Mt Lewis is one of the new W6 SOTA summits; it has a prominence of 150.3m. Since the hike is short, I was also thinking about hiking Winston Peak and Buckhorn Peak, with prominences of 147m and just over 100m respectively. So Winston just barely avoids being a SOTA peak.
Mt Lewis from my previous Throop Peak hike. It is on the north side of Dawson Saddle
The hike starts to the left of the Caltrans maintenance shed at Dawson Saddle, climbs steeply then levels off as the flat summit is approached.
Dan NA6MG was up north two hundred miles, and we had a summit to summit QSO planned for 1515Z (0815 local). After a 25 minute hike I arrived at the summit at 0700, with plenty of time to set up antennas. Since the hike was short, I brought the 3 kg IC706 transceiver so I could run higher power than normal, and the 3 kg 20AH lithium battery. I set up the 2m jpole in a tree, the 20m/30m linked dipole on the mast, and threw a string over a tree branch to support one end of the 40m EFHW, with the SOTA Beams mountain tuner at the other end. The EFHW was rather low to the ground, only 6 or 7 feet high at the highest point. I would run 30W to 40W with the IC706, except I was limited to 5W on 40m because of the power handling capability of the EFHW tuner. I set up the HT with the jpole.
I called several times on 2m with no response; I had not expected this to be a good 2m mountain since it is largely blocked from the LA basin to the south by Throop Peak. NU7A was there on 20m CW and he spotted me. After about 10 minutes of working the chasers I quickly went over to 40m and heard Dan rather weakly, worked him on Red Mountain W6 IN-049, then back to 20m.
Conditions were unusual since I worked both “near” stations in Arizona and California on 20m, and also the farther stations in Pennsylvania and Virginia. After that I went to 40m and called CQ, I think Elliot K6EL heard me very weakly since he called me, but we did not complete a QSO on this band. When I got home I saw that I was picked up by 40m RBN skimmers in Utah and Arizona, so the EFHW was working. The RBNhole autospot was not working, it appeared to start up around 1900Z.
During my HF ops, I heard Charles KM6CEM and Erix N6HEG call me on 2m, but they could not hear me with 5W
I went to 30m, K6HPX came back and spotted me. After quite a few 30m QSOs, I put the IC706 on 2m with 50W (the luxury of a big battery!!) and then Charles could hear me for the QSO
20m CW:NU7A W0MNA W0ERI K6HPX WD9F W4KRN WA9STI KG3W N7KRN NG6R K7VK NS7P
20M CW at 5w: K6EL N7WM K8LJG
30m CW: K6HPX WA7SB N6PKT WW7D KX6A NU7A
2m FM: KM6CEM WB6POJ KI6AZQ(Camarillo Airport)
Throop Peak from Mt Lewis
A short hike down, I figured I would then drive back along the Angeles Crest Highway to Cloudburst Summit to hike Winston Peak. Slight change of plan when I picked up a PCT hiker Ryan and his dog Rose. Like many, he wanted a lift around the closed section of the trail after Williamson. I gave him and Rose a lift all the way to Alder Saddle and the Pacifico Mountain Road (where I start my Pacifico bike rides), he wanted to make up some time and have an easier hike to Mill Creek Summit (where I start my Gleason bike rides). His dog was very sweet, she was a rescue from the shelter and has been hiking a lot now; the PCT is not her first hike!
I then drove back to Cloudburst Summit for the start of the short hike up Winston. An old jeep road for a hundred yards then a use trail.
20 minutes to the summit rocks. Climbed up on some and enjoyed the view.
Winston Ridge below, Pleasant View Ridge and Pallett Benchmark (W6 CT-058) in the background
Bare Mountain W6 CT-082
Buckhorn Peak and Kratka Ridge (W6 CT-014) in the background
Stopped in at Newcomb’s Ranch and had a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries for lunch
73! Hal N6JZT