Telegraph Peak (8985 ft, 2740m) is one of the high mountains in the Mt Baldy group. The route includes the Mt Baldy ski area, with various chairlifts. There is a chair terminus at Mt Baldy Notch (7800 ft, 2380m) where there is also a nice bar and restaurant. One can take the chairlift and hike from there, or do what I did: hike up the gravel service road (starting at 6200 ft (1890m) Manker Flats to the notch, then up the service road to Thunder Mountain (8587 ft, 2617m). From there a trail leads down 300 ft (90m) to a saddle, and then up another 800 ft (245m) to Telegraph Peak.
Telegraph Peak’s name dates from the 1890s, when a government survey team used a heliograph on the summit to signal to colleagues on Mt Wilson, 22 miles away line-of-sight.
I arrived at Manker Flats in the dark, and set off at 0445, one and a half hours before sunrise. A straightforward hike up the road by headlamp and starlight.
About an hour and 35 minutes to the top of the notch, passing first the ski facilities.
Service road to Thunder Mountain
First view of Telegraph Peak
Mt Baldy from near the top of Thunder Mountain
Then down to the saddle. View of Telegraph
Sunlight hitting the ridge. Is that the summit up there?
Nope, the summit is further along the ridge!
I was very fatigued from the hike and the altitude when I arrived at the summit. So I thought I might just operate 2m FM. I had not been to this altitude for 2 months, since my trip with Dan NA6MG to the Domeland Wilderness. Total time to the top was 3 hours 40 minutes, including breaks. 6.5 miles with 3100 ft of elevation gain
Made four QSOs on 2m, then decided to go ahead and set up the HB1B and EFHW for HF since I no longer felt quite so tired.
View south towards Ontario Peak (W6 CT-048) in the distance
Lots of activity on 20m, including DX to Czech Republic
2m FM: NA6MG KB6WWI KK6PWU KX6A N6HEG
20m CW: NI6BB NS7P W7CNL OK1DVM K8LJG W6MYN W5BOS KX0R S2S NO2D N9KW ND0C KD3CA NE4TN W4DOW WA5AFD K0LAF W4HBK KG3W VE7HI KV6Z WG0AT N1EU
40m CW: W7RV K6TUY KB7HH W6WW NO2D
North to the San Andreas Fault and Mojave Desert
After enjoying the view a little longer, headed down
Approaching the saddle, and then the hike back up Thunder Mounatin
At the saddle
Then the road back to the notch. My legs were pretty stiff by now and I was walking slowly!
Back at the notch, the restaurant and ski lift were in operation. It was nice to see people coming up to enjoy the mountain air and sunshine, and have a drink or something to eat. I bought a lift ticket for 12 dollars and rode down!
Then from the base a 20 minute walk to the car. But some problems arose; I had parked on the side of the road on the rocks and dirt (as normal) but when I needed to reverse, the rear wheels could not get traction and just spun! My Jeep is 2 wheel drive, which of course is really just Zero wheel drive because of the differential: when one wheel begins to spin the other does nothing.
A hiker was passing by and helped dig under the rear wheels to remove rocks which were acting like ball bearings. We used the shovel which I was carrying: a good lesson so I will always carry it from now on. Then some young women also passed by and they helped push the Jeep and we were out. Thank you! About 44 years ago some schoolmates and I helped a driver by pushing his car a quarter mile to a gas (petrol) station. So maybe this was some good karma paying forward after all these years!
73! Hal N6JZT