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

I decided to hike Mt. Waterman, one of my favorite mountains. It seems I have got used to hiking this mountain twice a year; once in the spring (for 8 point SOTA activation) then again in December to pick up the 3 point SOTA winter bonus. I felt like hiking up the dirt road for a change; I had not hiked up the road since December 2012 and January 2013. Though I usually descended by this route.

Set off about 0630, clear and temperature was 39F (4C). A nice hike up the road past the ski buildings at the top of chair 1, then along to the higher south summit.

SAM_1874

 

Got to the top in about one and a half hours. As usual, it took me some time for me to figure out where to set the station that had a good mast support, was in the sun and out of the wind!  I hung the 2m jpole in the tree, with good coverage to the LA area.

SAM_1876

 

Called Charles KM6CEM who was right there, he spotted me for 2m. Later he also spotted me for 20m and 30m. Dan NA6MG told me on 20m cw that the RBNhole was working and was spotting me too; it has not been reliable lately so I am learning not to depend on it.

Lots of the local chasers on 2m, then the “DX” chasers on 20m and 30m

2m FM: KM6CEM KR6RG KX6A NA6MG N6HEG KB6CIO NG6R K6QCB KM6AB

20m CW: W0MNA WW7D W0ERI W4DOW NU7A NS7P K9CJM NA6MG KG3W K4MF AK5SD W4KRN N8BB N4MJ WG0AT KI0SK

30m CW: K6TUY AD5A (S2S W5N SS026) WG0AT

After just over an hour on the radios, packed up and had a nice hike down.View back up the road on the way down. Warm in the bright sun.

SAM_1877

 

Stopped in at Newcomb’s Ranch for lunch and had a Tuna melt. It was good, but at my age it is too much food so next time I think I will just have a grilled cheese sandwich!

 

73! Hal N6JZT

 

PS lots of other Mt Waterman pictures from previous hikes:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/mt-waterman-w6-ct-012-8038-ft-9-dec-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/mt-waterman-28-december-2012/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/vhf-on-mt-waterman-w6-ct-012-8038-ft-5-december-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/my-fifth-activation-of-mt-waterman-w6-ct-012-8038-ft-27-may-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/hike-to-mt-waterman-8038-ft-w6ct-012-10-may-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/mt-waterman-18-january-2013/

Dan NA6MG had planned to bike up Magic Mountain (W6 CT-255) and Snow Benchmark (W6 CT-121). I wanted to work him on both summits, preferably from another summit accessible by bike. I ran the VE2DBE rmonline program, and saw I could get 2 meter coverage from Mt Pacifico. I also saw I could get coverage from my house in case I was not feeling energetic!

Snow Benchmark is rarely visited since it is rather isolated; 10 miles up and along Santa Clara Divide Road, or 7 miles up the poorly maintained (unmaintained?) Indian Canyon Road. I had activated Snow in 2014; Dan’s would be its second activation.

Drove up Angeles Crest Highway and parked at Alder Saddle as usual. Other outings to Pacifico are here:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/mt-pacifico-w6-ct-015-7124ft-1-may-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/mt-pacifico-by-mountain-bike-7124-ft-w6ct-015-3-may-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/07/26/pacifico-mountain-7200-feet-w6ct-015-cool-morning-and-baked-on-the-descent-25-july-2013/

Starting at 0600, was able to ride most of the way to the 3N17/spur road junction ( 1 hour).

SAM_1867

The road is rocky in places and obviously has not been graded in a while along this stretch. Then pushed for 50 minutes to get to the summit camp ground up the steeper summit road. A few hikers bound for Canada on the PCT along the way. Almost immediately after arriving Dan and I had a 2m FM QSO, he was already on the summit of Magic Mtn.

I first set up the 2m J-pole on the south side of the summit monoliths, so I could get good 2m coverage to the LA Basin. Worked many chasers. Thank you Charles KM6CEM for spotting me.

Then set up for HF, on the north side of the monoliths but out of the cold wind. I did not set up at one of the picnic tables as usual because they were all exposed to the wind.

SAM_1868

First tried 20m, but it was a bit of a bust. NS0TA and I both came up on 14062 almost simultaneously. Gary W0MNA and Martha W0ERI worked me then people began to work NS0TA. Signals on 20m were much weaker than normal. I moved to 14060.5 but no one picked me up; the RBNhole spotter for the SOTA page did not appear to be working. After awhile I went back to 14.062 and worked NS0TA summit to summit. Talked with Dan on 2m again, he said he was heading over to Snow. Then I went to 30m and had more success, obviously I had got spotted (by W7RV it turns out, thanks Tom!). Set up the EFHW for 40m using the SOTA Beams mountain tuner. Called CQ a while but no takers. When I got home I found that the Reverse Beacon Net skimmers had picked me up on all three bands a total of 17 times, but the RBNhole had not posted me at all to the SOTA page.

Called Dan, he had just got to Snow, so that meant two new SOTA Completes, and three summit to summits for the day.

2m FM: NA6MG(Magic) KM6CEM KX6A N6CVO KB6CIO WC6Q N6HEG NK6A KM6AIT NA6MG (Snow)

20m CW: WOMNA W0ERI NS0TA

30m CW: NS7P W7RV WW7D NG6R WD7Y K6EL K6TUY K1LB W7CNL KX0R W5NM

Packed up and ready to go

SAM_1869

 

The weather was beautiful

SAM_1871

Mt Waterman W6 CT-012

SAM_1873

 

At Alder Saddle, four PCT hikers were resting in the shade. Chatted with them, they decided to follow the road rather than risk the Poodle Dog along that section of the PCT around Pacifico!

73! Hal N6JZT

 

I had wanted to visit Magic Mountain for a long time because of its association with the early “Space Age”. In the 1950s it was the site for the Nike Ajax integrated fire control radars of the “Lang Site”. When this was decommissioned, it was the site of a rocket engine test facility for the Marquardt Corporation. Back in the day, Marquardt was a major player in aerospace, with expertise in ramjets and small rocket engines. Marquardt provided the reaction control system (i.e. directional control thrusters) for the Apollo spacecraft which went to the moon. The engines were tested on Magic Mountain!

An artists conception of the Magic Mountain test facility, dating from 1964

MagicMtnTestFacility

The newspaper is here, it is worth a read. It is called “Space News Roundup”!

NASAnews_64-02-19

So I anticipated an interesting trip. The summit of Magic Mountain is approached via the Santa Clara Divide Road, at Bear Divide at the top of Little Tujunga and Sand Canyons. Here, the road to Los Pinetos W6 CT-158 heads west, and a few hundred feet north the road to Magic Mountain heads east. The road to Magic Mountain is closed to the general public (unlike the road to Los Pinetos); it has a locked gate at the start. It is paved and I rode my bike. I started the ride at 0540, about 15 minutes before sun rise. I pushed the bike for the first 5 minutes, then was able to ride for the next hour; it was not too steep.

The valley was covered in clouds but it was clear and cool up here

SAM_1829

 

Looking back along the ride. There are a couple of short down hill sections during the first hour

SAM_1830

 

After the second down hill, the road steepened and I pushed for the next 40 minutes.

Pretty flowers, with a nice scent. The bees came out later when it was warmer and enjoyed these flowers

SAM_1834

 

Transmission towers on the summit are in view

SAM_1835

 

After pushing, I was able to ride again when the road got less steep. I reached the junction of the spur road to the summit at the two hour point. Summit is left, road to right continues to Snow Benchmark, Mt Gleason, and even to Mt Pacifico!

SAM_1837

 

I pushed the final 15 minutes up the steep road. The whole ride/walk is 7 miles, 2300 feet gain.

Water tanks are visible, remnants of the space age

SAM_1839

 

This is one of the two rocket engine test stands. During test, water from the tanks was sprayed into the exhaust to cool the concrete structure. The rocket engine exhaust was expelled below the test stand through the side.

SAM_1842

SAM_1841

 

Set up at the top not far from the radio transmission buildings.

SAM_1850

 

Comparing reality with the previous artist’s picture, it looks to me like the labs and control room were put at the summit, and there are only two rocket test cells; the lower one specifically for the Lunar Module engines was never built. I assume they were tested on the other test stands to save money.

Started on 2 meters, made many contacts; Dan NA6Mg spotted me. Unfortunately Charles KM6CEM could not hear my 5 watts, though I could hear him on his higher power home station.

20m was also good; Jerry NG6R spotted me.

2m FM: K6PKO KK6MZF NA6MG KX6A N6WMG KB6WWI WC6Q W6PNG s2s  NG6R N6HEG KM6LN KJ6IIR

20m CW: WW7D N8BB N4EX W0MNA KA5PVB W0ERI NS7P W5ODS KX0R K4MF KG3W WG0AT K6HPX W4KRN W4DOW N4MJ W7RV WH6LE s2s

30m CW: W0RT

As I was wrapping up with KM6LN I heard an unfamiliar swishing sound to my left. Then working Mike KJ6IIR in Acton I looked over when the swishing sound happened again and there was a Rattlesnake heading for a bush!  I guess it was 10 feet away. The swishing sound was the sound of its rattle. So it was time to go, and I packed up carefully! This was the first Rattler I have seen during my SOTA hikes and bike rides. I will now be more aware in the future!

Rattlesnake decided it was best to go under a bush; we both were wary of each other. This photo was taken through the telephoto, 10 feet away not up close!

SAM_1859

 

Peak 4054 W6 CT-156 to the north, not accessible

SAM_1855

 

Snow Benchmark W6 CT-121 to the east along the road another 4 miles

SAM_1861

 

Then a nice ride down, which took 45 minutes. Passed three cars/pickup trucks and half a dozen bicycles coming up during my ride down. Obviously some people have keys to open the gate so watch out for vehicles!

SAM_1864

 

Los Pinetos W6 CT-158 to the west

SAM_1866

 

I enjoyed today’s outing very much; a great bike ride with interesting space history, a rattler, and great ham radio!

73! Hal N6JZT

 

 

 

 

There was a transit of Mercury across the face of the sun this morning, and the Mt Wilson Institute opened the solar observatories for viewing by the public. I got up there about 0645

150 foot solar observatory

SAM_1799

 

And it was open!

SAM_1801

 

Mercury and sunspots were visible. This is only the second time I have seen mercury. Last time was about 40 years ago when I spotted it near the horizon at sunset when I lived in England

SAM_1805

 

I signed the guest book, and saw that Professor Stephen Hawking visited the observatory in 1990

SAM_1807

 

The Snow Solar Telescope was built in 1904, and this horizontal shed is the telescope. It has flat mirrors outside which reflect the suns rays to a concave mirror inside. This was the first ever permanent solar telescope in the world, back in the day.

SAM_1808.JPG

 

It was great to get to see these solar telescopes in operation. I had never had the opportunity before. I have observed through the 100 inch astronomical telescope, that was for half a night last August. Truly spectacular. I love Mt Wilson!

After more than two hours at Mt Wilson, it was still early so I decided to head to Acton to activate a new summit. I headed for Peak 3819, which Dan NA6MG and I had tried to get added to SOTA for a couple of years, and now has been made a new SOTA peak along with hundreds of others in the W6 association. I had not alerted but got good cell service in Aliso Canyon and was able to place an alert for 1815Z (1115 local). I turned up Arrastre Road, and parked in a turnout near a HV power pylon. There are heavy mining trucks on this road so it is good to park at a turnout!

I knew the HF propagation conditions were bad (K=4 A = 35) but I thought I would give it a go anyway.

Peak 3819 (el 3819 ft), W6 CT-265. It rises about 520 feet (158m) from the height of land. You can see the use trail I took. The first part is quite steep but not too bad. By the way, Dan and I refer informally to this peak as “Rejection Mountain” since it had been rejected for SOTA for so long.

SAM_1809

 

Looking back to the jeep.

SAM_1810

 

Mt. Gleason (W6 CT-017) from the summit. It took only 20 minutes to get to the top

SAM_1811

 

Mt Pacifico (W6 CT-015) in the background

SAM_1812

 

Left of center Pk 4460 W6 CT-144, in back is Mt Emma W6 CT-029, and just right of center nearer is new SOTA peak Pk 4300 W6 CT-262. Both Pk 4460 and Pk 4300 can be approached on foot or by bike.

SAM_1813

 

When I got on the air, I heard W6JM in Colorado calling CQ, so called him and we had a QSO. Then heard WA7NCL calling CQ and we had a 10 minute QSO. After this I heard K8TE/M calling CQ NPOTA down 4 or 5 kHz so worked him too. Then went back to 14.062 and had a few QSOs, then to 10 MHz for a few more. As expected, conditions were not very good. When I got home I saw that RBNhole had spotted me to the SOTA page, on both 20m and 30m.

20m CW: W6JM, WA7NCL, K8TE/M, W0MNA, W0ERI, KX0R

30m CW: NS7P, W6JMP, KX0R

Then packed up and headed down

SAM_1814

 

Somehow I got onto a different use trail on the descent, I went to the left and did not notice I should have gone to the right. Didn’t matter since it got me back to the road a couple hundred yards from the Jeep, and was less steep than the way up. Then headed home!

73! Hal N6JZT

 

 

 

 

 

Dan NA6MG and I had planned concurrent activations on mountains close to each other: me for Mt Williamson and Dan for Throop Peak (W6 CT-005). The weather was not particularly nice, and both of us had an unpleasant drive through drizzle in the dark up along Angeles Crest Highway. Above 5000 feet or so it began to clear, and once I reached Cloudburst Summit at 7000 feet the sky was clear. I parked at Isip Saddle, and after a few minutes of drinking coffee I heard Dan call on 2m FM; he was passing by Eagles Roost and would be at Islip Saddle in a few minutes. He arrived, we discussed plans, then he set off for Dawson Saddle and the beginning of the Throop hike, while I had a little more coffee and then set off at 0635. It was light by then

Twin Peaks (W6 CT-064), with cone-shaped “The Volcano”/”Don’t Do It Peak” (W6 CT-083) in front of it

SAM_1787

 

Pretty soon I could see that higher clouds were blowing in, and that Throop (1000 feet higher than Williamson) was in the clouds. So it looked like we were due for a little weather. At the point where the trail hits the ridge, a backpacker had set up his tent…I saw quite a few Pacific Crest Trail hikers today, in fact.

Another view of “The Volcano”

SAM_1788

 

The wind picked up and I was in the clouds. At the summit, I got cold pretty quickly since the temperature was about freezing and the wind was strong. Talked with Dan summit to summit and he said it was very windy over there, below freezing. Both of us were shivering so both of us decided to just do quick 2m FM activations. We worked Charles KM6CEM who was listening out for us, then some other stations; including SOTA chasers Eric N6HEG and Jerry NG6R

2m FM: NA6MG KM6CEM KM6LN KJ6MCO N7VFF N6HEG NG6R

In all I spent only about 25 minutes on the summit, much less than my usual one and a half hours. It was just too cold. Dan said it was starting to hail on him, so we both headed down. Pretty quickly it began to snow lightly on me which I thought was nice. They were just nice snow flakes blowing in the wind.

On the way down, in the clouds

SAM_1790

 

And further down looking back

SAM_1793

 

We met up at Islip Saddle again, then drove down to Newcomb’s Ranch where Dan treated me to breakfast, so I owe him the next breakfast when we do this again.

“Holiday Snaps” outside Newcomb’s

Dan

SAM_1795

 

Me

SAM_1796

 

73! Hal N6JZT

I am recovering from an upper respiratory virus, which I have had for four weeks now. I guess you can call it a “cold” if you like but after four weeks I have had enough! So I thought I would get out and go up a mountain since I am not coughing too badly. The trail head for Josephine is at Clear Creek on the Angeles Crest Highway, only about an hour’s drive from my house.

Got to Clear Creek around 0530 and had some coffee, then set off on the bike at about 0600. Pushed it almost all the way since my cardio/respiratory systems are not fit. About 4 miles and 1900 feet elevation gain, took two hours and ten minutes. The road was mostly good, but there were some rough places that seemed like a stream bed, I hope they grade the road before too long. I was feeling pretty weak the last half hour or so.

The USFS tower and webcam have been decommisioned, I don’t know why.  Bryan N0BCB installed the camera a few years ago. Mt Lukens to the right.

SAM_1779

Set up the HF dipole and 2m J-pole, heard Dan NA6MG and Charles KM6CEM talking on 2m, so called them when I was set up. Then after 2m FM QSYed to 20m then 30m.

2m FM: NA6MG KM6CEM AF6GD KX6A KB6CIO AD6RO N6HEG WB6BFG

20m CW: W0MNA K4MF W0ERI W4KRN NU7A NA6MG WB0WQS NG6R N4EX WA2USA NS7P VE6UX W4DOW K5EW ND0C K0HNC K7TQ N7WM NK6A KG3W

30m CW: KX0R K7TQ N7BHP

Left the bike back at the helipad below the summit

SAM_1780

 

Strawberry Peak from Josephine Saddle

SAM_1781

 

Headed down. Downtown Los Angeles visible once I got to Josephine Saddle

SAM_1782

 

Strawberry Peak, and Mt Lawlor to the right

SAM_1783

 

The ride down took only half a hour

SAM_1786

 

As I rode down, met a cyclist riding up, and also a big Civilian Conservation Corps SUV…We said good morning to each other, I am sure they had a bumpy ride. About 100 yards from the bottom I noticed the rear bike tire was flat, so I walked the bike the rest of the way and then the short distance to the car.

When I got home, I had a look at the rear tube and noticed it was leaking in several spots…on the REI website I read this was probably due to the tire being under inflated, which it had been, the front tire was only 14 psi when I put the pressure gauge on it! Experimenting with the front tire I found that with the little hand pump I carry on the bike I could get the front tire to 35 psi, I really want to get it above 40psi. Since I have never put the pressure gauge on the tires before, just judging by squeezing the tires whether I had “enough” pressure., I am sure I have always under inflated them. So now I know!

73! Hal N6JZT

Previous hikes, activations and photos here:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/mt-lawlor-w6-ct-089-5957-ft-7-march-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/five-years-after-the-station-fire-mt-lawlor-w6-ct-089-5957-ft-24-may-2014/

Before leaving the house at 0445, I heard that there had been a serious accident on the 110 Harbor Freeway, my usual route through downtown Los Angeles to reach the mountains. So I plotted another route and basically went around three sides of a square to avoid the accident…west on the 105 freeway, north on the 710 freeway, then north west on the 5 freeway, finally reaching the usual Glendale Freeway (“the 2”) which took me to the Angeles Crest Highway. Oh well, life in LA…I do hate driving. Especially with everyone going so fast in the early rush hour in the dark….

Arrived at the Red Box picnic area (Mt Wilson Road turnoff) and had a cup of coffee, then crossed the road to the start of the trail. I saw that someone had removed the new trail sign…typical. Then a nice easy quiet hike up through the chaparral and oaks for half an hour to the little saddle on the south spur coming down from Mt Lawlor . Here I decided to go straight up steeply to the summit, rather than continue along the more gentle path. This was to add some variety to my hike, since I had done the “normal” way twice before.

Steep and watch out for the needle-sharp Yucca.

SAM_1767

SAM_1769

The use trail is steep, but straightforward. There are posts marking most of the way, and an old heavy copper wire in places. Perhaps someone strung a telephone wire to the summit long ago. About halfway up, I talked with Dan NA6MG over on Triunfo Peak, and said I would be at the summit in 30 or 40 minutes.

SAM_1770

 

It took 55 minutes to get to the top from the saddle, so overall this way was about 15 minutes shorter than the normal way. But I would not want to go down this steep way! The elevation gain the steep way from the saddle to the top is 900 feet.

Set up first for 2 meter FM with the j-pole, had to switch in the 10 dB attenuator on the HT as usual to reduce the RFI from Mt Wilson. Worked Dan and Don NK6A summit to summit, also Charles KM6CEM and Jerry NG6R and also Ken KN6CCW who I had not heard on the air for a while. Then operated HF with a bit of 2 m FM here and there. Not too many chasers on 20m,  and 30m apparently skipped right over Tom W7RV in Arizona and I actually worked Scott KG3W in Pennsylvania for our first ever 30m contact…he was much stronger on 30m than 20m in fact.

2m FM: KM6CEM KB6WWI NA6MG W6OXA NG6R NK6A KN6CCW N6HEG KB6CIO KR6RG KD6CQS

20m CW: W0MNA W0ERI KG3W WA9STI

30m CW: NS7P N7CNH WW7D KG3W N9KW K6TUY

Had a Clif Bar and some water and enjoyed the view for a while, then headed down the “normal” way

SAM_1773.JPG

 

73! Hal N6JZT

 

 

Not much of a “summit”, but I thought I would pay a visit to the old Nike Integrated Fire Control air defense site near my  house; it is about a 20 minute walk or 5 minutes by bike. I rode my bike. It was designated “LA-57”. The elevation is about 100 feet, and it is about a mile from the Pacific Ocean. The Nike Ajax missiles under IFC control were at Torrance Airport a couple of miles east. The Nike Ajax carried high explosive warheads; I guess it is good to know that there were no nuclear warheads stored so close by!

nike-map

 

The site is up among the trees behind that apartment building up there. The former IFC site is now the F.E.Hopkins Wilderness Park.

SAM_1765

 

A quick bike ride up here. Entrance to the park on the right

SAM_1752

 

The only hint of the site’s former use is this plaque at the visitor’s center.

SAM_1761

 

Visitor’s center. Quite a few little kids and their mothers around this weekday morning.

SAM_1762

 

The site encompasses 11 acres and their are two nice little ponds

SAM_1756

 

I think the park is also often used for ham radio field day operation. You can do day camping or over night camping

SAM_1755

 

Set up the j-pole for 2 meter FM and operated here in this tree!

SAM_1753

 

Spent about 45 minutes and worked many of the usual local chasers and two ones, Mario W6OH and Alan K6FEX

Charles KM6CEM  Scott WA9STI  K6FEX  Rich N6IET  Dan NA6MG  Jeff K6QCB  W6OH

 

Contrast on this hazy day was not good, but you can just make out the Pacific Ocean from the hill top

SAM_1754

 

73! Hal N6JZT

Well, I found that “they” they have finally completed all the high voltage line work up along the Mt Gleason Road….so there were no heavy trucks going by, and the road had been adequately patched in the places where it had been broken up. Last year’s trip:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/winter-bike-ride-to-mt-gleason-w6-ct-017-6520-ft-16-feb-2015/

And two years ago

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

So I had a quiet ride!

This time I wanted to do a bit of “industrial archeology” to see what further signs of the old Nike Hercules base LA-04 still remain. LA-04 was decommissioned in 1974. The Integrated Fire Control radars had been located on the summit, and the missiles, launchers and admin/barracks had been located above the saddle between Gleason and Little Gleason. The latter had been turned into fire fighting Camp 16, which had been obliterated during the Station Fire of 2009.

This is the northern side of the camp. Beyond is a large dirt area that had irrigation pipes, I think they are trying to re-forest it. There are no signs of the launchers that I could see. The Nike Hercules missiles carried nuclear warheads. So there used to be nuclear weapons stored around here. The fire damage makes it look like they exploded…

SAM_1738

 

Moon setting on Mt Gleason to the west, through the telephoto

SAM_1740

I had managed to ride the first 6 or 7 miles, then as usual the push up the steep part, then I can ride again at the summit plateau.

What the summit looked like once: The water tanks (which still remain) are clearly visible. The large dome housed the High Power Acquisition Radar, and the Low Power Acquisition Radar is to the left. The small domes housed the missile tracking and target tracking radars.Note a small cabin at the left of the photo; remnants of this still exist.

LA04-Mount-Gleason

 

Set up for VHF and HF.

SAM_1742

 

2m FM: KX6A NG6R KI6IED KM6CEM KI6PMD W6OXA K6MBX N6IET WW7D S2S

20m CW: KV6Z NS7P KX0R K6TUY K5WI KE5AKL N9KW K9ZMD KT5X K4MF KA5PVB N4EX KG3W K6ACJ NE4TN K0HNC NK6A ND0C KB5JO WB0KIU K7FO

30m CW: W7RV K6HPX/P S2S N7LP W6JMP K6EL KC6SSE NU7Y

As I was making my last QSO with WW7D on Stonewall Peak, a hiker appeared. Her name was Kathy and she had jogged and walked the nine miles in three hours. It had taken me two and a half on the bike. I asked her to take my photo.

The only remnants of the IFC area I could see were the two water tanks, a cinder block shed, and a stone cabin. On the left of this photo is a bush; this is where one of the missile or target tracking radars had been located. I could not see even a concrete footing for the radars; the Army had apparently decommissioned the site rather thoroughly.

SAM_1747

 

Then started down. Do not forget to STOP here! I think this must have been the entrance to the IFC area. I noticed that many of the dead trees had been cut down since my last visit.

SAM_1749

 

Looking towards Camp 16 and Little Gleason

SAM_1750

 

As usual a pretty nice ride down, though there are some uphills on the way back. I stopped for lunch along the way, and enjoyed the view for a while.

73!

Hal

N6JZT

 

 

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