For my 60th birthday, which is now some months ago, I wanted to return to Miranda Dome, now called Taylor Dome. I first climbed this peak in 1980 just after I had moved to California. For some reason it was the first peak I climbed in California, because I had picked up a book called “Self Propelled in the Southern Sierra” and kind of at random decided to spend the Memorial Day holiday 1980 in the area near the Domeland Wilderness. I don’t know why I just did not stay closer to home in the Los Angeles area! I guess I wanted to hike in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Well, I climbed it, meeting a USFS ranger named John on the way, and later in September of that year I brought my friend Charlie Nieto (visiting from England) back there and climbed it again.

View looking east, 36 years ago, towards the pinnacle on the east ridge, and Church Dome

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At that time it was informally known as Miranda Dome, after the last hereditary chief, Steban Miranda, of the Tubatulabal Indians. It has never been named officially. Now it seems to be known as Taylor Dome because of its proximity to Taylor Meadow. Named after “Charlie Taylor, who for many years was manager of the A. Brown interests at Kernville”.

And by the way, Taylor Dome is W6 SS-305, Peak 8443 is W6 SS-616, for SOTA.

The route begins on the Taylor Meadow trail, from the east side of Big Meadow. This trail is just a hundred yards south of the Manter Meadow Trail

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The trail gently rises then gently descends east for two thirds of a mile, then heads south upwards for another two thirds of a mile to a saddle…

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…where we turned left at the giant boulders and proceeded up the rocky west ridge, staying to the right of the gendarmes most of the way. That is Miranda Dome up there. Both summits are easily in the SOTA activation zone according to the topo.

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Some nice scrambling over the rocks

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Bypassing some spectacular rock formations

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We went easily to the left of the last big gendarme on the ridge, then headed up steep forested and rocky slopes.

To the right leads to the easiest way to the top, between the twin summits. We chose to go to the left and set up on some ledges north of the summit block, where we felt there would be room for both our stations.

Dan up on his eagle’s eyrie!

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Not too much room, and the end of my antenna was only maybe 10 feet from Dan. We could hear each others key clicks but operated OK

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20m CW: W0MNA W0ERI W4KRN F6HKA N7WM K1JD WB0KIU

I did not operate on 40m or 30m, not enough room to extend my antenna. Dan took care of the chasers on those bands.

Big Meadow

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In 1980 ranger John had shown me a quicker way down that did not involve going down the rocky ridge…so we went back the way we came, but before the gendarme just headed down open sandy and forested slopes to the north

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And there is our “favorite” mountain Cannell Peak…it was too tiring so we do not like it very much, actually!

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Then just continued to head north more or less until we hit the Manter trail, where we turned left (west) and back to the road

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Then we drove over to have a look at Peak 8443 (W6 SS-616). The map shows a jeep road (24S12A) to the summit. The road starts at 35.8253 -118.3489. Maybe we would get lucky and drive within 200 feet of the summit!

Well, we did not get lucky…

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I guess they just do not really want people to maybe get stuck up there if their vehicles break down. Anyway the hike was nice, about a mile and a half with about 700 feet of elevation gain. We both enjoyed this hike.

After a gentle uphill we then went downhill

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The summit is there, the road curves to the left to a saddle and then a 200 foot uphill cross country to the top

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Boulders at the top

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On the air, I called CQ on 20m with no takers…it sounded like I was not being spotted. When I got home I found this was the case; RBN had detected me seven times, but the SOTA sporting software must have hung up. So I went down in frequency and worked four stations in the Texas QSO party. I had prepared in advance to learn the contest exchange, I found this a good idea in case spotting does not work. Another example is the SKCC activity which runs once a month. After Dan had worked 40m and 30m he gave me an APRS spot, and this led to QSOs with four chasers…

20m CW: AE5G K5YAA K5GQ W4WJ ND0C AC7P WB0KIU KD3CA

Taylor Dome and pinnacle on its east ridge

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A little view of Lake Isabella

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Interesting rock formation on the way down

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The road would be OK for 4WD, again I think the USFS wants to abandon it.

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There were plenty of deer foot prints but the only human prints were ours. I don’t thing people come here very much at all. All the hunters do not seem to go very far from their pickup trucks.

Dan pointed out some mountain lion footprints! I thought this was exciting since I had never seen any signs of mountain lion before

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And finishing our nice walk back to Dan’s Jeep

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We drove back to camp and cooked a nice dinner. We heard a couple of far off rifle shots, the only we had heard though we had seen quite a few hunters. I think it is so dry there are not too many deer around; we did not see any, just their foot prints.

We were missing home and had enough SOTA for the weekend, so we drove back to LA the next day, leaving around 7AM in our Jeeps. We kept in touch via 2m all the way, and met up on the Angeles Forest Highway at Mill Creek Summit where it was very windy, and then Hidden Springs where it was less windy but hot. And it is very hot today as I write this, 100 degrees F (37C)!

So we had a great SOTA adventure!

73! Hal N6JZT

 

I had been wanting to hike some peaks in the Southern Sierra for a while, Dan NA6MG and I planned a camping trip to do this. Dan had noted that Saturday 24 September was the start of deer hunting season, so we expected to see many hunters.

For the first climb, he had planned to reach the trail head for Pk 9980 (W6 SS-255) at day break and alerted for 0800 local time Friday. Peak 9980 is the high point at the north end of the ridge that includes Sirretta Peak (9977 ft) to the south. I was unsure what peak to start with and decided to play it by ear, alerting for 1100 local time. We would then meet up at Horse Meadow camp ground near Big Meadow, and do some peaks together like Cannell Peak (W6 SN-037), Taylor Dome (W6 SS-305), Pk 8443 (W6 SS-616), Pk 8108 (W6 SS-336) over the weekend.

Thursday evening, for my son’s birthday, he, my wife and I went to the Medieval Times tournament show in Buena Park. Returning home, I got some sleep and then headed out at 0345. An easy drive on the 405, 14 and 395 stopping at the Pearsonville Shell station for fuel and bought two blueberry muffins. A couple of miles later turned west towards Kennedy Meadows and a nice drive up into the mountains. Up there at 6000 feet or so the temperature was below freezing, but clear with no wind. At the Kennedy Meadows general store I took the right fork in the road, I stopped shortly feeling that was wrong and checked the GPS, sure enough I returned and took the left fork (signed for Black Rock) and after a mile saw a sign for Sherman Pass so I was on the correct road. The road is also called 22S05 and Sherman Pass Road. At Sherman Pass (9100 feet) I had had enough of driving so I decided to hike Sherman Peak. It had taken me four and a half hours to get there, arriving at 0815.

Parked at the view point. There are vault toilets here (they were clean thank goodness!) but no trash bins. I noticed there was no trash collection anywhere during the trip here in the Sequoia National Forest…pack it in pack it out.

I think the mountain left of center is Pk 9060 (W6 SS-298)

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Called Dan on 2m but nothing heard. After coffee and a muffin crossed the road and took the sign posted trail north towards Sherman Peak.

Most of the trail is pretty gentle like this, rolling up with some downs. Very pleasant

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Came to an area of Buckthorn, that had once burned. View south west towards Kern River

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And the summit comes into clear view

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Five or ten minutes after this, Dan called me from his summit. He had just got there, I said I would be at the top in 10 or 15 minutes, so the timing looked like it would be working out. It actually took me maybe 20 minutes or longer up some steep switchbacks, then meeting up with a four wheel drive road near the top.

There is a comm site at the top. I found I had to turn on the attenuator in the HT to get rid of some VHF RFI. The hike is something like 2.5 miles with 1000 feet of gain, took just under an hour and a half.

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Set up the gear and worked Dan on 20m CW, then switched to 40m CW. RBN spotting picked me up because chasers appeared quickly

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40m CW: N6PKT N9KW

20m CW: NA6MG(S2S) WK5T(S2S) KG3W W0MNA W0ERI KA5PVB N1GB F6HKA W4HBK NO2D

30m CW: W7RV NS7P N7CW

2m FM: NA6MG

Thank you chasers for making my first Sierra activation successful!

On 2m Dan and I agreed to meet at Horse Meadow then try another peak

A nice hike down, taking less than an hour. Then a drive down the winding road from Sherman pass, reminded me of driving in Switzerland to and from the Col du Lein. After dropping 3000 feet in elevation reached the road to Big Meadow.

Met up with Dan at Horse Meadow where he was setting up camp. We decided to try for Cannell Peak, on the map a 4WD jeep road is marked (24S38) that takes you to a saddle then 500 feet of hiking to the top. The “normal” way is to hike cross country from a saddle (35.859 -118.3449) on the main 22S12 road up 1000 feet, but we thought we would try the 4WD road, starting at 35.8411. -118.3419.

Here is what Cannell Peak looks like, photo taken next day on our Taylor Dome hike

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Well, we found the jeep road and it looked good, but after just less than half a mile….

Two downed trees blocked the way! So the USFS doesn’t bother to maintain this one!

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So we shouldered our gear and headed up. Anyway, up for a little ways, then gentle down for a half mile then up again. Except for a couple more downed trees the road was totally good for 4WD! Since there are little trees starting to grow in the road it looks like the USFS is going to let this one disappear.

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After just over 2 miles and 600 or 700 feet of gain we reached the saddle at 8900 feet where the “road” ended. We were pretty tired at this point, I think from the combined effects of lack of sleep, long drive, previous hike, altitude, and “old age” (!). So we knew that the final steep 500 feet of bush country through scrub, rocks and forest would be a slog…and it was!

Set up attached to a log. Cannell is forested at the top

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Nice to make some QSOs so late in the day, it was about 1630 local time. Thank you!

20m CW: W0MNA W0ERI W0EBB KS0LV

40m CW: W7RV NQ7R

Packed up and headed down, the steep hill was much easier down than up!

Nice view of Big Meadow. We are camped a few miles beyond the far end and to the left. Siretta Peak that Dan hiked earlier is the high point on the left

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Then the jeep road. Unless you love cross country, I think walking the road then the final push is the better way to get to the summit rather than the totally cross country way, but that is just me…

Dan leading us “down” where the road goes up again!

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Dan was able to turn the jeep around where there was a little clearing about 20 feet down from the log. Tire tracks showed that others had done this too

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Then back to camp for some very welcome hot food after a long day! The orange tent is my old Vango tent made in Scotland, which I think I bought more than 36 years ago!

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73! Hal N6JZT

Last hiked Smith Mountain two years ago.

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/never-fear-smith-mountain-is-here-w6-ct-120-5111-ft-31-october-2014/

Set off up the freeways in the dark, I really hate driving on freeways…the 110 to the 91 to the 605 to the 210…that is how we talk in Los Angeles! Took about an hour and a quarter driving from Torrance to get up to the trail head on Highway 39 above Azusa. There was a full moon which was nice, and set off before sun rise at about 0540. Used the headlamp now and then, but by 0600 I did not need it anymore.

The trail to the saddle is 3 miles, and is well graded. It weaves around spurs, in and out of canyons and gets to feel kind of tedious.

Sun arriving on Smith Mountain

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Total time to the top was 2 hours 15 minutes, 3.5 miles, 1800 ft elevation gain. On the way up, I was thinking about  W6 CT-127 which rises out of Bear Canyon, it looks like a big lump. So I thought I could call it “The Lump”. Then I remembered a baseball player from the 50s and 60s, with kind of an odd name that I had seen on his baseball card: Jerry Lumpe. So for now I will refer to it as Lumpe Peak!

Lumpe Peak (W6 CT-127), left of center. Virtually inaccessible due to steep terrain and thick chaparral.

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Jerry Lumpe (Wikipedia, public domain)

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While I was setting up for HF, the mast kept tilting over since the short scrub bushes at the top are not very good for support. So it took longer to set up then I wanted.

Dan NA6MG called on 2m, then talked with Charles KM6CEM followed by Jerry NG6R and Mike KX6A. A couple of stations on 40m (Tom W7RV is almost always very strong). Then 20m…I was flummoxed by one station whose call confused me, so I must have asked for three repeats…it was Bert F6HKA in France! I had thought he was KF6HA or something because his signal was so strong.That was some nice totally unexpected DX! And just before I was shutting down on 30m, KX0R called me summit-to-summit from Colorado. During our QSO, he told me N0TA was also on the summit, on 20m. I went there but he was too weak to work, QSB from So no copy to S1.

2m FM: NA6MG KM6CEM NG6R KX6A

40m CW: W7RV N6PKT

20m CW:NE4TN F6HKA K6TUY K8LJG KA5PVB WA2USA W4KRN

10m CW: KX0R

Mt. Williamson in the distance

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Headed down. It was quite hot now, particularly in the “reflector ovens” of the canyons. So on the graded trail I kept up a fast pace to make it down that part in an hour; I did not want to dawdle in the heat.

Looking back to Smith

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And the path down

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On my way down, I stood aside to let two teams of inmate firefighters pass. I greeted then “good morning!”.  Each team consisted of about 11 men in orange coveralls labeled “prisoner”, carrying hoes and chain saws. Each team was led by an LA County fire fighter. They were all young men. They were there to help clear brush along the trail today. Not much later I heard one of them get to work with a chain saw on the other side of the canyon.

Fire team across the canyon going up

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Smith Mountain and LA County fire trucks

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I decided to drive 8 miles up the road to the Crystal Lake Cafe for lunch. I had never been there before. I found that there is a very large USFS camp ground there. At the cafe I had a chili cheese dog and a Pepsi. It was pretty good. The cafe also has a small store selling stuff for camping, and the owner also has three or four cabins for rent. Seems like a nice place to return to some day.

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Then a drive down the canyon, followed by nerve-wracking freeway driving back home.

73! Hal N6JZT

 

Not too far, up in the Mojave desert near Palmdale, there are five buttes that are SOTA peaks: Saddleback Butte, Piute Butte, Lovejoy Buttes, Black Butte and Alpine Butte. They are all 2 pointers. A 20 mile drive further east is Shadow Mountains high point, worth 4 points. They all get a three point summer bonus.

Many movies and TV shows have been filmed in this area; “Bonanza” was shot around Lovejoy Buttes.

I planned on hiking Saddleback and Piute. Both are in state parks. Saddleback provides picnicking and camping facilities, and Piute is the site of the Antelope Valley Indian Musueum. The latter is open 11AM to 4PM on weekends.

Reached Saddleback at 6AM, I entered at Avenue J, but a quicker access road for the trail and camping area is off 170th St East. There are good facilities there: running water and flush toilets. I paid the 6 dollar day use fee and began the hike.

Started the hike at dawn. Joshua trees in this area

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Looking south west to Piute Butte

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1000 feet elevation gain and 2 miles to the summit in 55 minutes. The summit is rocky. Set up the EFHW, view just west of north. I was the only person there; if there are people about it would be better to set up the antenna in the flat area down there

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The temperature was fairly cool, started of about 60F (15C) and then warmer. Worked 2m, 40m, 20m then finally 30m

2m FM: WA6VVC

40m CW: W7RV K6HPX NO6E N6PKT

20m CW: KD3CA N4EX KG3W W0MNA W0ERI N4MJ WI5H

30m CW: NS7P KA5PVB N9KW K8TE NU7A

Headed down, now starting to get hot. Hiking these kinds of buttes is a new kind of experience for me!

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Back at the Jeep it was 80F (27C). Drank another pint (half litre) and refilled water bottles.

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Drove over to Piute Butte and parked just south of the movie set “motel and service station”. Hiked for 10 minutes, it was just too hot in the blazing sun so turned back! The state park seems to be surrounded by barbed wire to keep out off road vehicles, so at some point one might have to cross it. Maybe it would be good to do this peak from the museum entrance when it is open.

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The movie set. Among others, Rob Zombie’s “The Devil’s Rejects” was shot here!

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Drove over to Alpine Butte, off of Avenue O. The sign for the dirt road says 130th St East. Drove up the dirt road, this looks like a good place to park, you could go further if you want. From here, the top is only about 350 feet (100m)  elevation again and half a  mile (800m). Just too hot for me right now!

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I then drove back home, and stopped in at Blum Ranch in Acton to buy peaches, pears, and corn.

73! Hal N6JZT

 

Well, this was an interesting adventure!

Dan NA6MG and I had planned to activate Pallett Benchmark which is the high point of Pleasant View Ridge. In the drive up in the dark, I saw something strange way up on the mountain: a bright orange light. Was it the moon, was it a rocket launch from Vandenberg, or was it a fire? I continued on to the trail head in Buckhorn campground and set off at 0515, it was pitch dark and I hiked by headlamp. Not far down the trail, again I could see the orange light way high up…I felt it was probably fire but decided to continue anyway for now. At 0545 Dan arrived at the trail head, he had seen the orange light too, he wondered if it was some mining activity, we discussed that maybe it was a fire. We both decided to continue until it got light and see if we could see smoke. We continued talking off and on on 2m FM, then at 0615 as I passed the 2 mile point Dan said he could see smoke up there, so I stopped and returned, meeting him about three quarters of a mile below the trail head

Smoke plume north west of the summit, ignore dark spots on camera lens!

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So we decided to go to Table Mountain, an easy walk of less than a quarter mile after a drive up to the ski area parking lot.

My set up on ski lift debris

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I operated on 20m and 2m, Dan operated on 40m, 30m and 20m. Not much 2m activity, Table does not have a good view of the LA Basin. I could hear Charles KM6CEM and Eric N6HEG call me but they could not hear me

20m CW: KC0MYW AC1Z W0MNA NS7P K1JD W0ERI KG3W N4EX K9ZMD KD3CA W9MRH K4MF WB0KIU N7BHP N4MJ

2m FM: W6WW Bruce

Dan drove back home through Wrightwood to check out the fire damage from the Blue Cut Fire and see which peaks were not burned. I headed back west, on the way back I found that there was still some smoke up on Pallett, and some helicopters went flying up there. It looked like they had made a water drop since it looked like the fire was smoldering rather than burning

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From the topo map it looked like the fire was about a quarter mile from the summit, or maybe a little more. Not a good place to go today.

73! Hal N6JZT

I thought that Twin would be a good hike to continue to get back in shape. Dan NA6MG had been wanting to do it too, so we decided to do it together. I told him I would start at 0530 by headlamp, and that he might want to start a little after me since he prefers to hike when it is light and he would catch up since he is a faster hiker than me.

Previous activation 3 years ago:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/08/10/10-miles-on-twin-peaks-w6-ct-064-7800-ft-9-august-2013/

I arrived in the dark 0515 at Buckhorn picnic area, had some coffee and a banana, and finally set off by headlamp at 0545. I only needed the headlamp for about 15 or 20 minutes. At about 0610 I called Dan on the HT, he was in his Jeep and would be starting in a few minutes. So I continued the hike up to the shoulder of Waterman (7733 ft, starting at 6762 ft) where I cached a pint of water. This took an hour, then 1200 ft down to Twin Peaks Saddle which took 50 minutes.

Looking up to Twin, approaching the saddle

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Down at the saddle I cached two pints (1 litre) of water, and the sure enough Dan showed up so he had caught up! He cached some water too. Then a climb of another 1200 feet up to 7760 ft East Twin, I have never bothered to go over to West Twin, it is lower and does not seem worth the effort. Total hike time was 3 hours 10 minutes.

Dan and I set up our stations. Dan is on the other side of those boulders

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I called Charles KM6CEM on 2m, made some more FM QSOs, then went on 20m, using my new EFHW tuner from QRPkits.com. Dan was on 40m 7032 and I found I could easily avoid his second harmonic by setting my frequency to 14058. I had pre-programmed my callsign in the HB1B’s memory, so I pushed the button to send automatic CQs. The RBN spotter must have picked me up right away because W0MNA and others called me almost immediately.

2m FM: KM6CEM KB6WWI KX6A N6HEG WB6POJ WC6Q WB6FYR

20m CW: W0MNA W0ERI WW7D N4MJ VE2JCW AK5SD NG6R WB0KIU W9MRH K4MF NS7P K7NEW K8TE W4HBK W4KRN

30m CW: K6TUY K1JD WA7SB

Dan operated on 40m, then 20m, and finally he went on 2m and talked with Charles and also Eric N6HEG

Dan getting his HT ready for 2m

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Kratka Ridge (W6 CT-014) in the middle distance, Mt Williamson (Previously W6 CT-011, now W6 CT-247) further away.

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After enjoying the view, we set off with some reluctance, knowing that the 1200 foot climb up Waterman lay ahead of us. So…down 1200 feet back to the saddle, where we each drank a pint of water and picked up the other water we had cached. Then a slow slog uphill, stopping after 45 minutes for another water break. We both felt that the time went by more quickly than in the past on this slow up hill section, because we had someone to talk to this time instead of just being alone with our thoughts! After an hour and a quarter we reached the sign at the Waterman turn off, which was the end of the up hill and the beginning of the down hill. So here we had more water and also something to eat. Then the nice hike down

Looking back towards Twin on the hike down

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Including breaks, it took 3 hours to get from the summit of Twin back to the start. When we reached the base, Dan headed out, I spent some time at the picnic table drinking a coke and eating potato chips and a peanut butter sandwich. Then headed out too, after spending a nice day on the mountain.

73! Hal N6JZT

Previous activations:

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/mt-baden-powell-w6-ct-004-9399-ft-12-august-2015/

https://halssota.wordpress.com/2013/08/17/mt-baden-powell-w6ct-004-9400-ft-16-august-2013/

A nice hike to try and get my high altitude fitness back. Most of the last month has been walking at fairly low altitudes. And I did feel the effects of altitude on the hike! 4.3 miles each way, 1800 feet up on ascent (2 hrs 35 min) and 300 feet up on return (2 hrs)

Note the dead brown needles on the tree…due to 5 years of drought

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I have just built a new EFHW tuner (from QRPkits.com). It seems to work fine with low VSWR, but I still needed to add a new connector for the end of the antenna so I decided just to make a light weight VHF activation today. I will try an activation with the new tuner next time. It has a built in SWR bridge with a tuning LED which dims when the SWR is low…very clever.

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Worked Charles KM6CEM first.

2m FM: KM6CEM KJ6TOA W6WW KI6AFZ KJ6OTJ N6HEG KM6CMF KK6MRH NA6MG KM6CXN KK6FR KJ6BGS KG6HQD WB6AZB KB6WWI

Gustavo KM6CXN is a new ham, he was out for a walk on his break, I think this may have been his first QSO. He said he had not heard anyone on the 2m simplex channel before. KG6HQD was on his way to Thomas Mountain, I called him from time to time to see if he was on the summit yet but no response…when I got home I saw that he came on the air from the Thomas about 10 minutes after I left the summit of Baden Powell..I had been up there an hour and 20 minutes and wanted to start the hike down.

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Mt Burnham to the left, Baden Powell to the right, from Throop Peak ridge.

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73!  Hal N6JZT

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?

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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.

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

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The buvette and barn

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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.

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Col du Tronc

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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

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

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

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Small tower at the summit

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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.

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

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The radio

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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_2090

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

 

 

 

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