W6/CT-242 – 1416

This was my last summit of three activated for the day. With the sun setting and the wind still somewhat annoying, I didn’t setup the HF station. Instead, I used my Icom 4 band HT and spotted myself on 1.2GHz, 6M and 70cm. No contacts on any of those bands. Finally, I moved to 2M and made enough contacts to activate the summit. Sitting just below the grade of the towers seems to help the HT cope with the high levels of RF. The hike up and down was short and lovely. I made a wrong turn and had to backtrack a bit, but didn’t mind the extra distance.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-242

Total distance: 1.86 mi
Max elevation: 1430 ft
Total climbing: 587 ft
Total time: 00:59:16
Download file: W6CT-242.gpx

Date:29/01/2022 | Summit:W6/CT-242 (1416)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
01:20KI6SLA144MHzFMS59 R59
01:23K6LDQ144MHzFMS59 R59
01:25KM6UHU144MHzFMS59 R57
01:28N6XZN144MHzFMS59 R59
01:30KN6DMO144MHzFMS59 R59

W6/CT-230 – San Juan Hill

This was my second planned summit of the day, having activated W6/CT-240 earlier. I parked somewhere in a pretty affluent Orange County neighborhood and took what looked like an equestrian trail up to the border of Chino Hills State Park. By this point in the day the wind was becoming pretty strong, but the breeze was welcomed and kept me cool on the unseasonably warm day. After about 2 miles, I found the San Juan summit marker with the date of 1896. This stone and concrete structure was a nice windbreak and kept me up on the summit much longer than if it wasn’t there. I was able to secure my mast to a sturdy post, then setup my vertical. Worked 30M with one S2S. Got no calls on 40M. While packing down I made a few more contacts on 2M FM.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-230

Total distance: 4.17 mi
Max elevation: 1762 ft
Total climbing: 1132 ft
Total time: 03:17:22
Download file: SanJuan.gpx

Date:28/01/2022 | Summit:W6/CT-230 (San Juan Hill)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
21:54W6DT10MHzCWS55 R57 S2S W6/NS-422
22:00KA7GPP10MHzCWS22N R55N
22:01AI6XG10MHzCWS52N R44N
22:03WB7VTY10MHzCWS55N R55N
22:06K6LDQ10MHzCWS58N R52N
22:07W0JSL10MHzCWS45N R42N
22:08KT5X10MHzCWS5NN R33N
22:10WC6J10MHzCWS51N R22N
22:11WN4AT10MHzCWS51N R22N
22:14N6PKT10MHzCWS58N R55N
22:16K7EA10MHzCWS58N R55N
22:22KX0Y10MHzCWS57N R33N
22:22K6QCB10MHzCWS55N R57N
23:01KI6SLA144MHzFMS59 R55
23:02KM6UHU144MHzFMS59 R54
23:05KE6ZGR144MHzFMS59 R59
23:13N6XZN144MHzFMS59 R59
23:14KE6YEX144MHzFMS59 R59

W6/CT-240 – 1428

This is a one point summit near Whittier, and my first activation of the day of three planned. I parked the car at the end of Vantage Point Drive and headed up the paved road to the summit. After a very short walk I came to a locked gate with several “keep out” signs. This gate didn’t look like the area where others activated, so I wasn’t sure if I was in the activation zone. I considered hopping the fence and climbing a small hill, but there were several long horn cattle in the area and I liked the idea of a fence between me and them. I called another SOTA station on the next summit over, they said the gate area is where they activated in the past. They also shared an story of how a rancher found them on the other side of the gate and was not too happy about it. Still skeptical about actually being in the activation zone, I didn’t bother setting up the HF station and just used HTs. Made seven, 2M FM contacts, and one, 1.2GHz FM contact, 3 S2S. Back at the house, I checked activation.zone and found I was indeed in the correct place.

Sorry, no video or .gpx file for this report. I might update this in the future.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-240

Date:28/01/2022 | Summit:W6/CT-240 (1428)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
18:28K6KWI144MHzFMS58 R59 S2S W6/CT-242
18:35K6LDQ144MHzFMS59 R59
18:40KI6SLA144MHzFMS59 R59
18:44WA6WV144MHzFMS59 R59
18:50N6AN144MHzFMS56 R55 S2S W6/CT-146
18:52KM6UHU144MHzFMS55 R59
18:53K6ARU144MHzFMS59 R54
19:01N6ARA1240MHzFMS59 R59 S2S W6/CT-242
The gate is indeed in the activation zone
I parked here then walked up the road to the gate
Windows XP hills, with longhorn cattle
Closed gate
I was actually thinking about jumping over the fence

W6/CT-037 – Cahuenga Peak

If you live in Los Angles chances are you have looked at this summit several times, it’s right next to the world famous Hollywood sign. I live just a few mile away, however It took me awhile to actually activate it, and honestly, I tried to a few times but got discouraged and did something else. Why? From the parking area, you can see streams of people hiking up and down the hillside. Way too crowded for me, way too crowded to put up any kind of antenna without being in the way.

One rainy day I wanted to get out of the house and thought the weather might keep people inside, so I headed over to the trailhead. While the trail wasn’t completely empty, it wasn’t jam packed as I’ve observed before. Since rain has been scare around here for the past few years it was either now, or maybe next year, so I headed up. he trail was steeper than I imagined, but nothing that difficult.

At the top of the ridge, I went to look at the wisdom tree. I could see this single tree from my old office on Wilshire. Rumor says it came in a McDonald’s Happy Meal in the 70’s as a sapling, and someone planted it up there and returned with water every few weeks to keep it alive. I have no idea if this is true or not but it’s a good story. After trying to grab a photo of it without people taking 100 selfies in the background, I continued up the ridge to the summit marker.

Shortly after leaving the tree I arrived at the summit marker. Since this is a ridge, there isn’t a lot of room, but I was able to find a small offshoot to setup the station that was mostly out of the way. I setup the vertical and got everything setup. Worked 30M, 40M, and 20M CW. This was hard at times because at one point there were loud kids just a few feet away from me. In addition, hikers would use the small offshoot I was on, and I worried about someone tripping over one of the wires I had going everywhere.

After working all the chasers, the station was packed down and put away. I hiked around and found the benchmark, then considered going over to the Hollywood sign, but decided not to. I think it took longer to get down that it was to get up because the weather cleared and there were more trail users. Overall, it was a fun day, but I wish it rained a bit harder, for a bit longer.

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

Total distance: 2.44 mi
Max elevation: 1812 ft
Total climbing: 1011 ft
Total time: 02:52:20
Download file: CahuengaPeak.gpx

Date:17/01/2022 | Summit:W6/CT-037 (Cahuenga Peak)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
20:54K7SO10MHzCWS45N R55N
21:02KT5X10MHzCWS55N R55N
21:11WA6KYR7MHzCWS58N R55N
21:13KN6EZE7MHzCWS22N R44N
21:14KN6DMO7MHzCWS53N R5NN
21:15KI6PMD7MHzCWS599 R599
21:17K6QCB7MHzCWS45N R42N
21:20KR7RK7MHzCWS41N R52N
21:22KN6G0G7MHzCWS31N R32N
21:27K6CPR7MHzCWS53N R319
21:28NK6A7MHzCWS5NN R5NN
21:42WB2FUV14MHzCWS45N R44N
21:43WW7D14MHzCWS55N R53N
21:45K9WO14MHzCWS55N R55N
21:46W0MNA14MHzCWS53N R55N
21:47AD5A14MHzCWS45N R55N
21:49N6MKW14MHzCWS45N R5NN
21:50W0ERI14MHzCWS55N R55N
21:51KG3W14MHzCWS45N R33N
21:53WB7VTY14MHzCWS53N R53N
21:53K6TUY14MHzCWS54N R56N
21:54NG6R14MHzCWS58N R58N
21:55N0RZ14MHzCWS55N R55N
21:56N0DNF14MHzCWS58N R33N
21:58W4KRN14MHzCWS52N R44N
Pass through a gate to get to the trailhead
tank on the left, hill on the right
This sign didn’t seem to be in the right place
A bit of history about the property
Typical trail conditions
About half way up
Wisdom Tree
Benchmark
Station. I think I can see my house from here!

W6/CT-136 – Burn Benchmark

This was the second summit of the day, having just activated Grass Mountain on the other side of the paved road. Like Grass Mountain, you could pretty much drive this one but I took a mountain bike. The road up was a nice gradual uphill until the last mile or so where it got steeper. The surface condition on this part was deteriorating to to aggressive off road vehicle tires so it was difficult to cycle so I walked a few chunks. Near the summit, I followed a dirt bike trail up, which lead straight to the summit. Sadly, the whole area is a dirt bike hellscape and isn’t very nice. There were several benchmarks, one 90 years old, which I found interesting. Worked 30M and 20M, one S2S. Sadly, I forgot to turn my GPS on, so no recorded track.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-136

Date:08/01/2022 | Summit:W6/CT-136 (Burn Benchmark)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
21:49W3QP14MHzSSBS22 R33 S2S W3/PD-004
22:00WW7D10MHzCWS5NN R53N
22:01WA6KYR10MHzCWS44N R44N
22:02K6HPX10MHzCWS58N R55N
22:04KT5X10MHzCWS55N R33N
22:06W5ESE10MHzCWS22N R22N
22:07KF9D10MHzCWS57N R55N
22:34NW7E14MHzCWS45N R55N
22:35K0LAF14MHzCWS589 R55N
22:36NU7A14MHzCWS559 R449
22:38NM5BG14MHzCWS52N R33N
22:39K7MK14MHzCWS55N R57N
22:41NK5SD14MHzCWS589 R41N
22:43N5YYX14MHzCWS56N R559
22:45W5ODS14MHzCWS55N R56N
22:50W6TDX14MHzCWS589 R589
22:52JH1MXV14MHzCWS339 R39
22:55AE4FZ14MHzCWS549 R53N
I can’t remember why I took this photo, but this gives you an idea of the landscape
Dirt bike use trail I took up. Very steep, I pushed the bike up.
Off road stuff tearing up the landscape
Station
Heading down after a long day

W6/CT-130 – Grass Mountain

I like this one because there are several large trees on top, which is kinda unusual for this area. From what I’ve read, most people activate Grass Mountain as a drive up, but I parked the car at the paved road and took a mountain bike up the service road. The ride is under 3 miles and ~1000′ of elevation gain. Parts of the road were deeply rutted after recent rains, and I don’t think a passenger car would make it, however this will likely change once it gets graded. The top sports a few radio towers with equipment shelters. Adjacent to that is a nice grass field, where I setup my HF station. Worked 20M, 30M, 40M with several S2S contacts. I would have loved to stay up there longer, but I wanted to activate a second summit on the next ridge over, Burn Benchmark. I think I’ll bring a hammock and a cooler with a few drinks and a sandwich next time I’m here and spend all day in the trees.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-130

Total distance: 2.74 mi
Max elevation: 4597 ft
Total climbing: 1082 ft
Total time: 00:57:08
Download file: GrassMountain.GPX

Date:08/01/2022 | Summit:W6/CT-130 (Grass Mountain)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
18:32K0MOS14MHzSSBS56 R56 S2S W0C/FR-057
18:44W6TDX10MHzCWS549 R44N
18:45NS7P10MHzCWS55N R55N
18:46WW7D10MHzCWS56 R52
18:47KT5X10MHzCWS54N R54N
18:49NW7E10MHzCWS5NN R44N
18:51W9SSN10MHzCWS33N R22N S2S W6/SC-203
18:52WB7VTY10MHzCWS45N R55N
18:53KX0R10MHzCWS599 R55N
19:12N6ARA14MHzCWS5NN R5NN S2S W6/SC-345
19:16N0DF14MHzCWS55N R57N S2S W7I/SI-177
19:26K6HPX7MHzCWS5NN R53N
19:27KF7HI7MHzCWS339 R53N
19:28K6MAA7MHzCWS339 R22N
19:29KI6PMD7MHzCWS54N R45N
19:31WA6KYR7MHzCWS599 R55N
19:34W6LOR7MHzCWS45N R55N S2S W6/ND-293
19:36N8FN7MHzCWS55N R55N
Service road right before the gate
Ruts that would swallow my commuter car
Deep ruts, bike for scale
The PCT crosses the service road
The only benchmark I could find
The station