Los Pinetos Nike Hercules Site (W6/CT-158) aka “Fernando 2 Benchmark” 4020 ft 11 Dec 2013

The mountain is an old Nike Hercules site from the cold war. The missiles carried nuclear war heads to shoot down Russian bombers! Presently, there are modern radar test sites at the old radar and launch areas, and LA County Fire Department “Camp 9” is located where the barracks and offices used to be. The missile site was named “Los Pinetos” or “LA-94”. On the old maps the mountain benchmark is marked “Fernando 2” and the benchmark installed in 1983 is marked “Camp 9”.

View from Little Tujunga Canyon. The flat area just left of the middle of the ridge is the old Nike radar area, where I set up for today’s activation. The hill to the right along the ridge is where the Nike missiles were located.
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Drive through the fire camp
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Buildings are the fire camp, with Nike launcher hill directly behind. Magic Mountain (L) and Mt. Gleason in the distance.
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The top is flat, used to be the radar IFC (Integrated Fire Control). The top is a short walk up from a parking area. I also walked down the other side a few hundred feet, then back up to say I “climbed” the mountain.
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Telephoto view of downtown Los Angeles, at one time heavily defended by nuclear missiles! You can imagine the situation would have to be desperate to launch nuclear weapons to protect your city.
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Sweeping views in all directions, Pacific Ocean in the distance to the south. I have since noticed during my walks at Redondo Beach 40 miles to the south, I can see Los Pinetos and also Kagel Mountain and Magic Mountain.
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The activation itself was a little strange. The Reverse Beacon Network had changed their interface so the spot link to the SOTA internet site was broken, so I was not getting spotted automatically. I found out about this after I got home. After talking to Dan NA6MG on 2 meters and 20 meters, I called CQ for 25 minutes on 20 meters with no replies! Was spotted by NK6A on 30m, and made some contacts, then spotted by KK1W on 20 meters

30m CW: NK6A N6KZ W7RV W6IYS W7CNL K7SO NS7P K6EL
20m CW: NA6MG N0DA KK1W K6TUY WA2USA KB7HH K4YA W6UB AJ5C KF4MH KF5J NE4TN N4EX W4DOW AA5CK K0NO N7WM
2 meters: NA6MG

The “Camp 9” benchmark. I think the peak should be renamed. “Fernando 2” sounds like an “Abba” song!
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73!
Hal
N6JZT

MIM-14 Nike-Hercules 12
By U.S. Army [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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