Dan NA6MG had alerted for Lewis and Throop, I decided to go up too, and put out a general alert on Sotawatch, though I had not decided what mountain to hike. I started the drive around 0600, since it was Sunday it was OK to make a “late” start on the freeways. It was nice to drive in the light rather than the pitch dark early morning like I usually do. I stopped at the Shell station in La Canada to hook up the IC706 to the battery, then as I set out I saw Dan turning off the freeway onto Angeles Crest Highway! So I was about 50 yards behind him. We kept in contact on 2m FM all the way up, we decided to hike Throop and/or Lewis together. After Islip Saddle there were a lot of fallen rocks on the road as we made our way to Dawson Saddle where we parked. We decided to do Throop “first”.
I found I had forgot my camera so I only have a couple of photos, taken by Dan. A previous winter hike of Throop (with much less snow) is here
Today I brought my ice axe but did not need it
This time there was snow all the way, we were glad some people had been up so we could follow their footprints. As usual, walking in the snow was slower and more tiring than in the summer. It looked very much like “Christmas” with all the snow and pine trees. We saw some tracks in the snow that looked like a baby mountain lion’s, so we figured it must have been a bobcat.
At the “turnoff” at the “flat place” we decided to split up. I wanted to continue on the usual summer route to the right, I felt the ridge might be fairly clear of snow after passing through about 100 yards of drifted snow to get to it. Dan continued to the left and around to the Pacific Crest Trail to pick up the other use trail on the east side.
I picked up the ridge, it was mostly clear of snow as I had hoped. It was pretty slow going anyway because of the steepness and altitude. I reached the summit and set up the mast and 2m j-pole, and began operating on 2m FM. Dan arrived about 20 minutes later; he had run into soft snow and it had taken longer. I only operated on VHF and Dan operated on HF. The weather was nice, no wind and temperature in the low 40sF, 5C or so.
2m FM: KB9ENS (thanks for spotting me) N6JCN NG6R NK6A KI6AFZ KB6WWI KM6GLL (his first QSO!) KM6CEM W6CJ KK6QMS W6CDA AI6GS K6SYW KK6TRN
We were both pretty tired from the hiking in the snow, so we thought that we would only do Throop today. We had a nice hike down, first down the rocky ridge, then down through some nice powder snow and eventually back to the trail. The powder was fun because it was downhill!
The drive back down the Angeles Crest Highway was rather fraught; there were many motorcycles. Usually they are excellent riders, but today there seemed to be a lot of “Sunday riders” driving somewhat dangerously at times; one of them almost collided with Dan. I don’t know if every Sunday is like that or just today. I have not been on the Angeles Crest on Sunday for some years, I am usually just up here during the week or sometimes on Saturday.
73! Hal N6JZT