Peak 4300 is one of the “new” batch of W6 SOTA peaks. A couple of years ago I used the USGS National Elevation Database to verify its prominence exceeded 500 feet and of course 492 feet (150m). Nice to have it in the books, now that W6 has adopted the Listsofjohn as the prominence bible. The peak is located just a mile or two south of Peak 4460 “Power Mountain” W6 CT-144. It is also near Peak 3819 “Rejection Mountain” W6 CT-265 and Peak 3788 “Blum Ranch Mountain” W6 CT-167.
Made my way over Angeles Crest Highway and Angeles Forest Highway to Aliso Canyon. I stopped briefly at Monte Cristo Campground, it must be the only USFS-run place with CLEAN restrooms in the Angeles National Forest!
I brought my bike, here is the route I took. Started at the yellow gate where N6MKW parked when he activated CT-144 (Google Maps calls this BPL Road). Then more or less a loop, with a push and hike up the mountain, biking down down the USFS road 4N24 and returning via Aliso Canyon Road. Note this is not a GPS track, just using the polygon tool on Caltopo to make a shape I named “Pk 4300”.
By the way, the LA County assessor tool shows that the road behind the yellow gate is a public road up to the Angeles National Forest boundary. It traverses unfenced vacant land.
Parked by the yellow gate. I noticed a low cloud “marine layer” had made it all the way to this area of the desert, to the west. But the mountain was clear when I set off.
Starting off downhill to the creek bed, no water. A tree had fallen across the road so no four wheel vehicles have been down this way in a while! After that pushed up the first hill out of the creek bed, then a fairly easy gentle grade for a mile and a half to the junction where you can go left towards CT-144 or right towards CT-262.
Then the road ascends gently with ups and downs. The power pylons in the distance up the hill are my first goal.
Here is the point where I would descend after the activation. From here, it was a steep push up to the left to the power pylons.
Left the bike at the pylons and hiked up the ridge. This photo was taken on the way down; on the way up, clouds quickly obscured the view.
Checked my compass frequently in the thick cloud. I saw that the descent would be due west, as I got higher the descent would be to the south west as the ridge changed direction. I did not want to run the risk of coming down the wrong side of the mountain! Did that in Northern Ireland 45 years ago on Slieve Commedagh! Took about half an hour to get from the pylons to the top, for a total ride and hike of about an hour and a half.
I set up the mast on the steel post. I had alerted for precisely 1500Z (0800 local) on 20m and 1530Z for 30m, in case the RBNhole autospot was not working. Made a QSO with non-SOTA W5FKW at 1455, then to 14.062 at 1500. I heard Dan NA6MG call me after I called CQ, but could not complete a QSO at this time. Was interesting to get the ground wave over the mountains from his QTH, he was 559. Continued to call CQ, Scott KG3W came back, he spotted me (and also the RBNhole worked OK I found after I got home so it spotted me too). Since Scott could here me 339 in Pennsylvania I knew that propagation was not too bad.
20m CW: W5FKW (Heard NA6MG 559) KG3W WW7D WA7SB N4MJ NG6R(599 ground wave from Palos Verdes) K4MF AC1Z K8TE W0MNA W0ERI K7TQ W7RV KA5PVB WA2USA
30m CW: NA6MG(559) NS7P K6EL W6STR NA6MG(now 599) WG0AT
During my time on the summit, the clouds sometimes became less thick.
Someone had a nice camp fire up here once upon a time!
On the way down, cloud was not as thick but I still checked the compass
From the power pylons, the bike descent was steep at first, I was careful so I would not go over the handlebars!
Here is where I turned to go down the pleasant 4N24 road. The sign was made for the workers putting up the new HV pylons, but the work has been completed. They had come up from the Angeles Forest Highway to the east, not up this road which hasn’t seen any vehicles in a long time.
Hahaha the sun is coming out!
Looking back up the mountain, which is up one of the ridges to the right
Crossed the creek
Brought the bike out to the side of this gate. Signs warn off the construction crews, and potential vandals. But since the land beyond the creek is the Angeles National Forest, I feel free to access our public lands across this unfenced vacant land. If I were to hike Peak 4300, I would park the car about 50 yards south as this is a good turn out, then start the hike at this gate.
Then a nice easy ride for a mile and 150 feet of descent back to the Jeep, where I enjoyed coffee and a Clif Bar. CT-265 is the mountain you can see.
Then a drive back up Aliso Canyon, view of Peak 4300
73! Hal N6JZT