Keller Peak/ Strawberry Peak

VHF only activation of two peaks in the Lake Arrowhead area. These are both drive ups, and easy to find on Google Maps. GPS will probably take you straight to the top. There was a heatwave in Los Angeles, so I didn’t feel super enthusiastic about going on a hike, but I wanted to get out of the house and on the air. The first summit of the day was Strawberry peak (not to be confused with the other Strawberry Peak!). This peak is covered in RF equipment, with little room to property setup a HF antenna. My Yaesu 817 was full noise in the 2 meter band, with the squelch al the way closed, which made making contacts interesting. I quickly made the required contacts (plus a few more) and headed over to Keller Peak. This summit is also covered in RF equipment and a fire lookout tower. There isn’t much room on the summit, but I ended up finding a spot under the tower, and behind a large rock in an attempt to block RF. Contacts came easily, and I was wrapping up after about 10 minutes at the top. Overall, beautiful area, and a nice summer drive.

Date:20/08/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-086 (Strawberry Peak)


Date:20/08/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-013 (Keller Peak)

Under the fire lookout

W6/CC-002 – Mt. Pinos

My wife and I were itching to get out of the house, so I suggested a day trip up to Frazier to check out some of the easy summits in the area. At the time, there was a heat wave throughout Southern California, so I wasn’t in the mood to do much hiking! We started out by heading up to Frazier Mountain, W6/CC-003, a drive up. The first half of the road was paved, but after a few miles the road splits at a campground and turns to dirt. I attempted to pilot my Fiat 500 carefully down the dirt, but quickly found this wasn’t the best idea with minimal ground clearance and low profile tires. We turned around and headed to Mt. Pinos. Getting there is easy on the paved road, which ends at a large parking area at several trail heads. The hike up is beautiful, through a tree canopy which eventually opens up to meadows of wildflowers. Made several contacts on 20, 40 and 2 meters, including three summit 2 summits.

Total distance: 3.52 mi
Max elevation: 8852 ft
Min elevation: 8343 ft
Total climbing: 938 ft
Average speed: 1.17 m/s

Date:14/08/2020 | Summit:W6/CC-002 (Mount Pinos)

20:08KC9TZM144MHzFM59 59 – Trucker
20:21KA7GPP14MHzSSB52 52 S2S W7W/CH-223
20:24WW7D14MHzSSB59 55
20:26W0MNA14MHzSSB45 44
20:27W0ERI14MHzSSB45 44
20:30W6PZA14MHzSSB45 33 S2S W70/CE-059
20:34NS7P14MHzSSB55 55
20:42N6DNM7MHzSSB55 55
20:43K6EL7MHzSSB56 55 S2S W6/NC-298
20:45AG7TX7MHzSSB55 56
20:46K6HPX7MHzSSB59 51
20:49K6LDQ7MHzSSB33 33

W6/CT-247 – Mount Williamson

This is a fun 8 point SOTA hike, which is around 5 miles round trip. Note: If you’re looking at a map, the actual summit is past Mount Williamson; keep going and follow Pleasant View Ridge to a peak named 8248. If you keep going even further, you will run into Pallet Mountain, the site of a C-119 aircraft crash.

Total distance: 4.82 mi
Max elevation: 8264 ft
Min elevation: 6696 ft
Total climbing: 2113 ft
Average speed: 0.97 m/s

Date:31/07/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-247 (Mount Williamson)

20:17WWD728MHzSSB55 55
20:18K6WLD28MHzSSB59 59
20:30KI6PMD28MHzSSB59 59
20:50W7HO14MHzSSB59 56
20:50KB6AE14MHzSSB59 52
20:52N9XG14MHzSSB49 54
20:59N6JZT14MHzSSB55 43
21:21N1WAX144MHzFM59 59
21:25KM6CEM144MHzFM59 33
21:26AJ6N144MHzFM59 53
21:28WB6FQZ144MHzFM59 55
21:29KI6PMD144MHzFM59 42
21:31KM6SVN144MHzFM59 51
The start of the trail, just off Hwy 2
This PCT marker is at the point where you turn to hike the ridge.
Looking up at the ridge
Summit log on Mt. Williamson.. This isn’t the SOTA summit, keep going!
View at the top
It gets somewhat technical at this point, but evens out eventually.