So this is something of a milestone, my 100th “Summits On The Air” hike since I started in November 2012!
Beautiful day, temperature in the low 50s and a bit windy, about 10-20 mph from the North. Started at the Sandstone Peak trail head. Here, there is a large dirt parking lot and a rest room. When I got there before dawn, there was a National Park Service SUV there, then a pickup arrived; the guy asked me nicely if I could move my Jeep so he could get his trucks in, as they would be filming a car commercial! So I moved to one side and closer to the lot entrance. A few more pickups arrived as I drank coffee, and set off at 0615 a few minutes before sunrise. You follow the trail uphill and turn sharp left after a quarter mile, this is the Back Bone Trail again. Alternatively you can park about a half mile further up the road at the Mishe Mokwa trail head, follow a connector trail downhill for a quarter mile, then turn sharp right. If you want a seven mile loop hike you can follow the Back Bone Trail to the top and beyond, then circle back on the Mishe Mokwas Trail.
Follow the trail for a mile, pass a couple of use trails at the shoulder high point, then in 100 yards turn left at a sign, and follow steps and a trail to the top. There is a repeater about 100 yards before the summit.Took me an hour and five minutes, 1100 feet gain, 1.5 miles.
I was chilled in the wind, so set up for 2m with the j-pole on a small patch of dirt out of the wind but with a steep drop off to one side. There really was not enough room to set up an HF antenna right at the top out of the wind. It is very steep!
2m FM: KB6WWI KM6CEM KC6DSH N6HEG NG6R
After 15 minutes on 2m, moved down the peak back the way I came a little way to get out of the wind and find some flat space. Set up for HF, called QRL?, Dow W4DOW answered but I had to call AS (wait) when the mast blew down…fixed this and completed the QSO with Dow!
20m CW: W4DOW NE4TN KX0R K0LAF KG3W W0MNA W0ERI N4EX WA7SB NU7A WA2USA NK6A NA6MG AC7P VE7KBN
30m CW: W7RV K6HPX WA7SB W0RW W7USA
Beautiful view, actually the Park Service info at the trail head states that it is not sandstone, it is volcanic!
And then headed down
This mountain is a real gem, the highest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains. I am sure it is very popular so I am glad I hiked it early on a Friday before anyone else was hiking; met two hikers on the way up as I was going down around 0915.
As I hiked down I heard a car racing up and down the road, so I guess the commercial was for a sports car, but I never did learn what car it was. As I left the parking lot, the California Highway Patrol officers there said I could turn right and go down Yerba Buena Road, or wait a few minutes if I wanted to head up the road. I chose to go down, and after a few minutes stopped at the National Park Service Circle X Ranch center and finished the coffee and ate a cherry pie I had brought with me. This was a “TastyKake” brand pastry from Philadelphia. So after 35 years here in California they have finally begun to sell TastyKakes here. Since I am from near Philly originally (WN3JAG/WA3JAG) that is a treat!
73! Hal N6JZT