Great Bike Ride on Mt. Gleason, 6520 ft (W6 CT-017), 30 Dec 2013

Was watching the weather forecast to pick a sunny day with little wind, hit the jackpot with this one. Sunny and got up to the high 50s (Fahrenheit!), no wind made for a nice bike ride. Started at 0730 from Mill Creek Summit. The first 2.5 miles are a 6% grade, which I can do OK on the bike.

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Great day, view of Mt. Gleason
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Pedaled up the Santa Clara Divide Road past Little Gleason, then down to the fire camp entrance where some people were doing HV line work. Here there is a memorial for Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones, brave firefighters who perished during the Station Fire.
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The Station Fire was not kind.
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The fire smashed Fire Camp 16, a prison inmate fire camp. Prior to use as a fire camp, this area was the barracks and admin area for the Nike Hercules site LA-04. The launch area was near here. The radars were located on Mt. Gleason itself.
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Downhill a little further to the saddle, then it soon became too steep so pushed the bike for the next 1.4 miles up to the ridge. The grade is 10.5%, can’t pedal this steep!
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Looking back at Camp 16.
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Keep walking. Pushing the bike was OK; I would have had to carry the gear on my back anyway if I didn’t have the bike
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The final easy grade up to the summit. Must have been beautiful before the fire.
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Condor Peak thru the telephoto. Lightning Point Campground in the foreground. Nice to see it is OK, has been officially “closed” since the road has been closed to vehicles after the fire. I’m sure it would be OK to camp there if you get that far by foot or bike. Wonder when the area will be recovered enough for the USFS to open the road again? 5 years? 10? 20?
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Condor Peak left, and Iron Mountain right. Since the fire, these two are among the least accessible SOTA peaks in the San Gabriels.
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Iron Mountain through the telephoto
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There are a lot of live trees at the summit. Set up my station here.
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A nice little tree stump to use as an operating table. Note peanut butter sandwich in plastic bag, my SOTA staple food! The key is my Novice key I got for 79 cents back in 1968. I finally treated myself to a new key for home use a few weeks ago, the 2013 “Christmas Key” from Morse Express. I see MFJ has a cheap paddle I’m thinking of buying.
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Nice bed of pine needles to sit on.
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Worked on 20m first, then 30m. Thank you chasers for all the QSOs. Dan NA6MG was s2s on CT-242. Dan has already activated Gleason twice, so we both got a SOTA complete with today’s activation by me. Got a call from EA2LU but we were unable to complete the QSO as I was too weak in Spain.

20m CW:N0TA N4EX K7NEW NS7P WA2USA K9ZMD W0MNA VE2JCW K5WI W0ERI K6TUY NA6MG W6UB W4DOW ND0C N7WM N7UN W4JKC N4MJ VA6FUN NE4TN KG3W W0EJ W4JBB WB5USB AE4FZ KH2TJ VE1WT
30m CW: K7JFD K6TUY WA6RIC W7RV K6EL

There is a geophysical station for observing the movement of the ground as the faults here in California move.
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Earthscope Plate Boundary Observatory Station.
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Old water tanks and a small cinder block hut are all that remains of the Nike base.
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Then a fast ride down, being careful to use the brakes so the bike did not get away from me. I figure it’s about 90% downhill on the return, with about a 300 foot climb up past Camp 16 to the high point on the road near Little Gleason. The final 2.5 miles were great, and had a good time going fast. I was in good spirits after such a great day!

Total was about 18 miles. 2 hours 20 minutes up. 1 hour down, including pushing the bike on the uphill to Camp 16!

So this is my last hike for 2013. I am grateful to everyone involved in “Summits on the Air”; it has inspired me to hike the mountains much more. It has been a great year! Happy New Year!

73
Hal
N6JZT

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

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