W6/CT-153 – Parker Mountain

The weather in L.A. is hot, and I wanted to get on the air. I also didn’t feel like hiking in the heat, but wanted to activate a summit. Doesn’t seem like a good combination, but I had an idea for a hobby stack. Earlier in the week I spent some time pulling my dual-sport motorbike out of the weeds in the backyard, and evicting the various spiders from the motor. After a quick hose off, fluid check, and battery charge, the bike was highway ready after being neglected for so long.

I’ve been curious about summits along Hwy 14, as these appear to be drive ups, however, I don’t have a 4×4 to make it up there, but I do have a dual-sport motorcycle! I left my house and wizzed the 400cc motor for about 60 miles to the area of the summit. It was hard to find, and it took a few tries to get up there, which cost quite a bit of time. Some parts of this trail were quite steep and had me second guessing my skills on the bike, but I made it up without incident. At the summit, there is evidence of an old tower site, and a single tree which could offer a bit of shade. I started with 10M, moved to 20, then 40. Called out on 2M simplex and didn’t make any contacts there.

I attempted to activate another summit nearby, however, I was hungry, running low on water, and couldn’t easily find the trailhead so I headed home. Next time I activate a summit in this area I think I’ll load the bike in the van, then drive to a friends house in the canyons and start the ride there. Being on a small displacement bike, on the highway, in the hot sun, is quite taxing!

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-153

Total distance: 3.84 mi
Max elevation: 4131 ft
Min elevation: 3307 ft
Total climbing: 912 ft
Average speed: 5.13 m/s
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Date:27/08/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-153 (Parker Mountain)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
19:50WA6KYR28MHzSSB59 31
20:07W0MNA14MHzSSB55 55
20:11K0LAF14MHzSSB45 44
20:12WW7D14MHzSSB59 44
20:13KR7Q14MHzSSB55 43
20:25WU7H7MHzSSB33 33
20:26WB6POT7MHzSSB59 56
20:27KE6GLA7MHzSSB59 52
20:30K6LDQ7MHzSSB59 33
Summit is in view – Yes, it’s steep
Benchmark at the summit
A sign that let’s you know you found Parker Mtn.
My mechanical mule, a Suzuki DRZ 400
View of Acton, CA below

W6/SD-183 – Goat Mountain

This summit is very close to my cabin in Landers, and I’ve always wanted to hike it. Generally, I’m pretty worn out from working on the property to do anything like hiking though.

Goat Mountain was mined for gold as early as 1914. There are still places along the trail where you can see the mine shafts. The trail the top of the mountain is well defined, where I can only assume mule teams dragged carts of ore up and down. The hike up is relatively easy, however, it’s very rocky. The summit offers sweeping views of the surrounding desert. At the summit, I called out on 10M, and 2M without success. 20M and 40M was working well. Thanks for all the chasers!

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/SD-183

Total distance: 2.25 mi
Max elevation: 3661 ft
Min elevation: 2930 ft
Total climbing: 817 ft
Average speed: 0.86 m/s
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Date:11/09/2020 | Summit:W6/SD-183 (Goat Mountain)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
17:44W7H014MHzSSB59 57
17:45K9VD14MHzSSB55 32
17:46AK4AT14MHzSSB55 33
17:47KC5OLC14MHzSSB59 53
17:48K8LJG14MHzSSB55 33
17:48WW7D14MHzSSB55 43
17:49N0WAE14MHzSSB55 44
17:59WB6POT7MHzSSB59 45
18:00W6DT7MHzSSB59 44
18:01KE6GLA7MHzSSB55 43
18:02WU7H7MHzSSB55 33
Trail to the top. I’m assuming this was a bit more clear when there was mining activity.
You can just make out my van.
One of the mine shafts, which a engine of some kind pushed in.
From what I gather, crystal grippers love goat mountain.
Looking down, Landers in the distance.

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.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-013

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-086

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

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
18:56KM6CNF144MHzFM
18:57AJ6N144MHzFM
18:58KM6CEM144MHzFM
19:02KM6CYF144MHzFM
19:04K6QCB144MHzFM
19:08KK6PWU144MHzFM

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

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
20:51KI6PMD144MHzFM
20:51KM6CEM144MHzFM
20:52K6QCB144MHzFM
20:53K6TVI144MHzFM
20:55K6LDQ144MHzFM
20:55AJ6N144MHzFM
20:56KF6REU144MHzFM
20:57N6OKO144MHzFM
20:58KK6WVY144MHzFM
20:58WA6WV144MHzFM
20:59WA6JFK144MHzFM
21:00WD6TED144MHzFM
21:01AF6ZV144MHzFM
21:01KD5IOZ144MHzFM
21:02N6MG144MHzFM
21:02WE4IAS144MHzFM
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.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CC-002

Total distance: 3.52 mi
Max elevation: 8852 ft
Min elevation: 8343 ft
Total climbing: 938 ft
Average speed: 1.17 m/s
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Date:14/08/2020 | Summit:W6/CC-002 (Mount Pinos)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
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.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-247

Total distance: 4.82 mi
Max elevation: 8264 ft
Min elevation: 6696 ft
Total climbing: 2113 ft
Average speed: 0.97 m/s
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Date:31/07/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-247 (Mount Williamson)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
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
The PCT
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.

W6/CT-246 – Mount Lewis

Mt. Lewis is a short, steep hike with easy access just off highway 2, which can easily be combined with any of the surrounding summits, such as Throop, Mt. Baden-Powell, exc for a 16 point day. At the summit, you get nice views of the Antelope Valley and plenty of shade.

The peak is named after the first Superintendent of Yosemite National Park who worked in the San Gabriels in the early 1900’s. Mt. Lewis made it on the original 1946 Sierra Club Hundred Peaks List.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-246

Total distance: 0.98 mi
Max elevation: 8419 ft
Min elevation: 7487 ft
Total climbing: 1020 ft
Average speed: 1.06 m/s
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Date:01/08/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-246 (Mount Lewis)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
00:04K6ICS28MHzSSB59 55 (10-10 contester)
00:25KB6AE14MHzSSB59 57
00:52K6LDQ7MHzSSB55 33
00:57KK6TDU433MHzFM59 59
00:59N6MDZ433MHzFM59 59
01:08N1WAX433MHzFM59 59
01:13KB9ENS144MHzFMS2S – W6/CT-012
01:14AJ6N144MHzFM59 59

W6/SS-285 – Bald Mountain

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.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/SS-285

Total distance: 4.38 mi
Max elevation: 9386 ft
Min elevation: 8593 ft
Total climbing: 1020 ft
Average speed: 1.22 m/s
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2M S2S with W6RIP. 155.2 miles is very good.

Date:24/07/2020 | Summit:W6/SS-285 (Bald Mountain)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
22:53W6RIP144MHzFM55 55 S2S W6/CT-047
22:55KG6USS144MHzFM59 57
23:17K6LDQ14MHzSSB32 33
23:17WU7H14MHzSSB45 33

W6/CT-050 – Delamar Mountain

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.

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

Total distance: 4.34 mi
Max elevation: 8399 ft
Min elevation: 7277 ft
Total climbing: 2234 ft
Average speed: 1.12 m/s
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Date:18/07/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-050 (Delamar Mountain)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
12:00N1WAX144MHzFM55 50
12:00KG6USS144MHzFM59 59
12:01N6JNY144MHzFM59 59
12:02WA6WV144MHzFM59 59
12:10W0ADV14MHzSSB59 52
12:11KB6AE14MHzSSB59 59
12:12W0MNA14MHzSSB55 44
12:14K6LDQ14MHzSSB55 45
12:27WU7H7MHzSSB35 33