pa3hho.wordpress.com/end-fed-antennes/multiany-band-end-fed-english/

For 20m, I disconnected the coil since I felt that would give the best efficiency. For 40m I used the coil and wire stub. With the wire stub alone, I found that the Mountain Tuner could achieve a low VSWR on 30m, even though the wire is too short to make a 30m half wave

SAM_1939

Today’s gear. If you look close you will see that I brought the little Pixie transceiver too! I brought a MFJ tuner to check the VSWR. The Mountain Tuner has no VSWR indicator, but I found that I could get reasonable low reflected power just by tuning the receiver noise by ear. Adjusting the Mountain Tuner tuning knob slightly and watching the meter, I could get the VSWR to 1.5 or even better. I did not use the tuning function of the MFJ gear.

SAM_1941

I set up first for 2m. Dan NA6MG and I talked on 2m, I asked him to go to the 7023 kHz frequency of the Pixie. He could hear me at a good 579 with my perhaps 200 mW of power, his 100W was also about 559-579 on the insensitive Pixie receiver. The latter is just a mixer with no RF amplification, followed by an audio amplifier.So by my rough calculation the Pixe RX is 30 dB to 40dB less sensitive than a regular receiver. It would be interesting to check this with proper test equipment. Dan was about 25 miles (40 km) away.

Lots of pre-Field Day activity on 2m, and worked chasers on 20m and 40m. Called CQ on 30m but no takers. When I got home I saw that RBNhole had picked me up OK from the RBN on all three bands. But that I had about half a dozen RBN skimmer hits on each of 20m and 40m with good SNR, but only one on 30m. So maybe a different configuration like a longer wire stub to make a true half wave would help on 30m.

Towards the end of the activation I worked Oleh KD7WPJ as he came up the mountain (and then again as I went down the mountain)

2m FM: NA6MG K6CMG S2S N6HEG K6KWI N6VHF WA6NVL K6YOA S2S KD7WPJ KF6PRR KJ6CAV

20m CW: N1EU NS7P VE6UX NG6R VA6FUN NA6MG

40m CW: NA6MG (PIXIE!) K6EL N7CW W6JMP WA7JTM K7JFD K0DTJ N6HC

I packed up as I waited for Oleh to reach the summit. He chose a shady spot to operate from

SAM_1943

Oleh started working on 2m, then changed over to 30m He told me later via email that he did not get any takers on 30m either

View of Twin Peaks w6 CT-064 on the way down, with fire smoke haze beyond the far ridge (Monrovia Peak W6 CT-028)SAM_1945

Hot and sunny weather today

SAM_1947

73! Hal N6JZT

 

PS a couple of my many previous activations of Mt Williamson

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/mt-williamson-w6ct-011-11-june-2013/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/early-autumn-on-mt-williamson-w6-ct-011-2-december-2013/

An old SOTA CT-011 page seems to be here:

http://www.sotawatch.org/summits.php?summit=W6/CT-011

 

 

Peak 4300 is one of the “new” batch of W6 SOTA peaks.  A couple of years ago I used the USGS National Elevation Database to verify its prominence exceeded 500 feet and of course 492 feet (150m). Nice to have it in the books, now that W6 has adopted the Listsofjohn as the prominence bible. The peak is located just a mile or two south of Peak 4460 “Power Mountain” W6 CT-144. It is also near Peak 3819 “Rejection Mountain” W6 CT-265 and Peak 3788 “Blum Ranch Mountain” W6 CT-167.

Made my way over Angeles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway to Aliso Canyon. I stopped briefly at Monte Cristo Campground, it must be the only USFS-run place with CLEAN restrooms in the Angeles National Forest!

I brought my bike, here is the route I took. Started at the yellow gate where N6MKW parked when he activated CT-144 (Google Maps calls this BPL Road). Then more or less a loop, with a push and hike up the mountain, biking down down the USFS road 4N24 and returning via Aliso Canyon Road. Note this is not a GPS track, just using the polygon tool on Caltopo to make a shape I named “Pk 4300”.

By the way, the LA County assessor tool shows that the road behind the yellow gate is a public road up to the Angeles National Forest boundary. It traverses unfenced vacant land.

route

 

Parked by the yellow gate. I noticed a low cloud “marine layer” had made it all the way to this area of the desert, to the west. But the mountain was clear when I set off.

SAM_1908

Starting off downhill to the creek bed, no water. A tree had fallen across the road so no  four wheel vehicles have been down this way in a while! After that pushed up the first hill out of the creek bed, then a fairly easy gentle grade for a mile and a half to the junction where you can go left towards CT-144 or right towards CT-262.

SAM_1910

Then the road ascends gently with ups and downs. The power pylons in the distance up the hill are my first goal.

SAM_1912

Here is the point where I would descend after the activation. From here, it was a steep push up to the left to the power pylons.

SAM_1913

Left the bike at the pylons and hiked up the ridge. This photo was taken on the way down; on the way up, clouds quickly obscured the view.

SAM_1922

Checked my compass frequently in the thick cloud. I saw that the descent would be due west, as I got higher the descent would be to the south west as the ridge changed direction. I did not want to run the risk of coming down the wrong side of the mountain! Did that in Northern Ireland 45 years ago on Slieve Commedagh! Took about half an hour to get from the pylons to the top, for a total ride and hike of about an hour and a half.

SAM_1914

I set up the mast on the steel post. I had alerted for precisely 1500Z (0800 local) on 20m and 1530Z for 30m, in case the RBNhole  autospot was not working. Made a QSO with non-SOTA W5FKW at 1455, then to 14.062 at 1500. I heard Dan NA6MG call me after I called CQ, but could not complete a QSO at this time. Was interesting to get the ground wave over the mountains from his QTH, he was 559. Continued to call CQ, Scott KG3W came back, he spotted me (and also the RBNhole worked OK I found after I got home so it spotted me too). Since Scott could here me 339 in Pennsylvania I knew that propagation was not too bad.

20m CW: W5FKW  (Heard NA6MG 559) KG3W WW7D WA7SB N4MJ NG6R(599 ground wave from Palos Verdes) K4MF AC1Z K8TE W0MNA W0ERI K7TQ W7RV KA5PVB WA2USA

30m CW: NA6MG(559) NS7P K6EL W6STR NA6MG(now 599) WG0AT

During my time on the summit, the clouds sometimes became less thick.

SAM_1915

 

Someone had a nice camp fire up here once upon a time!

SAM_1919

On the way down, cloud was not as thick but I still checked the compass

SAM_1920

SAM_1921.JPG

From the power pylons, the bike descent was steep at first, I was careful so I would not go over the handlebars!

Here is where I turned to go down the pleasant 4N24 road. The sign was made for the workers putting up the new HV pylons, but the work has been completed. They had come up from the Angeles Forest Highway to the east, not up this road which hasn’t seen any vehicles in a long time.

SAM_1925

Hahaha the sun is coming out!

SAM_1926

Looking back up the mountain, which is up one of the ridges to the right

SAM_1928.JPG

Crossed the creek

SAM_1929

Brought the bike out to the side of this gate. Signs warn off the construction crews, and potential vandals. But since the land beyond the creek is the Angeles National Forest, I feel free to access our public lands across this unfenced vacant land. If  I were to hike Peak 4300, I would park the car about 50 yards south as this is a good turn out, then start the hike at this gate.

SAM_1930.JPG

Then a nice easy ride for a mile and 150 feet of descent back to the Jeep, where I enjoyed coffee and a Clif Bar. CT-265 is the mountain you can see.

SAM_1932

Then a drive back up Aliso Canyon, view of Peak 4300

SAM_1935

73! Hal N6JZT

 

 

 

 

Mt Lewis is one of the new  W6 SOTA summits; it has a prominence of 150.3m. Since the hike is short, I was also thinking about hiking Winston Peak and Buckhorn Peak, with prominences of 147m and just over 100m respectively. So Winston just barely avoids being a SOTA peak.

Mt Lewis from my previous Throop Peak hike. It is on the north side of Dawson Saddle

SAM_1885

The hike starts to the left of the Caltrans maintenance shed at Dawson Saddle, climbs steeply then levels off as the flat summit is approached.

SAM_1890

Dan NA6MG was up north two hundred miles, and we had a summit to summit QSO planned for 1515Z (0815 local). After a 25 minute hike I arrived at the summit at 0700, with plenty of time to set up antennas. Since the hike was short, I brought the 3 kg IC706 transceiver so I could run higher power than normal, and the 3 kg 20AH lithium battery. I set up the 2m jpole in a tree, the 20m/30m linked dipole on the mast, and threw a string over a tree branch to support one end of the 40m EFHW, with the SOTA Beams mountain tuner at the other end. The EFHW was rather low to the ground, only 6 or 7 feet high at the highest point. I would run 30W to 40W with the IC706, except I was limited to 5W on 40m because of the power handling capability of the EFHW tuner. I set up the HT with the jpole.

SAM_1891

I called several times on 2m with no response; I had not expected this to be a good 2m mountain since it is largely blocked from the LA basin to the south by Throop Peak.  NU7A was there on 20m CW and he spotted me. After about 10 minutes of working the chasers I quickly went over to 40m and heard Dan rather weakly, worked him on Red Mountain W6 IN-049, then back to 20m.

Conditions were unusual since I worked both “near” stations in Arizona and California on 20m, and also the farther stations in Pennsylvania and Virginia. After that I went to 40m and called CQ, I think Elliot K6EL heard me very weakly since he called me, but we did not complete a QSO on this band. When I got home I saw that I was picked up by 40m RBN skimmers in Utah and Arizona, so the EFHW was working. The RBNhole autospot was not working, it appeared to start up around 1900Z.

During my HF ops, I heard Charles KM6CEM and Erix N6HEG call me on 2m, but they could not hear me with 5W

I went to 30m, K6HPX came back and spotted me. After quite a few 30m QSOs, I put the IC706 on 2m with 50W (the luxury of a big battery!!) and then Charles could hear me for the QSO

20m CW:NU7A W0MNA W0ERI K6HPX WD9F W4KRN WA9STI KG3W N7KRN NG6R K7VK NS7P

40M: NA6MG

20M CW at 5w: K6EL N7WM K8LJG

30m CW: K6HPX WA7SB N6PKT WW7D KX6A NU7A

2m FM: KM6CEM WB6POJ KI6AZQ(Camarillo Airport)

 

Throop Peak from Mt Lewis

SAM_1894

 

A short hike down, I figured I would then drive back along the Angeles Crest Highway to Cloudburst Summit to hike Winston Peak. Slight change of plan when I picked up a PCT hiker Ryan and his dog Rose. Like many, he wanted a lift around the closed section of the trail after Williamson. I gave him and Rose a lift all the way to Alder Saddle and the Pacifico Mountain Road (where I start my Pacifico bike rides), he wanted to make up some time and have an easier hike to Mill Creek Summit (where I start my Gleason bike rides). His dog was very sweet, she was a rescue from the shelter and has been hiking a lot now; the PCT is not her first hike!

I then drove back to Cloudburst Summit for the start of the short hike up Winston. An old jeep road for a hundred yards then a use trail.

SAM_1896

SAM_1897

20 minutes to the summit rocks. Climbed up on some and enjoyed the view.

Winston Ridge below, Pleasant View Ridge and Pallett Benchmark (W6 CT-058) in the background

SAM_1900

Bare Mountain W6 CT-082

SAM_1901

Buckhorn Peak and Kratka Ridge (W6 CT-014) in the background

SAM_1904

 

Stopped in at Newcomb’s Ranch and had a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries for lunch

73! Hal N6JZT

A high pressure area will be sitting over Southern California for a few days. bringing hot temperatures. So I wanted to get up the mountain early and then head down before it would get too hot. This is a bike ride which I have done several times before; about 5.5 miles on a paved road followed by half a mile on a dirt road that is steep in most places. So I push the bike there. There is no shade at the top.

Previous activations here:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/third-bike-ride-to-little-gleason-w6-ct-087-6020-ft-21-march-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/riding-the-new-bike-to-little-gleason-mountain-w6-ct-087-6020ft-21-march-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/bike-ride-little-gleason-mountain-pt-6020-w6-ct-087-7-september-2013/

Set off at 0600 and reached the top in one and a half hours.Set up the mast for VHF (roll up jpole) and HF (center fed dipole)

SAM_1886

First worked NU7A summit-to-summit on 20m, then 2m then back to HF while I continued to monitor 2m.

2m coverage is pretty good here: Palmdale, Lancaster and the desert, the South Bay cities, Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Fernando Valley. Coverage to the San Gabriel Valley is marginal; I was surprised to hear Dan NA6MG 59, but as expected Charles KM6CEM was scratchy and he could not hear me.

2m FM: KI6JL(El Mirage- desert to the east) NA6MG(Temple City)  N6RFB(Corona)  NG6R(Palos Verdes) KJ6TOA(La Mesa near San Diego) N6HEG(El Segundo)

20m CW: NU7A (S2S W7W CW061) NS7P KG3W N7WM NE4TN W0MNA W7RV WW7D W0ERI W4DOW KA5PVB VE6AO K7VK WG0AT N6PKT

30m CW: K0HNC NK6A

At about 9AM I was on 30m, I suddenly realized I was getting very hot, the sun was baking me! So packed up to head down.

Radio bike packed and ready for the descent

SAM_1888.JPG

A quick and enjoyable ride down, the temperature was 82F (28C) but felt much hotter in the dry air and bright sun

I then drove down to Blum Ranch to pick up some honey and dried pears. There, the elderly Mrs Billet came out of the farm house to help me after I drove up. I asked how her husband was and she told me he had passed away 6 weeks ago. Sad news indeed, and she is quite obviously heartbroken. She said none of the kids or grand kids want to continue with the farm, it being so hard nowadays to make enough money from it, so this  may be their last season. They had only received 5 inches of rain (our 5th year of drought) so the workers had to thin the peaches on the trees; they have to stop watering every few days to let the reservoir refill from the underground source in their canyon.

Mrs Billet saw my bike on the back of the jeep, she said that I must have wanted to finish my ride before it got too hot! Yep!

I will be back in a few months when the harvest is due to buy some fresh peaches and pears. I canned a lot of peaches from the last season,  I really should make a peach pie today.

73! Hal N6JZT

On the way up the Angles Crest Highway, stopped at Newcomb’s Ranch for breakfast. So at 7AM more than half a dozen people and I were there when the doors opened. Chatted with folks at the bar while we waited for our food and more customers arrived. When breakfast arrived after an understandably long wait, I ate the scrambled eggs, a couple of sausage and some toast, and saved the rest in a “to go” box to have for lunch. Plus plenty of coffee, some of which I used to top up my thermos flask.

Started the hike for Throop at the usual place at Dawson Saddle at 0840

SAM_1879.JPG

 

Snow Plants. These interesting and strange-looking plants derive their nutrients from fungi in the soil. These fungi are associated with pine trees and other conifers.

SAM_1880

 

Took an hour and 20 minutes to get to the top. I was doing 2m FM only today because of the CQ WPX contest on the HF bands

SAM_1882

 

Made many 2m QSOs. Charles KM6CEM was not at home today, he was camping up near Barstow. First his signal was scratchy, but then he got his beam going and was great copy. The band was very busy, nice to make so many 2m FM simplex contacts from San Diego to Barstow to Temecula. Also worked SOTA Mountain Goat Oleh KD7WPJ who was mobile down in Ramona in the San Diego area, he had been up on Throop just the day before.

2m FM: NA6MG KM6CEM KK6URY NG6R KB6LTY N6HEG KK6PIL N6JCN W6KLE N6GOF AG6UK N6ZI N6OUI KD7WPJ W6OXA KK6ZAW KK6MRH KB6CIO K6QCB KK6UOZ WH6EUH KB6WGS K6EGG

I started on 146.520, but decided to go to 146.540 because the frequency seemed so busy. So Dan NA6MG spotted me for 146.54. I did find that my signal was so strong to some stations on 540 that they could hear me somewhat on 520 and they then tuned up to 540. After awhile decided to go back to “520” to work more stations. Eric N6HEG spotted me.

After an hour and ten minutes on the radio, I decided to pack it in as a group of 6 hikers arrived at the summit. They were continuing on to Baden Powell after Throop. On my way down a party of about two dozen Japanese hikers came by. A busy day of hiking because of the Memorial Day holiday.

View of Mt Lewis (W6 CT-246), on the way down. This is one of the new W6 SOTA peaks. It has already been activated several times, and is climbed from Dawson Saddle too. I will activate it some other day, it is a short hike with only 492 ft (150m) of elevation gain, so I will combine it with some other non-SOTA peaks near Mt Waterman: Buckhorn Peak and Winston Peak.

SAM_1885.JPG

 

On the drive down I stopped for a hitch hiker at Islip Saddle. His name was Mike, and was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. But his ankle on which he had surgery was swollen so he was thinking of maybe stopping the trek. He was retired, lived in Houston but originally from Britain. He asked to go to Newcomb’s, where he could get a meal and use their Wifi so he could use his Iphone to get in contact with friends or relatives.

73! Hal N6JZT

One Hike A Day

Thru-hiking the globe

NEWSBREAK LIVE

New Episode Every Tuesday

Torrance Refinery Action Alliance

Working to ban modified hydrofluoric acid in the South Bay

Elaina Love's Blog

Gluten Free, Low Glycemic, Vegan, Raw and Paleo Cuisine

SOTA outings by KØMOS and contributors

Activating Summits for SOTA

Systemic Disorder

Essays on economic crisis, decoding dominant ideologies and creating a better world

Christopher's SOTA Adventure's

Taking Amateur Radio to new heights.

Mr and Mrs Adventure: love adventurously.

donsretirementblog

Don's Retirement Blog - life after work

Onslow Gardens, California

A garden in Southern California

hammateurradio

Ham Amateur Radio Adventures and Summits

Wave Traveler

Adventures on the Air

rkliman

KB6CIO Bob SOTA adventures

Hal's Summits on the Air

Mountains near Los Angeles and ham radio - N6JZT

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.