The forecast said the weather would be sunny and not too windy for Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Two years ago I celebrated “Mountain Friday” by hiking Yerba Buena Ridge, last year I think it rained so I did not go out. Liebre Mountain has been on my list for a while, it is at the extreme north and western end of the Angeles National Forest, north of Castaic. More freeway driving than I like, but I felt the freeways would be pretty clear the day after the holiday.
From I5, the exit to the 138, then after about 2 miles turn right on the “Old Ridge Route” ( I think the sign also said N2), then after 2 miles turn left on Pine Canyon Road. After 4.2 miles the road leads up hill to a small saddle, here turn right up a short dirt road to a parking area. Here, I had some hot coffee for half an hour or so while I waited for it to get light enough. Because the weather was chilly (40F/3C or so), I decided to wear my boots and wool socks rather than my trail runners; with the latter I felt my feet would get cold. I had also brought my super warm winter boots, but did not need them.
At the top of the parking area, took the right fork up the Pacific Crest Trail. The left fork leads down and eventually north to Canada! Set off at 0610 as the dawn lightened the sky. A nice walk up the graded path
Frosty but dry weather. Glad I wore my boots and wool socks!
After 55 minutes and 1.8 miles passed a small camping area
Shortly after this the path became a rough 4WD road. The oak trees have lost their leaves but you can see large clumps of Mistletoe on the trees.
Near the top I saw a doe, and then a pickup truck which I figured had been parked there by a hunter. Reached the road along the ridge after a total of about 2 hours, three miles, and 1800 ft elevation gain.
View east, more or less
A SUV came by with a driver (Wade) and his two sons. We chatted a while. They were out to have a “Mountain Friday” too. Wade mentioned a book he had written and illustrated, it looks pretty cool so I have asked my wife to give it to me for Christmas! It is titled “One With Nature” and is available here and at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
I wanted to set up the radio in the sun to keep warm, but the only place I could find to support the mast was in the partial shade of the oak trees. A handy log on which to put the radio and morse key. The 25 meter elevation activation zone is 1.5 miles (2.4km) long! There are three “humps” on this rolling ridge, I just set up where I was, on the eastern hump near where the 4WD track meets the ridge road
Worked 20m and 40m, was getting cold so was on the air only about half an hour
20m CW: KC5BG W0MNA N4EX NS7P W0ERI WA2USA K7PX W5BOS KF4MH N4DA N4MJ N1GB W4HBK W9MRH K4MF KA5PVB N7KRN
40m CW: KB7HH W7RV K6HPX
Cobblestone Peak to the west
Nice walk through oak woodland. Higher up here the oaks have lost their leaves for the winter, though lower down they still had their leaves. Mistletoe again.
Tehachapi Mountains to the north
The path was sill frosty in the shade!
Looking to the north west
The Jeep down below. Took about 1 hour 20 minutes to get down
So this was a very pleasant hike through chaparral, pine and fir, and oak woodland.
73! Hal N6JZT