Harold Beacon (W6 CT-126 4725 ft) and Sierra Pelona (W6 CT-116 5220 ft) 1 Oct 2016

The drive to Harold Beacon: Angeles Forest Highway to its end, left on Sierra Highway then a right over a bridge, left a bit, and then right on to Peaceful Valley Drive. At the power lines take the power line road and keep on it all the way to the saddle. There is a steepish part where my 2 wheel drive Jeep had its wheels spinning; there are small rocks which act like ball bearings! But we made it up. I saw later on Ryan’s (WC6Q) blog he had had to turn around at the slippery part. Obviously 4WD is better on this approach, but  it is “possible” in 2WD….

At the saddle, steep trail goes to the left and then up steeper to the easy ridge

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Junipers line the moto trail

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Sierra Pelona. With the correction of the W6 activation zone from 75 ft to 25 meters (82 ft) the entire ridge from east summit with the towers to the west summit is in the activation zone.

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Then up a jeep road to the top, total just under half an hour a a few hundred feet elevation gain

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The juniper proved to be a good support

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40m CW: N9KW W7RV N7CNH N6PKT NS7P NG6R K7JFD

20m CW: W4KRN AC1Z WC0Y WB0KIU WA2USA WA6KYR VE2JCW K4MF KA5PVB KX0R VA7VJ N1GB ND0C KD3CA WA6MM VA6FUN W4HBK KG3W

30m CW: W4HBK K7NEW

Heading down

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Looked to be early still so I thought I would head over and activate Sierra Pelona. The drive back down was uneventful, then I stopped to edit my alert from Harold Beacon to Sierra Pelona and add a new time. While I was doing this a guy stopped in his car and asked if I needed help with a flat tire or anything, I said no thanks I am just resetting something for my radio. It was nice of him to ask.

Since hiking Sierra Pelona two years ago I have found it is really a drive up to the Ritter Ranch Park which includes both Sierra Pelona and Mt McDill:

https://halssota.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/ritterranch.pdf

Directions: Take the 14 Freeway to Sierra Highway and exit Shannondale Road. Turn right on Shannon Valley Road, then left on Via Famero Drive, then make a quick right on Shannon View Road. Shannon View Road turns into Telephone Road. Go .5 miles to the property bound

The road up to the park boundary is an excellent paved road

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I left the Jeep here and hiked a mile up the road and up about 250 feet in elevation. The sign says “no unauthorized vehicle use”…at this point I think it means no off road driving (I saw some off road jeep and moto trails) so next time I will drive all the way to the top, and would drive the 6 miles over to Mt McDill when I want to activate that summit. From my readings online it seems that geochachers drive over to McDill to find the geocache over there. Dan NA6MG drove up to Sierra Pelona via Boiling Point Road last time he came.

View southwest

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After the pavement ends the road becomes a well graded and wide dirt road, leading towards Mt McDill

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Fewer contacts now, the California QSO Party had started, I made one contest contact when N4DA called me

40m CW: W7RV W6JMP WA7JTM (S2S) NG6R

20m CW: N4DA VA6FUN KX0R NS7P KA5PVB

Looking back down to where I parked the car. A jeep trail is visible.

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Back at the car, a young Israeli guy came by on his friend’s horse, we chatted a while, then I headed back down the way I came. Back in the valley, I drove along Soledad Canyon Road to look at the damage from the sand fire; the chaparral had all burned but the fire fighters seemed to have saved all the houses and structures. Then to Blum Ranch where I bought corn, honey, pears, and 25 pounds (10 kg) of peaches. So we will be eating lots of fruit this week!

73! Hal N6JZT

PS there was good cell coverage for SOTA spots to the web page on both  summits

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