Verdugo Peak (W6 CT-034), 3126 ft, High Above Burbank, 7 March 2014

Verdugo Peak is an urban mountain, rising above Burbank, which lies to the south, and La Crescenta-Montrose to the north. I planned this as another bike ride. I first looked at Whiting Woods Road, but that is too steep (10%+ grade), so I decided on the “standard” way of Hostetter Road, which has an average 8% grade and elevation gain of about 1450 feet in three and a half miles. The “trailhead” is on the north side of Verdugo, at the La Tuna exit of the 210 “Foothill” Freeway. It was a new experience to start a SOTA trip right by a freeway with all the cars and heavy trucks going by. There is parking for maybe a couple of dozen cars, it must get packed on weekends; there were many cars parked there today which was a Friday.

Note the position of the radio mast. I guess I could raise it right up from the bike if I need to. Freeway is in the background.
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The first half mile is on pavement, then steeply up a dirt road, where I had to push for a hundred yards. This was the only part on which I had to push the bike. Then up a bit and the road is level for a quarter mile, then begins a pretty steady ascent.

Mt Lukens to the north, where I was two weeks ago.
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Hostetter fire road, fairly well graded though cut by many shallow water runoff channels.
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On the way up talked with Bob KB6CIO who was over doing Cerro Negro Bechmark a few miles to the east (W6 CT-226) with Martin WN6E. We were also in contact with Mike N6MKW who was hiking up Kagel Mountain (W6 CT-170) to the west. We used the Mt Wilson repeater on 449.7 MHz.

View to the east along the ridge, from the top, after an hour and a quarter of biking.
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There are many radio transmitters in these hills. The summit has a fenced area with four tall telephone poles acting as radio masts.
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Today’s setup.
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Worked Alan NM5S S2S in New Mexico, he was running stations so took a break and worked KB6CIO and WN6E simplex on 2m FM. Then back to 20m and waited until Alan QSYed to 40 meters, then I called CQ on the frequency and worked many stations. After a while, worked Mike S2S on 2m FM, then to 30m CW. During the operation several other mountain bikers stopped by, they thought the ham radio was pretty cool, they were very interested that I had worked as far as Pennsylvania (KG3W). Final QSO was 2m FM with Dan NA6MG who was at home today, not in the mountains!

As on Mt Lukens, the radio transmitters interfered with by 2m HT reception, the noise level on VHF was about S7 or so.

2m FM: KB6CIO WN6E N6MKW NA6MG
14 MHz CW: NM5S K6TUY K9ZMD K7NEW NA6MG W7CNL N4MJ KX0R WA2USA NS7P VE7KBN N7WM W4DOW N4EX AJ5C K8TE W0MNA W0ERI KI0G KG3W
30m CW: K6TUY W7RV WA6RIC W8FDV W7TAO

Topo from USGS database showing start (1661 ft) and end (3131 ft) elevations. The 3126 feet elevation in the title is from Wikipedia.
CT-034 map

Today’s activation was different than usual, I got to chat with runners, walkers and bikers along the way. Usually my hikes are in the wilderness and quite solitary. On the way down, just below the summit, I asked a female runner if she would be doing the LA Marathon on Sunday. She said, no, she would be working it because she was a police officer. She would be in Hollywood. I told her I would be doing the communications at the 14 mile medical tent, a few miles beyond her! So that was pretty cool, we chatted about the marathon for a while then I continued down.

Took half an hour to ride down, it seemed steeper going down than going up!

73!
Hal
N6JZT

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