Mt. Pacifico by Mountain Bike, 7124 ft (W6/CT-015), 3 May 2014

I had been planning this ride for some time, to coincide with the “QRP to the Field” and “International SOTA Weekend” activities. There are nice picnic tables and shady trees right at the top of Mt. Pacifico. The route up is along Santa Clara Divide Road for three and a half miles, then a mile on a spur to the top. This year’s theme for QRPTTF was “Tres de Mayo” since the date was near the Cinco de Mayo. So Mt. Pacifico was a good choice, pacifico meaning “peaceful”.

Drove up Angeles Crest Highway, passsed Newcomb’s Ranch, then left along Santa Clara Divide Road passing Crest Christian Camp and Horse Flats Campground. A few miles further on is the gate on the unpaved part of Santa Clara Divide Road (3N17). This is the same road that passes by Gleason, Snow Benchmark and Magic Mountain farther to the west.

A nice cool morning just before sunrise. The start at Alder Saddle. Gate is just up around the corner.
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The road was well graded and hard packed surface, as I had expected. It was very nice to ride on. The road also avoided all the awful Poodle Dog Bush on the Pacific Crest Trail! Today’s cargo load: IC706 and tuner 7 pounds, battery 7 pounds, antenna and coax etc 2 pounds, water and beer 6 pounds, bike repair tools 2 pounds = 24 pounds.

Strawberry Peak a few minutes after sunrise
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You can see how good the road is
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After some good miles, turned right up to Mt. Pacifico.
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The road becomes steeper and rougher
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Soon arrived at the campground. It is lightly used since the road is closed to cars. I had it to myself.

I had brought the 20Ah Li battery and IC-706, so I could operate on more bands and at higher power if I needed. I set up a dipole for 17m which I had made a few days before. The VOACAP program said that 17m would be the best band for DX to Europe for this morning in May. I had a nice spot in the shade.
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Conditions were good on 17m and I worked into Europe a couple of times, including a SSB QSO with Steve SM4OTI in Sweden. Also into Singapore 9V1XX. Mike N6MKW gave me a call on the 2m HT, he was at Newcomb’s Ranch where he had stopped for coffee!

Switched over to 20m, then 30m, then back to 20m. Conditions on these bands were OK but not great. My last QSO was on 2m with Bob KB6CIO whom I heard calling on 2m. I went up and stood on the “right” boulder to get the best signal! A party of about a dozen friendly Korean hikers arrived, they had come up from Mill Creek Summit.

18MHz CW WB2GAI
18MHz CW HB9BQZ
18MHz CW NE4TN
18MHz CW VE2JCW
18MHz CW N4EX
18MHz CW KK1W
18MHz CW WA2USA
18MHz CW DJ5AV
18MHz CW K6TUY
18MHz CW NS7P
144MHz FM N6MKW
18MHz CW 9V1XX
18MHz CW NK6A
18MHz SSB SM4OTI
14MHz CW W0RW
14MHz SSB K0MOS
14MHz SSB AA7DK
14MHz SSB K7ATN
14MHz SSB K7NIT
14MHz SSB KB7HH
14MHz SSB K0YO
14MHz SSB WB5USB
14MHz SSB N7KRN
14MHz SSB AE7AP
14MHz SSB NS7P
144MHz FM WB6VIX
14MHz SSB N7MZW
14MHz SSB N7J
14MHz SSB KK7YC
14MHz CW AD5A
14MHz CW W0EA
14MHz CW WA9STI
14MHz CW WA7JTM
14MHz CW W4ZV
14MHz CW K6TUY
14MHz CW NK6A
14MHz CW N7WM
14MHz CW K7KO
14MHz CW KE5AKL
14MHz CW WA8REI
14MHz CW WV0H
14MHz CW N9AW
10MHz CW N1A
10MHz CW K1JD
10MHz CW N7CW
10MHz CW KX7L
10MHz CW W5RST
14MHz CW N6GA
144MHz FM KB6CIO

Packed up and headed down, passed by four big USFS vehicles and their fire crews. Perhaps they were going to cut down some of the standing dead wood?
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The olive drab growth in the trees is Misteltoe
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A nice ride down, stopping often to admire the view. It was hot and very bright, summer is on the way…
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The elevation gain was about 1700 ft. About an hour and three quarters to the top. Took five pints of water and a can of beer, I drank one pint and also the beer.

73!
Hal
N6JZT

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian says:

    Nice Work! I tried you on 2 meters at around 17:30z I look forward to reading your blogs.
    I will be getting an HF rig soon. You certainly make it look fun!

    1. hal90505 says:

      Hi Brian! I think I might have heard your call in the background on the HT, but these tend to slip by me real easily if I’m concentrating on the other radio. Sorry! Maybe the trick would be to call me 4 times or something to “wake me up”…anyway I hope we can have a SOTA QSO soon. I’ve enjoyed this SOTA activity a lot since I started it 18 months ago, it has got me doing both more hiking and more radio 73! Hal N6JZT

  2. Thanks Hal great read. You have an excellent set up with the bike. I need to work out how I can incorporate beer into my pack 🙂
    73
    Andrew, VK1NAM

  3. Enjoying your photos, the SOTA stories and the way you combine cycling, hiking and radio fun. Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

    1. hal90505 says:

      Thanks Andrew! I’m having a lot of fun with this new mountain bike. I’m getting spoiled not having to walk down. As we get into summer I’ll probably be doing more walking as the higher/cooler peaks generally don’t have roads up them. 73! Hal

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