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

 

 

As a warm up for the coming spring bike rides, I decided on San Gabriel Peak: first a 2.9 mile ride up Mt Disappointment Road with 1000 feet of elevation gain, then a short hike from the saddle to the top with 400 feet of elevation gain

Previous hikes/bike rides of San Gabriel:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/bike-ride-to-mt-disappointment-5963-ft-and-san-gabriel-peak-6161-ft-w6-ct-019-23-january-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/san-gabriel-peak-w6-ct-019-with-dan-and-bob-30-january-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/san-gabriel-peak-ct-019-19-april-2013/

A nice ride up, starting before sun rise

SAM_1733

The weather was nice, about 50F (10C) with no wind, and a clear sky.

Started on 2m, and also set up for HF

 

 

A hiker came by with his dog, we chatted a bit. Then they headed over to Mt Lowe.

Worked Dan NA6MG summit to summit on Sierra Pelona W6 CT-116. He was able to drive up almost to the summit this time!

2m FM: KM6CEM N6HEG WA6OPS NG6R K6QCB NA6MG KX6A N6WMG KG6HQD

20m CW: NA6MG W0MNA W0ERI WA2USA N4EX KG3W N9KW K4MF KA5PVB W4AMW K9OSC N7BHP NU7A K0LAF

30m CW: W7RV

A quick hike to the saddle and a fast bike ride down to the Jeep.

The traffic through downtown LA was slower than usual because the US Marathon Olympic Trials were being held. I watched the final half of the men’s and women’s races on TV after I got home

73!

Hal

N6JZT

I like to hike Kratka in the winter; it is an easy snow hike. This year there is at least some snow, it snowed three weeks ago but we have had some warm days since. It is supposed to snow tomorrow too.

On the drive up, I stopped at Newcomb’s Ranch for a big breakfast; I saved some hash browns, toast bacon and ham for lunch!

Then up to the start of the hike. As I pulled over to park, a Jeep pulled up behind me and it was Dan NA6MG!  He had decided to come up too! So that was cool to be doing a joint activation instead of alone.

Dan NA6MG on the way up. The temperature was about 42F (5C), not too cold, but with a little breeze too. The snow was in good shape for walking.

SAM_1725

 

And me….I had brought an ice ax and crampons but did not need them

SAM_1727

 

Got to the top, Dan set up for HF. I set up for VHF with my 2m j-pole hanging in a tree at the summit. Dan started on 17m…after a few QSOs Jerry NG6R told me that the VP8 South Georgia DXpedition was on, and people in the pile-up were calling the VP8 on Dan’s frequency, so I went and told Dan and he went to 15m.

2m FM was active, but only worked one Winter Field Day station.

2m FM: KM6CEM K6MUG KX6A N6WMG KF6LYF NG6R K7LGM KE6LB N6JXE KK6UPD KI6ZZC KK6URX K6QCB K7WYV KK6SMD KI6PMD KE6EMQ KI6WLP W6GLC

Michael KX6A and his son Will N6WMG are new SOTA activators and chasers. Welcome!

Dan on HF

SAM_1729

 

Twin Peaks (W6 CT-064) from where I was operating. You can see we did not have to sit on snow.

SAM_1730

 

Later we moved down the mountain a little to the picnic table and looked for activity in the ARRL VHF contest. We heard none on VHF or UHF FM. Here is Dan figuring out how to remove the repeater split that Yaesu puts in at the UHF simplex calling frequency. Ski lift has been closed since 2001. Back in the day, Kratka was my favorite ski area.

SAM_1732

 

Then we had a nice hike down the mountain. Dan headed back to the west, I drove a little way east to a viewpoint where I finished my breakfast for lunch!

73! Hal N6JZT

Another hike to Occidental Peak near Mt Wilson. Previous accounts here so I will not add too many photos on this post.

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/first-hike-of-the-new-year-occidental-peak-w6-ct-098-5732-ft-5-january-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/a-nice-walk-to-occidental-peak-5732-ft-w6-ct-098-4-january-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/occidental-peak-w6ct-098-and-mt-wilson-4-may-2013/

Today was a holiday weekend (Martin Luther King birthday). So there seemed to be a lot of cars heading up Angeles Crest Highway even at 0730. Going to ski and play in the snow around Mt Waterman I guess. There was a California Highway Patrol officer stationed a few miles up looking like he was there to intimidate drivers into slowing down; I hope he had some effect since everyone seemed to want to go fast and pass me. He looked like a classic “Smokey” (i.e.  Smokey the Bear)- big hat, mustache, immaculate uniform – the works! Wish I had a photo!

A 45 minute walk from the big antenna tower entrance to the summit of Occidental. The 45 minute hike always seems harder than it “should” be because it is quite rocky in places and goes up and down a lot.

A little snow. Not a good hike to do if it were covered in snow since much of the hike traverses a steep slope.

SAM_1722

Hung the 2 meter j pole on a bush, and set up the HF dipole

 

Started on 2m FM, then 20m and at the end back to 2m. Conditions were good. When I got home I found that the RBN spotter had not seemed to be working so thanks to the chasers who heard me right away on 20m!

20m CW: K0JQZKG3W W6UB AC1Z N4EX W4DOW AE5B NG6R KI8RN NK6A NE4TN W0MNA W0ERI KT5X K0LAF WA9STI NU7A K4MF AD5A N1EU KD5KC S2S W5T DE020

2m FM: KB6WWI W6KLE K6WSJ KF6HMX KK6WMD KI6PMD KD6MHS WD6PQK

 

Throop Peak W6 CT-005 on the left, Mt Baldy W6 CT-003) on the right. There is a lot of snow in the high country.

SAM_1724

The temperature was about 50F (10C) and I was overdressed in wool. But I wore it because I figured I would be sitting for an hour. But it was sunny so I was warm and I got too hot on the return!

On the drive down the Mt Wilson Road I saw that the service road to Mt Disappointment had not been plowed, so it was icy and some kids were playing on it.

 

73! Hal N6JZT

We have just had a lot of snow up in the mountains this past week, so I wanted to go up to the Angeles Crest to enjoy the nice view from Pt 4202.

Strawberry Peak (W6 CT-018) and Mt. Lawlor (W6 CT-089) from near the start above the little Clear Creek USFS ranger station.

SAM_1708

 

There is even a little snow on my little mountain. Mt Lukens (W6 CT-030) center and Hoyt Mountain (W6 CT-146) right. There’s snow up on Lukens.

SAM_1710

 

Mt Disappointment (not a SOTA peak)

SAM_1713

 

Pt 4202 is not a particularly good mountain for 2 meter FM, since higher mountains obscure the line of sight to areas such as the San Gabriel Valley where Charles KM6CEM lives

DId HF, then a little on 2m

20m CW: N7BHP NG6R KX0R W0MNA WA2USA KG3W W0ERI K6APW/7 W4DOW N5EIL N4EX KB7HH KT5X NS7P K4MF WA7SB AK5SD KA5AVB NE4TN

30m CW: W7RV W7USA K6APW/7 AD5A AE9F K8TE W7CNL KX0R

2m FM: KK6MRH KB6WWI

Condor Peak (W6 CT-027). Snow is present on the east “wing” of Condor. Snowy Iron Mountain (W6 CT-024) is just visible peaking out in the gap between the east “wing” and the next bump – Fox Mountain.

SAM_1715

 

Strawberry and Lawlor, “desert” peaks with snow! Both are abour 6000 ft (1800m) elevation

SAM_1719

73!

Hal, N6JZT

Good weather was forecast locally, clear, cold, with light winds. The latter is particularly important to me since I do not want to get cold! Since it was New Year’s Day holiday, I did not have to set off early to beat the rush hour, so set off at 0645 when it was light, and reached the trail head at 0810. Had a couple of cups of hot coffee in the Jeep, and set off on the short 2 mile hike at 0830. The temperature was just below freezing (31F, -0.5C) and as forecast there was little wind.

 

Some previous activations:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/01/18/bike-ride-on-vetter-mountain-w-ct-021-5908-ft-16-january-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/bike-ride-to-mt-vetter-w6-ct-021-22-august-2014/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/vetter-mountain-w6ct-021-5908-feet-27-september-2013/

 

A nice hike with a little snow on the road

SAM_1702

 

At the top, I started on 2m FM and worked K6QCB, KM6CEM, and NG6R. Since there was a light breeze, I moved down a few dozen feet to the picnic table which is more sheltered.  While setting up for HF I heard Chris K6CMG calling on my HT 2m FM, so moved back up to the ridge line so he could hear me and we completed the QSO.

SAM_1703

 

I’m guessing the temperature was just above freezing while I operated, but in the sun and out of the wind it was OK. Signals were strong on both 20m and 30m

 

20m CW: W0MNA W4DOW NA6MG W0ERI KX0R NE4TN WA7SB NS7V AC1Z W7CNL N1EU AC7P W5ODS WA9STI KG3W K7ZO K0LAF VA6FUN AE5B N7WM K4PIC

30m CW: KT5X W7RV NS7P W6JMP K7JFD

Scott WA9STI was on W6 SC-311 (“Malibu Springs Hill”) and in the National Parks on the Air:  Santa Monica Mountains (“RC17”)

 

Feeling a little chilled after an hour’s operation, packed up and headed down

Mt. Waterman (W6 CT-012) and Twin Peaks (W6 CT-064)

SAM_1705

 

Twin Peaks

SAM_1706

 

After getting down, drove up the Angeles Crest Highway five miles to Newcomb’s Ranch and had a nice bowl of hot chili. The outside temperature by then was still only 41F (5C) so the chili really hit the spot!

It was not crowded today; yesterday the Norton Motorcycle owners’ club had been up with about 150 motos, and Freddie Rundall (Newcomb’s general manager) told me he expected tomorrow Saturday and Sunday to be busy too.

 

73! Hal N6JZT

Torrance Refinery Action Alliance

Stop modified hydrofluoric acid in the South Bay

Elaina Loves 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

Get out of the Radio Shack and Live Life

Andrew VK1AD | Adventure & Radio from Mountain Tops | Bush Walking | Summits on the Air (SOTA)

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.