W6/ND-041 – 8126

This summit is just outside of Mammoth Lakes and worth the journey if you’re in the area. I started out from my campsite off Owens River Road, and meandered through various forest roads on the moto to get as close to 8126 as I could. There are quite a bit of small spur trails in this area and my GPS isn’t granular enough to navigate the correct intersections, which meant, I needed to travel down a spur a few 100 feet before the GPS would indicate which road I was actually on. Often times, I was wrong and had to turn around. Eventually, I got as close to the summit as I could. A large tree blocked a road which goes to the top. I stopped here and hiked the rest of the way up a short, but steep, rocky and rutted path. At the top, there was little shade, and it was hot. Worked 20m and 40m SSB, and had a S2S with N6MKW on 2m, who found and returned an antenna I lost on Mt. Pacifico in the San Gabriels. Thanks again!

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/ND-041

Total distance: 0.75 mi
Max elevation: 8163 ft
Min elevation: 7854 ft
Total climbing: 387 ft
Average speed: 0.99 m/s
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Date:07/07/2021 | Summit:W6/ND-041 (8126)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
16:41NW7E14MHzSSBS55 R53
16:42N0WAE14MHzSSBS55 R45
16:43N7BHP14MHzSSBS54 R43
16:43K6MW14MHzSSBS58 R55
16:47WU7H14MHzSSBS57 R55
16:51WY7N14MHzSSBS33 R55
17:02N6MKW144MHzFMS59 R59 S2S W6/ND-026
17:07W6TDX7MHzSSBS33 R33
17:09NS7P7MHzSSBS45 R45
17:12K6LDQ7MHzSSBS45 R33
The “trailhead”. The road was blocked by logs, and while you can’t tell from the photo, it was a bit too steep and rocky for me to take the moto further.
More logs block the old road up
View from the top, lots of obsidian.

W6/ND-392 – Dry Creek Knoll

Dry Creek Knoll is just outside Mammoth Lakes and, a pretty easy summit to bag if you’re in the area. This could be a drive up, but I don’t think a sedan would make it. I took Mammoth Scenic Loop from Hwy 395, then took one of the several off-highway roads and meandered up to the top by loosely following my GPS. Once near the summit, I parked the moto off the side of the road and hiked the rest of the way. At the very top is a small rock pile, which wasn’t a great place to setup my vertical and spread out the radials. I ended up setting up slightly off to the side of these rocks. Worked 20m, 40m SSB, and 30m CW. One S2S to Washington State on 20m.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/ND-392

Total distance: 0.35 mi
Max elevation: 8914 ft
Min elevation: 8743 ft
Total climbing: 233 ft
Average speed: 0.81 m/s
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Date:07/07/2021 | Summit:W6/ND-392 (Dry Creek Knoll)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
20:38WW7D14MHzSSBS44 R44 S2S W7W/SN-105
20:40WU7H14MHzSSBS57 R33
21:15AD0WB14MHzSSBS59 R57
21:32K6HPX7MHzSSBS55 R51
21:33K6CWC7MHzSSBS45 R33
21:39N7HNL7MHzSSBS33 R45
21:52K6HPX10MHzCWS599 R599
21:52W6TED10MHzCWS599 R42N
21:54WY7N10MHzCWS599 R599
21:59N6PKT10MHzCWS599 R33N

W6/CT-121 – Snow Benchmark

Snow Benchmark is just off 3N17, which was closed for 11 years to motorized traffic. I was planing on riding a mountain bike to this summit from Sand Canyon, but the forest service opened the road which allowed me to drive my van right below the summit. From there, it’s 1/2 mile round trip hike. Worked 2m FM, 20m SSB, and 10m CW, three s2s contacts.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-121

Total distance: 0.43 mi
Max elevation: 4951 ft
Min elevation: 4865 ft
Total climbing: 102 ft
Average speed: 0.84 m/s
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Date:16/07/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-121 (Snow Benchmark)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
19:44AE6NH144MHzFMS59 R59 S2S W6/CT-098
19:44N6HEG144MHzFMS59 R59
19:50KI6PMD144MHzFMS59 R46
19:53KN6PHZ144MHzFMS59 R59
19:55KN6DMO144MHzFMS42 R43
20:02KG6MWQ144MHzFMS59 R59 S2S W6/CT-098
20:16K6LDQ144MHzFMS59 R59
20:25WU7H14MHzSSBS57 R57
20:25WW7D14MHzSSBS59 R53
20:27K6MBN14MHzSSBS54 R45
20:30K6EL14MHzSSBS32 R52 S2S W6/NC-423
20:31NN4JM14MHzSSBS53 R44 S2S W7W/RS-010
20:32K6HPX14MHzSSBS51 R45
20:32K6MW14MHzSSBS58 R55
20:34KG7QJD14MHzSSBS59 R57
20:35NG6R14MHzSSBS59 R57
21:13K7EA10MHzCWS5NN R55N
21:17N7PHI10MHzCWS559 R339
I drove my jalopy close to the summit.
Road isn’t so bad. I’ve actually driven my commuter car down 3n17 days after it was opened to motorized vehicles.
Near the summit
Benchmark
Station setup
Magic Mountain in the distance
I thought this rock was interesting.

W6/CT-054 – Bertha Peak

From North Shore Drive near Fawnskin, take 2N09 to roughly 34.28215, -116.91535 – near a gate. I parked my van here and rode a mountain bike most of the way, pushing where it got too steep, or the rocks were too loose to get any meaningful traction. At the top were two radio shelters and various towers. I setup just outside the fence of the highest building. Hearing activity on 2M, I puled out the HT and made a few contacts there, all of whom were camping with the SOTA group. Quickly made several additional contacts on 40m, then packed down the equipment and headed on down the hill before it got too dark.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-054

Total distance: 2.88 mi
Max elevation: 8225 ft
Min elevation: 7133 ft
Total climbing: 1394 ft
Average speed: 2.47 m/s
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Date:07/08/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-054 (Bertha Peak)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
00:55K6TW144MHzFMS59 R59
00:56K6ARK144MHzFMS59 R59
00:57NJ7V144MHzFMS59 R59
01:17NW7E7MHzSSBS55 R53
01:18WU7H7MHzSSBS55 R44
01:19K6QCB7MHzSSBS48 R32
01:20NS7P7MHzSSBS45 R44
01:23WW7D7MHzSSBS52 R42
01:24K6CWC7MHzSSBS55 R44
01:25W6TDX7MHzSSBS53 R53

W6/CT-060 – 7940

7940 is the second summit I activated for the SoCal Sota Fest up in Big Bear. After waking up at camp, I headed across the Holcomb Valley via 3N16 and parked the van just off the side of the road when I was close enough to the summit. I heard this would be easy to cycle, so brought my mountain bike and started climbing up. The road was recently graded and somewhat hard packed in some areas, so it was a pretty easy ride. Turns out this whole area is a strip mine, and these roads were graded for mining efforts. Other than a few parked earth moving machines, there was no actual mining activity, or official personal around at all. When I got to the the highest point I could find, I still wasn’t at the actual summit according to the GPS map; the actual summit had turned into a giant pit! Across this large pit, I could see two other stations in an area with some flora left, I think it was N1CLC and KX6I? After working a few stations on 2M, and SSB, two other hams came up to the summit, AE6NH and KG6MWQ, who setup a 4 element yagi for 2M. My HT picked up at least one packet from the APRS digipeater in Goldfield, NV, they pointed their beam that way. Worked 20m, 40m SSB, 30m CW and 2m FM. I packed my station up and blasted down the hill on the MTB. Excited to be in the shade with an ice cold drink from my cooler, I realized my GPS was not with me anymore, so I hiked all the way back up to the summit looking for it. Luckily I found it on the ground, a short distance from the gate.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-060

Total distance: 2.39 mi
Max elevation: 7927 ft
Min elevation: 7526 ft
Total climbing: 581 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
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Date:07/08/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-060 (7940)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
15:57K6KWI144MHzFMS59 R59 S2S W6/CT-013
16:12K6TNT14MHzSSBS59 R59 S2S W6/CT-050
16:19K6ARK14MHzSSBS59 R59 S2S W6/CT-053
16:32NJ7V7MHzCWS599 R599 S2S W6/CT-054
16:45K7HZ10MHzCWS559 R559
16:53K5DEZ10MHzCWS559 R559
16:55K6MW10MHzCWS5NN R55N
17:05K6LDQ144MHzFMS59 R57
17:06KN6GOG144MHzFMS59 R59
17:07NA6MG144MHzFMS59 R59
3N16
Gate
Typical road condition
Parked earth moving machines
Road blocked to motor vehicles
Boaring holes every 40 feet or so. The first one I saw, I thought it was from an animal of some kind.
The existing summit

W6/ND-026 – Gilbert Peak

This summit is named after Charles Merwin Gilbert (1910 – 1988), you can read more about his life and career here —> https://eps.berkeley.edu/content/charles-merwin-gilbert. I didn’t do any internet searches on how to summit this peak before attempting it myself, but I think there is a better way up than the way I went. I took the moto through the forest on an (unnamed?) road and parked as close to the summit as one could, then hiked straight up the side of the hill. It was hot; I was quickly moving from shady spot to shady spot to stay out of the blazing sun. Drank almost a liter of water on the way up. At the top, some interesting rock formations and a plaque dedicated to Charles Merwin Gilbert. I setup my station just off the side of the rock formation, under a shady tree, where I got attacked by crawling insects that liked bite me. Called out on 2M, made no contacts. Worked 20M SSB, and 30M CW. Two S2S contacts.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/ND-026

Total distance: 1.02 mi
Max elevation: 8635 ft
Min elevation: 7828 ft
Total climbing: 797 ft
Average speed: 0.76 m/s
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Date:06/07/2021 | Summit:W6/ND-026 (Gilbert Peak)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
18:08N0WAE14MHzSSBS56 R55
18:09NS7P14MHzSSBS58 R57
18:10K5DEZ14MHzSSBS42 R42
18:11W7GNM14MHzSSBS57 R59
18:12KJ7UIZ14MHzSSBS35 R53
18:27KX0R10MHzCWR549 S599 S2S W0C/FR-080
18:31K0DAJ14MHzSSBS57 R45 S2S W0D/BB-002
18:34WU7H14MHzSSBS42 R55
18:34WW7D14MHzSSBS59 R53
I think that’s Gilbert Peak off in the distance.
Typical roads in the area
Parked the moto here with a note about my whereabouts, summit is straight up the hill
It was very hot. I was hiking from shady spot to shady spot.
First view of the summit
A plaque about Gilbert Peak
View from the top

W6/IN-050 – Poverty Hills

On the way home from several activations in the White Mountains and the Inyo National Forest outside Mammoth Lakes, I decided to bag one last peak along Hwy 395. I started this hike just off Tinemaha Road. The map I was referencing listed a mine at the bottom of the trail but I didn’t see much evidence of that. It was later in the day and very hot; I sucked down a bit over a liter of water in the mile or so to the top. I used about half of my other liter to dump on my head to cool down. At the top, a small rock pile was used to support my vertical antenna. I worked 20 SSB, 40M SSB (which got no contacts) and 30M CW, two S2S there. This summit has outstanding views of the Owens Valley, and I hope to activate this one again soon.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/IN-050

Total distance: 2.3 mi
Max elevation: 4948 ft
Min elevation: 4239 ft
Total climbing: 715 ft
Average speed: 1.14 m/s
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Date:08/07/2021 | Summit:W6/IN-050 (Poverty Hills)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
17:58K6HPX14MHzSSBS59 R51
17:59NS7P14MHzSSBS59 R57
17:59WU7H14MHzSSBS59 R55
18:00KD7DTS14MHzSSBS59 R33
18:02N6KJH14MHzSSBS56 R33 JEFF
18:03N0WAE14MHzSSBS59 R55
18:03WW7D14MHzSSBS57 R55
18:04K6MW14MHzSSBS57 R55
18:11N7CNH10MHzCWS55N R55N S2S W7O/CE-051
18:20KA7GPP10MHzCWS599 R559 S2S W7W/CH-195
18:21WA6KYR10MHzCWS5NN R44N
18:23WY7N10MHzCWS599 R559
18:26WB7ULD10MHzCWS59N R55N
18:30KX6A10MHzCWS599 R55N
Adventure van at the bottom of the trail
The trail starts out wide….
Then slowly gets narrow and steep.

W6/ND-012 – Bald Mountain

Bald Mountain is a drive up, I think you would need a 4×4 to make it up all the way, as the last bit is steep, with loose sharp rocks. This being said, the dirt road leading up to this summit is well graded, and I believe a sedan could make it most of the way down the 10+ mile dirt road, stoping where it starts getting rough, then hiking the remainder. At the top, there is a fire lookout station, a small log cabin, and a picnic table. Since the lookout station was unoccupied, I took the stairs to the top with a 2M radio and looked for contacts on 146.520. Nothing heard. Next, I went to check out the cabin, which was well stocked with supplies and a cast iron stove. I set my station up inside, with my tri-band vertical just outside the door. Worked SSB, conditions were bad, but I was able to make enough contacts to activate this summit. Sadly, the cabin was kinda a mess inside with empty bottles/ cans/ random trash, and other objects out of place. I took 5 minutes to straighten things up and remove several right-wing authoritarian political stickers. There was also tons of graffiti inside, which by looking at the dates, was mostly recent, within the past 2 years. Hopefully this behavior doesn’t get this cabin locked up so nobody can enjoy it.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/ND-012

(No .gpx, because this was just a short hike to the cabin)

Date:06/07/2021 | Summit:W6/ND-012 (Bald Mountain) | Bonus: 3

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
22:21WW7D14MHzSSBS59 R54
22:24W8TJM14MHzSSBS59 R58
22:25WU7H14MHzSSBS53 R55
22:33KI7UXT14MHzSSBS53 R53
On Bald Mountain Road
At the top, I parked the moto then hiked over to the cabin on the right.
Cabin
Inside
Cast iron stove with a cast iron pot.
My station

W6/ND-037 – Lookout Mountain

This is a drive up, but you may need 4-wheel drive for the last bit through sharp obsidian, which is everywhere in this area. I hiked up from a parking area off highway 395, 6 miles round trip through a beautiful forest. Worked 20M, 40M SSB with one S2S in Utah.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/ND-037

Total distance: 6.05 mi
Max elevation: 8363 ft
Min elevation: 7520 ft
Total climbing: 1601 ft
Average speed: 1.32 m/s
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Date:05/07/2021 | Summit:W6/ND-037 (Lookout Mountain)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
23:02W0MNA14MHzSSBS59 R56
23:08K7GT7MHzSSBS59 R55
23:11W6TDX7MHzSSBS45 R45
23:18WW7D7MHzSSBS33 R33
23:18K6HPX7MHzSSBS59 R41
23:21WY7N7MHzSSBS42 R11 S2S W7U/SP-008
23:45NW7E7MHzSSBS59 R52
A welcome sign at the parking area.
This is just past a paved parking area off 395
Typical views
Stretches of no shade, it was hot!
Not sure what this was?
I setup under this tree.

W6/WH-008 – 10940

If you’re in the area, this is a very easy summit to activate, it’s right off White Mountain Road, and a short, 5 minute (if that) hike up from a small parking area. Activation zone is pretty small, so I’m not sure one could stretch out a dipole. Worked KM6QCE on 2M FM, who then drove by to say hello! Also worked 20M, 40M SSB.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/WH-008

Total distance: 0.3 mi
Max elevation: 10958 ft
Min elevation: 10751 ft
Total climbing: 220 ft
Average speed: 0.68 m/s
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Date:05/07/2021 | Summit:W6/WH-008 (10940)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
16:03KM6QCE144MHzFMS55 R55
16:20N0WAE14MHzSSBS56 R55
16:21NS7P14MHzSSBS57 R56
16:21KR7Q14MHzSSBS59 R53
16:22WW7D14MHzSSBS48 R55
16:22K7GT14MHzSSBS59 R57
16:23NW7E14MHzSSBS58 R55
16:23W0MNA14MHzSSBS57 R54
16:45K6HPX7MHzSSBS58 R51
16:47K6CWC7MHzSSBS35 R33
View of the summit
Short trek from the road to the saddle
‘QCE stopped by to say hello. Also, my mast fell over.