Dan NA6MG and I planned a camping/hiking trip to the Southern Sierra, in the area above Kennedy Meadow and then over Sherman Pass to the Big Meadow area. We had done a conditioning hike/SOTA to Mt Baden-Powell (W6 CT-004) the week before.
On Friday, I left the house at 0245. Talked with Dan on 2m VHF a couple times on the way up. I came on the 14 freeway, he came over the mountains on the Angeles Crest and Angeles Forest Highways; it was cloudy up there so that slowed him down. We met up at Grumpy Bear’s Cafe parking lot around 0700 at Kennedy Meadows, my mobile rig TX was no longer working (antenna problems?) so I was on the HT by then. My plan was to do Bald Mountain then Peak 9060. Dan planned to do Kennedy Peak and Pine Mountain, he ended up doing Pine and then Jackass Peak because Kennedy was bordered by private property and not accessible from here.
There are dozens of “Bald Mountains” in the US, maybe even a hundred! So this is the one that is 9382 feet tall, a drive up a well-signposted dirt road from Sherman Pass Road. The drive up is about 2 miles, then a quarter mile walk to the fire tower on the summit.
Parked the Jeep near the summit. Do not need 4 wheel drive for this road, I don’t think you need a high clearance vehicle either.
The fire tower was occupied (two pickup trucks were at the base), but the stairway had a “closed due to extreme winds” sign on it, even though it was not too windy! So I did not get to go up.
Set up below the tower
Still some snow on the mountains way in the distance
Radio conditions were good on all bands. Worked Dan summit to summit, he was on Pine Mountain after a steep cross country climb
|16:03z||NA6MG||144MHz||FM||s2s pine mtn w6 ss328|
Headed back down to Sherman Pass Road, then a drive of another 5 miles to the road to Peak 9060, “Boone Road” 22S20
I parked here, right at the start of Boone Road
The first part of the road is excellent: with a 2WD vehicle you can drive 0.7 miles or so until the left turn on old unmarked dirt road 22S38, if you have 4WD you could keep going on this rougher road to within a few hundred feet of the summit. This road does not look like it is maintained
Up the 4WD rough road
Through pretty forest and meadow
Then leave the road at its highest point and head for the top
Lots of rock formations at the top
Set up here
Lots of nice QSOs, including a summit to summit with Dan after he made a difficult and steep climb on boulders to the top of Jackass Peak. Also with George KX0R on Methodist Mountain in Colorado. ZL1BYZ from his big station in New Zealand!
|19:37z||KX0R||14MHz||CW||s2s w0c sp064|
|19:40z||NA6MG||144MHz||FM||s2s jackass peak w6 ss290|
Now heading back down. The weather was beautiful, cool with little wind and bright sunshine
The hike is about 2 miles each way with 550 feet of elevation gain. I think it took just over an hour on the way up. Very pleasant.
After having a snack of crackers and tuna salad at the Jeep, continued the drive up to Sherman Pass where I stopped and had some coffee. Chatted with some young Spanish guys who were on vacation in a small RV: a converted minivan supplied by “Juicy RV Rentals”. It looked like a well-designed vehicle.
Then down and down the winding road, turning left on the road to Big Meadow. Stopped at Horse Meadow Campground, set up in the same spot Dan and I camped at last year. Chatted with the campground host Wayne. He had a big Santa Claus-style beard!
Dan arrived before too long, we had some dinner and chatted about the day”s adventures and the plan for tomorrow. Activated my SPOT beacon to send an “All OK” message to my wife.
73! Hal N6JZT