This was my first activation in the Southern Sierras; quite a bit of a drive from my QTH, but it made a fun day with my wife. The station was setup off the side of the summit on a picnic table. I only made two contacts on 2M (one S2S) and two on 20M. 40M was simply not working. Either my station was in a terrible position, or propagation simply wasn’t working in my favor.
8 point summit near Fawnskin (Big Bear Lake). Do not follow my tracks on this one, as I completely missed the trail! We started out on a section of the PCT, scrambled up to the summit, then followed an old road down, which didn’t really put us in a position to get back to the car easily. I didn’t make a ton of contacts, but overall, a fun hike.
I activated this peak in mid July after a bicycle activation up to (regular?) Mt. Gleason. I enjoyed the ride so much I came back for Little Mt. Gleason the following week. The ride up for the first few miles is tough, about a 11% grade according to my GPS. After that it calms down a bit, but it’s still up hill. To find Little Mt. Gleason, look for a microwave tower off in the distance while traveling up the road. That’s it. Eventually, there will be a dirt road on the right hand side that takes you to the summit. There is little to no shade on the road up, and there is zero shade once you get to the summit. I don’t know if I will do this one again in the middle of July, as the temps were quite high. As for the activation, I brought my Yaesu 817, my standard 20/40M vertical and one of those cheesy MFJ 1810T antennas for 10M, which brought me more contacts that 20+40 combined. Longest QSO was out to Colorado Springs, on 10M. The ride down was fast and enjoyable, and I look forward to activating this peak again in the winter months.
I originally planned on riding my bike up to W6/CT-087, which is on the way to Mt. Gleason, but I was feeling good so I pushed through to the further summit. The road up is paved, as there was a Nike missile site up top, which became a Forest Service fire outpost, which, tragically burned down in the 2009 Station Fire. Since it is almost 10 miles to the top, cycling made quick work of what would be above my pedestrian threshold. Once at the top, I setup the station under a grove of pine trees in the shade. I made a few contacts on 2M as the HF antenna got setup. I self spotted on 20M, and made a few contacts. Moving over to 40M and self spotting again, I quickly found it was noisy. I could clearly hear chasers calling me, but there was no getting out on my end. I made a few contacts regardless, including, a S2S. I moved over to 2M CW to practice my code. Made one contact, then another station called, which was a busted QSO because my brain still freezes when receiving.
Edit – December 5th, 2022. I found some old photos and additional info about an old lookout tower which was once on to of Gleason. Description and photos borrowed from firetower.org without permission.
Constructed in 1927, this 60′ M8 tower with non-battered open X-brace steel (NOX-B) cab was probably the only steel tower lookout structure on the Angeles National Forest. It was torn down in the 1950s during the Cold War to clear the site for a Nike installation.
This was a nice hike, but a bit far from my QTH. I intended to do a double activation of Throop and Mt. Lewis, but the temperature was dropping and it was best to head home. The HF bands were kinda quiet, but I jumped on FM Simplex and made a bunch of contacts from Apple Valley to Temecula
This my second time activating Hoyt Mountain, however this time, I hiked up for the ARRL VHF contest and primarily worked 6M and 70CM, with a few contacts on 2M, and a couple S2S contacts. This is on my top 5 list of favorite summits because it’s close to home, and it’s not a popular place for Angelenos to hike; I’d like to camp up here sometime for an overnight activation in the future. See my previous activation of this summit HERE.