Dan NA6MG had planned to bike up Magic Mountain (W6 CT-255) and Snow Benchmark (W6 CT-121). I wanted to work him on both summits, preferably from another summit accessible by bike. I ran the VE2DBE rmonline program, and saw I could get 2 meter coverage from Mt Pacifico. I also saw I could get coverage from my house in case I was not feeling energetic!
Snow Benchmark is rarely visited since it is rather isolated; 10 miles up and along Santa Clara Divide Road, or 7 miles up the poorly maintained (unmaintained?) Indian Canyon Road. I had activated Snow in 2014; Dan’s would be its second activation.
Drove up Angeles Crest Highway and parked at Alder Saddle as usual. Other outings to Pacifico are here:
Starting at 0600, was able to ride most of the way to the 3N17/spur road junction ( 1 hour).
The road is rocky in places and obviously has not been graded in a while along this stretch. Then pushed for 50 minutes to get to the summit camp ground up the steeper summit road. A few hikers bound for Canada on the PCT along the way. Almost immediately after arriving Dan and I had a 2m FM QSO, he was already on the summit of Magic Mtn.
I first set up the 2m J-pole on the south side of the summit monoliths, so I could get good 2m coverage to the LA Basin. Worked many chasers. Thank you Charles KM6CEM for spotting me.
Then set up for HF, on the north side of the monoliths but out of the cold wind. I did not set up at one of the picnic tables as usual because they were all exposed to the wind.
First tried 20m, but it was a bit of a bust. NS0TA and I both came up on 14062 almost simultaneously. Gary W0MNA and Martha W0ERI worked me then people began to work NS0TA. Signals on 20m were much weaker than normal. I moved to 14060.5 but no one picked me up; the RBNhole spotter for the SOTA page did not appear to be working. After awhile I went back to 14.062 and worked NS0TA summit to summit. Talked with Dan on 2m again, he said he was heading over to Snow. Then I went to 30m and had more success, obviously I had got spotted (by W7RV it turns out, thanks Tom!). Set up the EFHW for 40m using the SOTA Beams mountain tuner. Called CQ a while but no takers. When I got home I found that the Reverse Beacon Net skimmers had picked me up on all three bands a total of 17 times, but the RBNhole had not posted me at all to the SOTA page.
Called Dan, he had just got to Snow, so that meant two new SOTA Completes, and three summit to summits for the day.
2m FM: NA6MG(Magic) KM6CEM KX6A N6CVO KB6CIO WC6Q N6HEG NK6A KM6AIT NA6MG (Snow)
20m CW: WOMNA W0ERI NS0TA
30m CW: NS7P W7RV WW7D NG6R WD7Y K6EL K6TUY K1LB W7CNL KX0R W5NM
Packed up and ready to go
The weather was beautiful
Mt Waterman W6 CT-012
At Alder Saddle, four PCT hikers were resting in the shade. Chatted with them, they decided to follow the road rather than risk the Poodle Dog along that section of the PCT around Pacifico!
73! Hal N6JZT