This was the last summit of four I activated on a solo camping trip in Lone Pine, and my third climb of the day. At this point, the temperature was quite warm, and the wind was starting to get a bit unruly. I parked the car right off Movie Road and started hiking up to the summit. Once there I used the EFHW, which was tough to wrangle in the wind. The golf umbrella I used for shade was useless in these conditions. Worked 20,30, 40M CW and got back down to the car as quickly as I could.
This was my first summit in a series of four while solo camping in Lone Pine. I had just drove up from Los Angeles, found a place to camp, setup my tent, relaxed a bit, then headed over to W6/IN-046, also known as “Rattlesnake Hill”. There was no apparent trail to the summit, so I parked my car in a small clearing and just headed up the mountain, watching out for rattle snakes on my way. Once the steep part was out of the way I picked up what looked like a use-trail and followed it up the the geographical summit. Used a vertical and worked 20M. One contact on 2M with a local who told me to watch out for snakes. When heading down, I picked up on a much better trail. I’ll take this way up next time.
This was my second summit of four on a solo camping trip in Lone Pine. After waking up at Portuguese Joe campground, I packed up my tent and made a quick breakfast before pointing my commuter car down movie road to the trailhead. This was an easy drive in my small car. One could take a 4×4 all the way to the top, but it gets kinda sketchy in a couple spots. At the top I used an EFHW and worked through a pileup on 40M, then over to 30M. One S2S up to San Francisco. 2.5 miles of hiking and a bit over 1K elevation.
This was my third summit of four on a solo camping trip in Lone Pine. The hike up was a relatively short cross country jaunt, less than a mile, but just under 1K elevation gain so kinda steep. Up top I used a tri-band vertical; not much room for a end fed. Worked 20,30,40M CW for about 30 minutes before packing down and heading to W6/IN-048
I was in the area to attend the Experimental Music Festival in Wonder Valley and thought a SOTA activation would be a nice addition to my weekend plans. Ryan Mountain is inside Joshua Tree National Park, and not too far from the north entrance, which, wasn’t too far from the music venue. The hike is about 3 miles round trip, and a bit over 1,000′ in elevation gain, however the scorching February sun made it feel a bit longer. At the top I found a place away from others and setup my vertical antenna with an MTR4B. After a few questions on why I have a fishing pole in the desert, I started operating on 40M CW but didn’t get any QSOs., and only two on 30M. When I moved to 20M, I ended up with a small pileup with one DX call from Japan.
Temple Hill is another easy costal summit. This was my second activation of the day, having just come from Niguel Hill, W6/SC-371. I believe this summit is a reservoir tank, and the actual, real summit is the parking lot/ playground. It’s less than 10 minutes to hike up to the highpoint from the parking lot. Up top, I found a good spot to setup away from others, as the area was pretty busy. Worked 20M, 30M, and 40M. Two S2S.
Niguel Hill is probably the easiest SOTA activation I’ve ever done. Grab some street parking on Talavera Drive, then walk on a flat path for 5 minutes to one of the picnic tables along the path. I setup my antenna and worked 20M, 30M, and 40M. The trail was pretty busy and I received a lot of weird looks, and several questions about my fishing pole. After an hour or so I packed up and headed over to Temple Hill, W6/SC-369.
There is something about the summits along the 14 and into Palmdale which I really like, but to date, Harold Beacon Benchmark is probably my favorite because of all the flora and fauna. I parked my car on Rebel road and started hiking, first, down a dirt road which wasn’t so bad, then, to a steep moto track which goes straight up the hillside. This side of the hill was covered in Juniper. The end of the trail meets up with a fire road, which leads up to the summit. There are several different types of trees up here with several kinds of birds I couldn’t identify. At the top, there were three benchmarks of various vintage, and evidence of an old tower. I wonder if that was the beacon? I setup my station using an EFHW cut for higher bands. Worked 12M, 17M, and 30M CW. 4 S2S. I hiked down the way I came, although it seems like there are several ways up and down. I’ll look forward to activating this peak again.
I parked on Escondido Canyon Road, then hiked through a parcel which has a “For Sale” sign in front. I kinda felt like I was being watched by the neighboring houses, but once I was out of sight the hike was enjoyable. There is an established trail so it seems this summit is hiked often. The hike itself it pretty short, just over a mile and about 600′ of elevation gain. At the top, there is a large pile of rocks which I used to support the antenna mast. It also offered some shade from the sun, which felt brutal, even in February. Worked 20M, 30M, and 40M CW.
I had a couple days off work without any real plans, so off to Agua Dulce! I parked just off the 14 and hiked down a dirt road where I was met with a “Keep Off” sign. At this point I almost turned around, but decided to go past the sign as there were several foot prints and dirt bike tracks all over the place, so it was clear people use this area for recreation. I continued on the dirt road until it ended at a set of power line pylons, then turned south and headed along the ridge line firebreak. The wind was incredibly strong, and at one point almost knocked me over! One false summit with benchmarks along the way. At the real summit, I found additional benchmarks and a summit register. I was able to setup the station just below the ridge which kept me out of the wind. Worked 30M and 40M, one S2S.