This is a nice mountain off the Angeles Crest Highway a few miles before the junction with the Angeles Forest Highway. The first part of the hike is steep with slippery gravel. The summit is well beyond the high point in the picture below.
The LA Basin was covered in clouds and it was nice to be up in the sunshine. After the cairn the ridge is pretty flat then rises again.
Some lady bugs were warming themselves in the sun after a chilly night
View back down the mountain from near the top
I still don’t have a fiber glass mast so I used the burned yucca from the 2009 Station Fire as my antenna tree
I’m always amazed by how little noise there is on the radio when I am on a mountain top. I always wonder if my radio is really working at first. Called CQ on 40m with no response, then switched to 20m, followed by 30m
20M contacts: W7CNL, WO6M, KD9KC, KT5X, N4EX, K6TUY, WA2USA, W4ZV, W6UB, K7NEW, WG0AT, NS7P, VE7CV, KG3W, AJ5C, KI0G, N4MJ, KQ2RP, W7TAO
30M: K6ILM, Elliot on W6/NC423 S2S
All contacts were CW, I tried a little on 14.346 SSB (there was a net on 14.342) but no luck
The first part of the hike down was OK, but the last 500 feet to the road were very steep and slippery. Then I drove up to Newcomb’s Ranch for a late breakfast. There, I chatted with Darren and quizzed him on using the 6800 foot pass between Waterman and Kratka ridges as a way into the San Gabriel Wilderness to get to W6/CT-083 (Point 6340). He felt the south gully down from the pass was doable. After he figured out which peak I was talking about I found that the peak is known locally as “The Volcano” because it is sort of shaped like a volcanic cone (though it is not a volcano of course). Darren has never climbed The Volcano, though has twice descended the south face of Kratka by ski and snow board, making the long climb back up to one of the passes.
The pass is easily accessible by a 15 minute walk from the Angeles Crest Highway, as I found by driving up there. Here is a shot approaching the saddle.
And a picture of The Volcano. Its remoteness and steepness is intimidating.
I was pleased to find a rough path down the gully. I descended a couple of hundred feet to check it out, then back up. I think tough hikers may use this as a way to descend into the San Gabriel Wilderness. To get to The Volcano, it would be about 1000 feet of elevation descent, then a half mile traverse on steep terrain, then 600 feet elevation gain to the top.
And that was enough recon for the day!