I activated Warm Springs Mountain on Winter Field Day. My original plan was to cycle up to my favorite local park and work on my terrible CW skills, but my pal Tim just took delivery of a new custom built Crust frame and wanted to ride up some hills. I can’t say no to a bike ride, so I packed up my new seat bag with 5 ice cold beers, put the radios in the pannier, and headed up to the summit. It’s roughly 6~7% grade and 6.5 miles to the top on an exposed fire road. At the top I was surprised to find a weather station, an old lookout platform, a small radio shelter with a short tower. We got there roughly 30 minutes before 00:00z, so time was spent on top of the tower enjoying cold beer. I setup the station and immediately heard stations wall to wall on SSB. Once a clear frequency was found, I self spotted via APRS, however the reply I got said the summit was invalid. Luckily I had a phone with data, so I was able to confirm on the SOTA site that I was indeed on a summit. Self spotting through the web gui didn’t work either, so I called on 2M to a local chaser requesting a spot – who couldn’t spot either! Turns out the W6 database was getting updated, so nobody could send spots out! I worked as many stations as I could on 20M (three, but hands were too frozen to write so I missed one in my log) which was difficult due to several stations running kilowatts. I made a few more on 2M, enough to qualify the peak. The ride down was fast and quite enjoyable. Looking forward to activating this one again!
Max elevation: 4030 ft
Total climbing: 3466 ft
Total time: 05:38:39
Date:31/01/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-159 (Warm Springs Mountain)
EDIT: December 5th, 2022. I found old photos and a description of this old fire lookout tower. See link below. Photos and description borrowed from firetower.org without permission.
Warm Spring Mountain Lookout was constructed in 1934. The cabin is a California Region 5 Plan BC-301 on a 20 foot H-Brace open steel tower.
The lookout was overrun by the Ruby Fire in 1987 and burned. The cabin was not staffed and wasn’t rebuilt. The steel tower remains today.