Thought I would try another bike ride. The weather was predicted sunny, light winds, and cool but not cold temperatures. Set off from Clear Creek on the Angeles Crest Highway, the temperature was 42F (5C), with no wind. The starting elevation is 3700 feet.

SOTA Peaks left to right: Peak 4202 (W6 CT-150), Hoyt Mountain (W6 CT-146), and behind it Mt Lukens (W6 CT-030). On the far right is Yerba Buena Ridge (W6 CT-163)
SAM_0989d

I pushed most of the way up this time. Not feeling very strong, maybe due to a cold I have had for over three weeks now.

After about an hour and a half ran into a little snow, from the storms 5 days ago. It was on the north facing slope in the shade. I could ride on this because the friction was good; there was a small section of ice at the far end so got off and walked so I wouldn’t slip and fall!
SAM_0991d

Strawberry Peak (W6 CT-018), and snowy high country peaks in the distance
SAM_0994d

At the top, heard Dan NA6MG on 2m, from San Gabriel Peak (W6 CT-019). I hadn’t known he would be up today. We had a summit to summit QSO. For HF, used the 5W HB1B on 20m and 30m. For 2m I tried the j-pole but Mt Wilson TV transmitters overloaded the HT front end, so I found it was better to use the lower gain rubber duck antenna to keep the intermod at bay.
log

Looking down from the summit to the bicycle and helipad. Mt Gleason in the distance (W6 CT-017)
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Beginning the ride down, Mt Lukens in the back ground
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Radio bike on the snow
SAM_1002d

Strawberry Peak. The 4 mile ride down took 25 minutes. Just under 2 hours on the way up!
SAM_1004d

Met up with Dan NA6MG at Clear Creek. We had a good chat about our SOTA activities. Particulary his hike up Condor Peak (W6 CT-027) two days ago, that’s a tough hike. We have both activated it now, we are both unlikely to hike it again, it is so tiring…

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Previous Josephine activation:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/bike-ride-to-josephine-peak-w6-ct-025-5558-ft-8-august-2014/

Our hot, dry “winter” continues…and other parts of the country get many feet of snow! So today was a good day for a bike ride to Mt. Gleason, with light SW winds forecast and temperatures to 70F (20C). Dan NA6MG decided to activate neighboring Mt Pacifico (W6 CT-015)

Started from Mill Creek Summit at 0615. Temperature 50F (10C)

After 4 miles, I pass beneath Little Gleason Mountain (Pt 6020, W6 CT-087), not today’s objective
SAM_0969d

I continue on
SAM_0970d

After just over 5 miles, I pass the turn off to Little Gleason then descend past the former fire camp to a saddle, then the road gets steep and I had to push the bike 1.5 miles, then can ride the final half mile to the top of Gleason

Fire camp burnt out during the huge Station Fire of 2009, which burned about 200 square miles of our forest
SAM_0971d

Set up the mast right on the bike, it worked well as an antenna support
SAM_0973d

Conditions were good on 20m and 30m
log

Mt Gleason is the former home of a Nike Hercules air defense radar. This was the highest Nike site in the US. The missiles were located at what became the fire camp. It was deactivated in 1974. All that remains are two water tanks, a storage hut with the roof burnt off, and fading traffic markings.
SAM_0979d

Instruments for measuring plate tectonics
SAM_0978d

Long ago the Air Defense Artillery soldiers used to park their cars here…
SAM_0976d

Dan NA6MG was over there on Mt Pacifico
SAM_0982d

Headed down at a fast clip on the bike

Power line work at the saddle. They have been doing this more than a year…
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All the heavy equipment for the power line work has broken up the road!
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One mile to go
SAM_0986d

Back down, for a total of 18 miles (29 km). Dan’s Jeep on the left. When I left in the morning, he had not arrived yet
SAM_0987d

An excellent bike ride and activation!
73!
Hal N6JZT

PS account of a previous activation o fMt Gleason:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/great-bike-ride-on-mt-gleason-6520-ft-w6-ct-017-30-dec-2013/

I’m recovering from a cold and mild flu…this year’s flu vaccine doesn’t work. I wanted a fairly easy hike, so chose Hoyt which is about 45 minutes to the top and about 800 feet (250m) elevation gain. I also looked at VOACAP and saw that propagation is possible to Europe on 17m, so I brought the heavy IC-706 and 20Ah battery so I could run 50W of RF.

Set off at 6AM, cairn at dawn. There are now four cairns on the way up
SAM_0957d

Setup
SAM_0958d

Mt. Lukens (W6 CT-030) to the West
SAM_0959d

Condor Peak (W6 CT-027) to the NW
SAM_0960d

First on 2m, then to 17m. The EU stations had good signal strength, but were hard to copy due to the propagation; the morse characters were running over each other due to different delays of different propagation paths. Still, worked quite a few including Spain, Germany, Switzerland and England. 17m was also good to most of the US. Picked up nearer stations on 30m, then Paul W0RW pedestrian mobile on 20m.
log

Nice views, no wind, and cool but got warmer during the activation. It was about 72F (21C) as I headed down

Josephine Peak (W6 CT-025) to the NE
SAM_0963d

Nice view down
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Josephine, Strawberry (W6 CT-018) and Lawlor (W6 CT-089)
SAM_0965d

Back at the Angeles Crest Highway
SAM_0967d

Thank you chasers!
73!
Hal
N6JZT

Since I have hiked San Gabriel several times, I thought I would ride my bike. The route is via the USFS paved road to the saddle (5781 ft) of Mt Disappointment, then a short hike with 400 feet elevation gain to San Gabriel. The Mt Disappointment road is about a third of a mile up the Mt Wilson Road from the Red Box picnic area (intersection of Mt Wilson Road and Angeles Crest Highway). The ride starts at 4740 ft, and is 2.9 miles to the saddle, so the grade is about 7% on average.

I parked the Jeep at the Mt Disappointment road, had some coffee, then took the bike off the rack and packed the radio gear. The first 0.7 miles was the steepest, but it was OK and I did it without having to get off the bike and push. After that the grade eases off a lot. Temperature was 46F, no wind (which is why I selected this morning to ride)

At the top of the first switchback at 0.7 miles
SAM_0932d

Josephine Peak (W6 CT-025)
SAM_0934d

The grade is easier now
SAM_0936d

Took 50 minutes to get to the saddle, then walked the bike down hill about 50 feet and left it by the side of the trail
SAM_0937d

Just under 20 minutes to the summit of San Gabriel, and set up the station. First contact was Charles KM6CEM on 2m FM. There was RFI from Mt Wilson so I didn’t set up the j-pole, since that would just increase the noise into the HT. Just used the rubber duck.
SAM_0939d

Conditions were pretty good. QSO with CU3AA in the Azores again, with his CW hard to copy due to multipath slurring the characters together! Interesting propagation paths!
log

Some hikers arrived at the summit, so my 30m operation got abbreviated a little as I talked with them. The headed down.

Mt Lawlor (W6 CT-089)
SAM_0940d

Concrete pads at the saddle. I guess these were for the barracks/admin buildings for the former Nike Ajax radar site at the summit of Mt Disappointment (LA-09). The missiles were located across the valley to the north on Barley Flats ridge.
SAM_0941d

I had to push the bike the last part of the road to the top, it was too steep. Then flat at the top, with comm gear all around. San Gabriel Peak in the background
SAM_0943d

View looking down to the south towards LA. I had a Clif Bar here. I have read that Mt Disappointment got its name from the original Army survey team back in the day. They arrived at the top only to find they would have to get over to San Gabriel which is higher!
SAM_0945d

Josephine Peak is closest, Iron Mountain (W6 CT-024) behind, with white scar on its shoulder.
SAM_0947d

Downtown LA
SAM_0953d

A nice fast ride down. Way in the distance is Mt Baldy (W6 CT-003)
SAM_0955d

Packed the bike onto the Jeep. Stopped at Red Box and had some coffee from the Thermos flask. Chatted with two young guys, Dave and Mike. Dave was from North Carolina and visiting, they hadn’t been up here before. They wanted to see the snow-covered mountains better, so I suggested they go for a hike on Mt Waterman from Buckhorn Day Use area up the Mt Waterman trail to the saddle at the top of Buckhorn Canyon (about 35 minutes), then stop for a beer at Newcomb’s on the way back!

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Another bike riding season in the mountains has begun, for me anyway. To start off an easy 2 miler up 500 ft to Vetter Mountain. Arrived at the Charlton Flat trailhead at 0620, and drank coffee and got the bike ready to set off at 0700. Since the bike ride would be short, I brought the 6 pound IC-706 transceiver and 7 pound Li 20AH battery, so I could operate 50W and hopefully make some summits on the air contacts with stations in Europe

The Jeep had just had some recall work done; they added a trailer hitch to “protect” the gas tank…so I was able to use my big bike rack which fits on a trailer hitch.

The weather was nice, in the low 40s, with only a breath of wind
SAM_0909d

I had to push the last quarter mile; I was out of breath so I need to get back in shape for the bike rides to come.

SAM_0914d

Set up the 18 MHz dipole, made lots of contacts including into England, Germany, Finland, and the Azores. Signals from the eastern USA were strong. This was pretty much as predicted by the VOACAP program. Then 10 MHz to work closer stations, and finished on 14 MHz.

SAM_0911d

Made 56 QSOs, a new SOTA record for me
Vetterlog

Nice weather, getting into the mid 50s, and sunny
SAM_0922d

Mt. Baldy (W6 CT-003) in the distance, at the start of the nice ride down
SAM_0923d

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Kratka is the easiest of the “high country” peaks for me to do in the winter; it is an easy hike above Angeles Crest Highway. The weather was predicted cloudy but not too cold. We had last been to the base of Kratka on Christmas Day – at that time the temperature was a chilly 26F (-3C), sunny and windy.

Today, I brought snow shoes, crampons and an ice axe but didn’t need any of them since there was much less snow than I thought there might be. The snow that there was was partially frozen and was a good surface to walk on.

Not much snow today
SAM_0892d

Also little snow around the summit
SAM_0894d

The temperature was about 40F (5C). I was warm from the hike but got progressively chilled over the next hour and a half at the summit, since there was little sunshine through the clouds. I was wearing a wool shirt, two light pile jackets, and a goretex jacket. Also jeans and wind proof over-trousers, plus my snow boots. Wool gloves.

First I set up the 20m dipole, then put up the 2m j pole and made some nice FM contacts. Switched to 20m CW, propagation to the SE US was very good and signals were very strong. Then to 30m (Elliot K6EL was s2s on Mt Davidson), and back to 20m to work Dennis WA2USA summit to summit on Worthington Knob in Tennessee. I’m happy there is so much 2m simplex activity now. When I first took my HT to Kratka in late 2012 (my first ever SOTA activation) I only managed to work two stations.

2m FM: KI6UCN KK6EHQ KN6CCW K6QCB KW6ACK KM6CEM KB6CIO
20m CW: N0EVH N4MJ N4EX K8TE W6UB NK6A KE5AKL NE4TN W0MNA W4DOW W0ERI NS7P K4PIC AE5B W6IYS AE4FZ N7CNH K0LAF WA2USA
30m CW: W7RV W7USA K6EL K6TUY

Looking wintry to the east
SAM_0897d

Twin Peaks W6 CT-064. Hiking this in the winter is not a good idea, at least by yourself. A bad slip during the descent on the snow/ice could lead to a very cold night.
SAM_0896d

The intermediate ski run from near the top. The ski area has been defunct for 13 years, since the lift house and restaurant burned in a fire. The pine trees are taking over. I used to ski here, and enjoyed it very much. I suppose if I had hiked up this route I could have used my snow shoes. Miriam and I hiked up this way on Good Friday in 2008.
SAM_0898d

I stopped at Newcomb’s Ranch for a nice late breakfast about 1030! That sure warmed me up.
SAM_0904d

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Getting into the swing of things with an easy hike to Occidental Peak, just like I did in 2014.

On the drive up, for a treat, I stopped at McDonalds and picked up a sausage mcmuffin, “hash browns”, and a small coffee. I haven’t had a fast food breakfast in a long time so I was surprised by the 5 dollar price (which included sales tax). Wow, seems expensive to me, guess I am behind the times. At least it was fairly tasty so I can’t complain too much.

Parked at the usual place near the giant communications tower. Nice view of Mt Wilson Observatory. You can now use the 100 inch telescope for $5000/night, $2700/half night. You can bring up to 17 friends with you! That’s pretty cool. They have had the 60 inch telescope available for amateur observation for a long time now, I think that’s $900/half night, $1500/night.
SAM_0877d

Some of the other other towers
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Nice hike along the ridge through oak and fir trees
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I was dressed way too warmly, the temperature got to be in upper 50s during the activation. I was wearing my cold weather snow boots in case there was snow, but there wasn’t. I did see a little remnant of snow at the road side on the way up, though. But now we are having a warm spell. There was snow on the higher peaks, maybe above 7000 ft or so.

Turned on the HT, but very high S9+ RFI from the comm towers. Set up for HF, first 20m, then 30m. On 20m worked Dan NA6MG on Conejo Peak W6 SC-318, and we managed a 2m contact later when I shielded the HT from the comm towers with my body! It was cold and windy where he was, but warm and still over here

20m CW: NA6MG W0MNA N4EX W0ERI KT0A NE4TN N7WM W4DOW KG3W K4PIC NS7P W7RV N4MJ K0LAF WA9STI K6TUY AE5B K7FO
2m FM: NA6MG
30m CW: AE9F KT5X W7USA K6TUY K6HPX W7RV

I checked out the summit register, last entry was from Dec 28. Also saw Chris’s K6CMG’s entry, I think in November. Another hiker wrote that he had come up from Eaton Saddle.

Pacific Ocean in the distance, Mt. Lowe closest
SAM_0886d

On the drive down, I stopped at Eaton Saddle and checked out what looks to be a trail up Occidental from there, so maybe I will try that next time. It would be shorter and more direct, but might be overgrown in places.

Also stopped at Major Surplus and Survival in Gardena, got a new medium (45 litre) pack. My “summer” pack is a little too small to hold all the winter kit I want to bring (thicker jackets, etc)

73!
Hal
N6JZT

We have been having a lot of days with strong and cold north winds, so was waiting for a day with light winds from the west. Had been wanting to hike Sierra Pelona, and a day with good weather finally came. Up the 110, 210, 5 and 14 freeways to Red Rover Mine Road Exit and along Sierra Highway for 2 miles west, right on dirt Boiling Point Road for 200 yards, parked near the closed gate. Had a cup of coffee and then started the hike at 0640 about 20 minutes before sunrise. Temperature was 36F, so was wearing wool shirt with light pile jacket and gortex jacket over, and wool long johns with jeans over. Plus wool gloves. I guess I believe in “the wonder of wool”!

Nice easy hike on dirt road. After about a mile the road turns sharp right, the leftish road will lead over towards the saddle for Mt McDill
SAM_0839d

Pleasant and quiet. Magic Mountain right center, on skyline ridge
SAM_0840d

After 1 hour and 15 minutes, reached the ridge and took the dirt bike path up along the ridge to the summit in another 10 minutes. The activation zone is about 1000 feet long, I found a big pile of rocks where there was a summit register. Last name was a month ago, and before that the names were from August.
SAM_0842d

As I was setting up, Dan NA6MG called me on 2m. He was on Rosamond Hills W6 ND 326. He was 56 on the rubber duck, then 59 +20 dB on the J-pole. So the latter really is much better! He said it was cold where he was, with some wind gusts. It must have been in the high 30s where I was, with almost no wind and bright sunshine so it was pretty good. Though I started to cool down since I was no longer walking.

Communications antennas to the east
SAM_0843d

Worked mainly on 20m. Had a QSO with G4OBK in England, his signal sounded different (gray line or auroral?) from the stateside signals but we must have got the propagation just right since he had a strong signal.

2m FM: NA6MG AG6ZR KW6C
20m CW: NE4TN NS7P K7TQ KF5J K9ZMD G4OBK KE5AKL W7CNL VE2JCW KG3W W0MNA N0EVH W0ERI W4MPS VA6FUN K4EAY KI0SK
30m CW: K6TUY W7RV

And I was actually wearing two caps to ward off the cold!
SAM_0848d

Mt McDill W6 CT-118. This would be good to combine as a bike ride with Sierra Pelona
SAM_0850d

Looking east, high point I think is Baden Powell, I could see snow on it
SAM_0851d

Started down the way I came. Signs showed this parkland is part of Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
SAM_0854d

SAM_0858d

Took an hour and a quarter to hike down. Here is where I parked the jeep
SAM_0860d

3.5 miles each way with 1800ft elevation gain

To get mountain views rather than freeway views, I returned via Acton, Aliso Canyon, Angeles Forest Highway and Angeles Crest Highway

Yerba Buena Ridge W6 CT-163 ( left center) across Big Tujunga Canyon
SAM_0868d

Fox Mountain, and Condor Peak W6 CT-027 just peaking left center over the ridge
SAM_0865d

73!
Hal
N6JZT

Another nice little peak, best to do in the cool “rainy” season here. Up the Harbor Freeway (the “110”) and then the Hollywood Freeway (the “101”), exit towards Barham, along Cahuenga Blvd then right on Barham Blvd, then right on Lake Hollywood Drive. Follow this and park at the corner of Lake Hollywood and Wonder View.

SAM_0807d

Walk up Wonder View…a typical Sothern California winter day, sunny (albeit with clouds later) and about 60 degrees F at about 9:15 AM.
SAM_0808d

The trail is straightforward, but steeper than I expected and eroded and somewhat rocky
SAM_0812d

Views of Verdugo (nearest “ridge”), Mt Lukens in the center. Just to the left of Mt. Lukens I noticed I could see Condor Peak peaking over.
SAM_0813d

At the summit, got on 2m and talked with Chris K6CMG, then Ken KN6CCW summit to summit on W6 CT-125 Harrison Peak. A few more 2m contacts as I set up for 17m. I had brought the IC-706 and the 20AH Li battery so I could operate 50W SSB for practically as long as I wanted. I operated about 30W on CW.

The station with San Gabriel Peak and the other peaks around Mt Wilson in the distance
SAM_0815d

Charles KM6CEM spotted me for 18.150 MHz SSB and I got busy…today I made 52 QSOs, a record for my SOTA activations. Most on 17m, then went to 30m CW and finished on 20m CW. Even made a cross-mode contact with KG3W while I was on 17m SSB, he called me on CW. During the activation about a dozen hikers trickled by on their way to get as close to the Hollywood sign as possible. Some were curious so I talked about ham radio with them.

2m FM: K6CMG KN6CCW NK6A KM6CEM K6QCB NA6MG KI6FPJ
17m SSB: KF5AIE KC0OGH K6TUY KD0PLH W7CNL KI4SVM (S2S W4C US-001) W0MNA W0ERI KB1RJD KA5PVB N4EX KB1RJC KK4EUN AC2KL W4MPS NE4TN K9NSE KD0TLX KF7JQV N7ENL CU3BL WB5USB KG3W(CROSS MODE cw/ssb) KB6CIO AE7AP AA0LV AE4FZ KB5AVB W4DOW KQ6P NM5SW
30m CW: W7RV W7USA K7JFD AE9F K6EL K8TE WA7JTM KI0SK
20m CW: K8LJG N4MJ KE6RS KF7WNS WB5USB N0EVH K0LAF

My first SSB contact with W4DOW, in the past it has been CW so was nice to hear his voice for the first time! Also, I think it’s been almost two years since I worked Herm and Merle, KB1RJC and KB1RJD in New Hampshire…I think it was my snow shoe activation of Kratka Ridge in early 2013. KM6CEM, W7CNL, AE9F, KK4EUN and KQ6P spotted me at various times throughout this rather long activation.

Griffith Observatory; memorable scenes with James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (Terminator) were filmed there. It is also nice to visit the exhibits and planetarium there!
SAM_0818d

On the way down, the “Wisdom Tree” in the distance
SAM_0822d

Other hikers
SAM_0823d

The Wisdom tree. There were some metal chests with registers there but they were open; much of what was inside was soaked. So much for wisdom, I guess.
SAM_0824d

Lake Hollywood
SAM_0825d

Looking back, radio facility, Griffith Observatory on ridge (center) and downtown LA in the distance (right)
SAM_0826d

Almost down. Universal Studios
SAM_0829d

Drove home a different way. Left on Barham to the Hollywood Freeway looked very crowded, so went right on Barham to Forest Lawn, passed by Warner Brothers studios, then the 134 and 2 freeways back towards downtown LA.

The hike is about 1.5 miles each way, about 900 feet elvation gain.

Thank you chasers and spotters!
73!
Hal
N6JZT

I was getting antsy, and wanted to do some hikes before more rain comes tonight. Decided to do Cerro Negro and Flint Peak since they are relatively close by. Both hikes are short 15 minute walks with a couple of hundred feet elevation gain.

Reached the dirt road for Cerro Negro by taking Mountain Street off the 2 Freeway, then it becomes San Rafael and follow this to the corner of San Rafael and Flintridge. You can see the tower at the summit in the distance, just to the right of the conical evergreen
SAM_0784d

Hike up the dirt road
SAM_0785d

Mt Wilson and San Gabriel Peak
SAM_0787d

Made some 2m contacts then set up the 17 m dipole for HF. Ken KN6CCW spotted me for 17m, then WX4ET also spotted me. I was pleased to work a lot of stations, including G4OBK in the north of England, and CU3BL in the Azores. I was running about 40 watts PEP SSB. Conditions were very good.
SAM_0788d

2m FM: KN6CCW KJ6EOE KI6PMD K6CMG
17m SSB: WX4ET W7CNL K8TE NS7P KI0SK W0MNA KF5J K9ZMD AE4FZ K2JMY G4OBK W0ERI KA5PVB K6TUY CU3BL N4EX N8IL WA2USA NE4TN KG3W AB7ZY

The next objective, Flint Peak
SAM_0791d

After hiking down, navigated over to the end of Figueroa, about a 10 minute drive. The park land is open from 4AM to 10PM. Hike up the path to the right, out of the picture
SAM_0794d

Then follow dirt and paved roads
SAM_0796d

I set up the station here
SAM_0798d

Just outside the summit radio facility
SAM_0799d

Again, worked on 2m and Ken KN6CCW spotted me for 17m SSB. Richard KK6MRH said he was a new ham and this was his first simplex QSO!
2m FM: W7QED KK6MRH KN6CCW
17m SSB: AF7ES W7CNL N4EX K8TE NM5SW W0MNA W0ERI KK1W KB7BIE K0LAF

Looking back at Cerro Negro, with Mt Lukens in the background
SAM_0804d

Back down, it’s pretty quiet around here
SAM_0806d

So some nice little hikes and good activations!

73!
Hal
N6JZT

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