First Hike of the New Year: Occidental Peak (W6 CT-098), 5732 ft, 5 January 2015

Getting into the swing of things with an easy hike to Occidental Peak, just like I did in 2014.

On the drive up, for a treat, I stopped at McDonalds and picked up a sausage mcmuffin, “hash browns”, and a small coffee. I haven’t had a fast food breakfast in a long time so I was surprised by the 5 dollar price (which included sales tax). Wow, seems expensive to me, guess I am behind the times. At least it was fairly tasty so I can’t complain too much.

Parked at the usual place near the giant communications tower. Nice view of Mt Wilson Observatory. You can now use the 100 inch telescope for $5000/night, $2700/half night. You can bring up to 17 friends with you! That’s pretty cool. They have had the 60 inch telescope available for amateur observation for a long time now, I think that’s $900/half night, $1500/night.
SAM_0877d

Some of the other other towers
SAM_0878d

Nice hike along the ridge through oak and fir trees
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I was dressed way too warmly, the temperature got to be in upper 50s during the activation. I was wearing my cold weather snow boots in case there was snow, but there wasn’t. I did see a little remnant of snow at the road side on the way up, though. But now we are having a warm spell. There was snow on the higher peaks, maybe above 7000 ft or so.

Turned on the HT, but very high S9+ RFI from the comm towers. Set up for HF, first 20m, then 30m. On 20m worked Dan NA6MG on Conejo Peak W6 SC-318, and we managed a 2m contact later when I shielded the HT from the comm towers with my body! It was cold and windy where he was, but warm and still over here

20m CW: NA6MG W0MNA N4EX W0ERI KT0A NE4TN N7WM W4DOW KG3W K4PIC NS7P W7RV N4MJ K0LAF WA9STI K6TUY AE5B K7FO
2m FM: NA6MG
30m CW: AE9F KT5X W7USA K6TUY K6HPX W7RV

I checked out the summit register, last entry was from Dec 28. Also saw Chris’s K6CMG’s entry, I think in November. Another hiker wrote that he had come up from Eaton Saddle.

Pacific Ocean in the distance, Mt. Lowe closest
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On the drive down, I stopped at Eaton Saddle and checked out what looks to be a trail up Occidental from there, so maybe I will try that next time. It would be shorter and more direct, but might be overgrown in places.

Also stopped at Major Surplus and Survival in Gardena, got a new medium (45 litre) pack. My “summer” pack is a little too small to hold all the winter kit I want to bring (thicker jackets, etc)

73!
Hal
N6JZT

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