W6/CT-207 – Semi Peak

It was a wet winter and all the plants were very happy. While this summit is only worth 1 SOTA point, it’s totally worth hiking for the views alone. I hiked this with Jeff C. on a Friday to avoid weekend crowds. We ended up doing the “secret passage” route by following the tracks posted by N6ARA. Worked 20, 30, 40M CW at the summit. This is a beautiful hike and I hope to visit this place again in the future.


Total distance: 6.8 mi
Max elevation: 2464 ft
Total climbing: 2255 ft
Total time: 05:21:27
Download file: Semi_Peak_W6_CT_207.gpx

Date:17/03/2023 |  Summit:W6/CT-207 (Simi Peak) 

22:36WB6POT7MHzCWS55N R55N
22:39KN6PHZ7MHzCWS56N R56N
22:45N7EDK10MHzCWS51N R55N
22:46K6QCB10MHzCWS57N R58N
22:47N4LAG10MHzCWS57N R55N
22:48NT6E10MHzCWS57N R57N
22:49K6HPX10MHzCWS58N R55N
22:50NU7A10MHzCWS54N R33N
22:55KE5AKL10MHzCWS51N R22N
22:57KF7SP10MHzCWS55N R55N
22:59NS3C10MHzCWS52N R53N
23:033A7AON14MHzCWS53N R55N
23:04N4MJ14MHzCWS45N R43N
23:05W0MNA14MHzCWS33N R33N
23:06W4KRN14MHzCW52N R44N
23:07W0ERI14MHzCWS33N R33N
23:13KE5AKL14MHzCWS52N R55N

W6/CC-008 – Alamo Mountain

I’ve had Alamo Mountain on my radar for awhile but never thought I could get up there without lugging the moto on my van out to the OHV area, then, ride up to the side of the mountain, hike up, activate, hike down, moto back to the van, load up and head home. It felt like a lot of effort for 6 points. Well, last year my wife bought a Subaru Crosstrek and ended up putting a suspension lift in along with 30″ tires. To tackle this summit, her and I ended up driving through Gorman OHV area (free, no need to pay for access if just passing through) on Gold Hill Road. Here the pavement ends and turns into 8N01 which leads to a loop around Alamo Mountain. At the intersection we made a left and stopped at the back side of the summit. Here we grilled some burgers before the hike, ate, then headed up.

There is no actual trail up, so this was kinda a bushwhack the entire way through knee high flora. This means there was a ton of spikey and pokey things getting stuck in our socks – so much that I think the socks I wore on this hike might be ruined – otherwise a beautiful day. Throughout the hike I was worried about snakes, but I didn’t see any. Worked 20M, 30M, and 40M CW, two 2s2 QSOs. Signed the logbook and headed down the hill. Back at the car we completed the loop around Alamo. There are a few more SOTA summits which start around this area, so hopefully I can return soon to activate them.


Total distance: 2.28 mi
Max elevation: 7297 ft
Total climbing: 1385 ft
Total time: 02:37:35
Download file: Alamo_AG6N.gpx

Date:25/08/2023 |  Summit:W6/CC-008 (Alamo Mountain) 

20:07K6HPX7MHzCWS58N R54N
20:08WB6POT7MHzCWS57N R57N
20:09WC6J7MHzCWS52N R52N S2S W6/NS-210
20:10NW7E7MHzCWS55N R55N
20:12W9SSN7MHzCWS53N R53N
20:13KD7DUG7MHzCWS55N R57N
20:14NT6E7MHzCWS57N R53N
20:15W6JP7MHzCWS57N R53N
20:21K6EL10MHzCWS42N R57N S2S W6/NC-423
20:22N6WT10MHzCWS57N R57N
20:23NU7Y10MHzCWS58N R56N
20:23W6TDX10MHzCWS57N R56N
20:25WU7H10MHzCWS31N R32N
20:27WW7D10MHzCWS31N R31N
20:28N6PKT10MHzCWS55N R55N
20:28K6YK10MHzCWS55N R55N
20:30KH2TJ10MHzCWS51N R55N
20:31KB7HH10MHzCWS55N R55N
20:33W2NC10MHzCWS55N R33N
20:36N7EDK10MHzCWS31N R53N
20:43F4WBN14MHzCWS31N R5NN
20:43W5ODS14MHzCWS55N R55N
20:44KF9D14MHzCWS55N R33N
20:47K7EVM14MHzCWS51N R54N
20:48K0LAF14MHzCWS32N R22N
20:51NA7EE14MHzCWS55N R55N

W6/CT-151 – Frankish Peak

Mike – KN6EZE started with SOTA around the same time as I did, so when we were both close to earning goat status- 1,000 points, we decided to do it together. Originally we were going to snowshoe up to Sunset Peak, however, that morning an avalanche blocked the road to the trailhead which forced us to quickly change plans. Had we been any earlier to Sunset Peak, we might have been stuck in Mount Baldy Village until the snow was cleared.

Nearby, Frankish Peak would satisfy the points needed for both of us to make goat status. This was a summit I’ve never climbed, in addition I already made a contact here so it would be a complete for me as well. The hike starts out on a narrow use trail that leads to a fire road, then another use trail which is quite steep, perhaps more of a climb to a ridge line. Here, there was plenty of snow accumulation which made the hike even more enjoyable.

At the top we spread out. I setup a 40M EFHW and Mike setup a 2M j-pole. After I exhausted all chaser on 40M Mike and I switched stations. Mike used a uSDX in SSB mode which made me want to get one of these inexpensive little radios. He then switched it to CW while I worked 2M FM. After reminiscing on the summit of all the adventures and summits before, we hiked back to the car the same way we came up. Traffic was terrible so we went to a restaurant and got a well deserved meal and a beer while things settled down on the highways.


Total distance: 4.51 mi
Max elevation: 4247 ft
Total climbing: 2447 ft
Total time: 06:09:26
Download file: Frankish_Peak.gpx

Date:03/03/2023 |  Summit:W6/CT-151 (Frankish Peak) |  Callsign:AG6N 

21:07K6KMH7MHzCWS58N R57N
21:08N4LAG7MHzCWS57N R55N
21:09KX6I7MHzCWS55N R57N S2S W6/SC-146
21:10K6EL7MHzCWS44N R55N S2S W6/NC-423
21:11K6YK7MHzCWS56N R55N
21:12KF6HI7MHzCWS57N R55N
21:13KE6MT7MHzCWS42N R53N
21:14K6TUY7MHzCWS57N R58N
21:17NT6E7MHzCWS58N R57N
21:20KD7DTS7MHzCWS57N R599 S2S W6/CC-056
21:49KD7DTS144MHzFMS56 R57
21:52N6XZN144MHzFMS59 R59
21:53KK6TDU144MHzFMS59 R59
21:55WA2KDL144MHzFMS55 R59
21:56KD7WPJ144MHzFMS58 R58
21:58KM6QPV144MHzFMS59 R59
22:00KN6FNY144MHzFMS57 R57
22:03KI6SLA144MHzFMS59 R59
22:09K6NOV144MHzFMS33 R55

W6/SC-002 – San Emigdio Mountain 🏔️

San Emigdio Mountain is basically a drive up. This could be done in a 2wd vehicle with enough clearance; at the time I visited as the road seemed like it was recently graded. I parked at a large turn around area and started hiking up to the top. Once there I realized I went the long way, not a problem though since this was a short hike. I used the Yaesu 817 on the high bands. Worked 10M, 12M, 15M and 17M. Two s2s contacts. I signed the register and started heading down, where I picked up a faint use trail back to the road. I explored an area that looked like it might have been a mine at some point, then headed up the hill to the truck.


(I screwed up the .gpx recording, but the data below will get you to the summit)

Total distance: 0.27 mi
Max elevation: 7418 ft
Total climbing: 305 ft
Total time: 01:39:34
Download file: SanEmigdio_AG6N.gpx

Date:18/08/2023 |  Summit:W6/SC-002 (San Emigdio Mountain) 

20:01W6TDX18MHzCWS55N R54N
20:03K9EZ18MHzCWS52N R33N
20:06WW7D18MHzCWS51N R31N S2S W7W/SN-089
20:08N6AN18MHzCWS31N R519 S2S W6/CT-225
20:19KC3RT24MHzCWS51N R43N
20:22KK2B24MHzCWS57N R33N
20:33NW7E21MHzCWS57N R53N
20:38WB8BHM21MHzCWS51N R31N
20:40AB4PP21MHzCWS41N R33N

W6/SS-423 – Butterbredt Peak 

Butterbredt Peak was my first stop on a trip to activate several summits around the northern edge of the Mojave Desert and the south edge of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. I left Los Angeles for my trip late in the day which had me rushing to get up to the summit before 0:00 zulu. This also put me square in the hottest part of the day. The hike up Butterbredt started easy, but maybe a half mile in the path got steep and extremely sandy, to the point where I felt like I was on a sand treadmill, only making a few inches of progress for each step. Thankfully, this section was short and I was able to continue on. Along the way, fighter jets ripped through the sky along with the defining sound of their engines. I sat and watched them fly around for 10 minutes or so. The top was windy, which is expected on desert summits. I spotted via APRS and started calling CQ on 40M. Not too many takers. I moved to 30M and picked up one more contact, then moved to 20M. Picked up one more contact there. Just 4 contacts on 3 bands… Was my radio broken? Nope, there was a solar event which was blacking out HF. I hiked down the same way I came up, got into the truck and looked for a place to camp for the night.


Total distance: 2.46 mi
Max elevation: 5996 ft
Total climbing: 1425 ft
Total time: 03:01:34
Download file: W6_SS_423.gpx

Date:01/06/2023 |  Summit:W6/SS-423 (Butterbredt Peak) 

22:42WB6POT7MHzCWS58N R57N
22:44W6TDX7MHzCWS57N R55N
22:58WW7D10MHzCWS33N R32N
23:15W7NNR14MHzCWS57N R559

W6/SS-414 – Pinyon Mountain

This was my first summit of the day in a series of three. The day before I activated Butterbredt Peak to the south and camped at what might be my new favorite spot. Unfortunately the overnight wind was relentless and I got cold, so I didn’t get a good nights sleep. For the activation, I parked the truck near Dove Springs Canyon Road, and followed a moto trail to the top, where a several pinyon pines and some nice rocks lay. I found a summit register overflowing and signed mostly by moto riders upset about loosing land to ride dirt bikes on. I did notice several fences cut in the area so perhaps they are not allowed up there. There was also a benchmark which someone tried to pry off; I’m glad it’s still there. Worked all bands, then headed back to the truck to visit another summit.


Total distance: 1.56 mi
Max elevation: 6181 ft
Total climbing: 964 ft
Total time: 02:26:11
Download file: W6_SS_414.gpx

Date:02/06/2023 |  Summit:W6/SS-414 (Pinyon Mountain) 

16:06K6YK7MHzCWS55N R55N
16:11WU7H7MHzCWS33N R52N
16:12W6TDX7MHzCWS559 R559
16:13W6ZKH7MHzCWS57N R45N
16:15W5YA7MHzCWS31N R22N
16:17K6STR7MHzCWS57N R55N
16:17NT6E7MHzCWS57N R53N
16:18W6LOR7MHzCWS57N R55N
16:19WB6POT7MHzCWS55N R57N
16:21AD6VT7MHzCWS55N R599
16:22K6TUY7MHzCWS58N R58N
16:29W1NV10MHzCWS53N R55N
16:31N6AN10MHzCWS33N R54N
16:32N0IPA10MHzCWS33B R43N
16:33N6PKT10MHzCWS45N R52N
16:34N7EDK10MHzCWS42N R53N
16:37KD7LX10MHzCWS52N R33N
16:49K7GT14MHzCWS57N R56N
16:49K7GUD14MHzCWS55N R53N
16:51WW7D14MHzCWS33N R53N
16:52W0ERI14MHzCWS55N R55N
16:53NW7E14MHzCWS55N R55N
16:53W0MNA14MHzCWS55N R55N

W6/SS-425 – 5924 

Second summit of the day, an easy hike from the truck trail I was traveling down. I parked near an old mining operation, crossed the PCT and followed a wide moto trail to the summit. No more than 1/2 mile round trip. Rocky, plenty of space to stretch out an antenna. Had good luck on all three bands, several S2S.


Excuse the sideways video, perhaps the heat was cooking my brain?

Total distance: 0.59 mi
Max elevation: 5799 ft
Total climbing: 84 ft
Total time: 01:37:50
Download file: W6_SS_425.gpx

Date:02/06/2023 |  Summit:W6/SS-425 (5924) |  Callsign:AG6N |  Points: 6 |  Bonus: 0 | 

18:43NS0TA7MHzCWS33N R22N
18:45AA6XA7MHzCWS55N R57N
18:49NT6E7MHzCWS58N R53N
18:50K6HPX7MHzCWS58N R53N
18:51KN6OMN7MHzCWS58N R599
18:52NA6MG7MHzCWS58N R519
18:53WD7Y7MHzCW57N R58N
18:54KF7SP7MHzCWS55N R599
18:55W9SSN7MHzCWS57N R53N
19:08K6EL10MHzCWS33N R559
19:12WW7D10MHzCWS31N R52N
19:13KB9ENS10MHzCWS51N R599
19:15NG7V10MHzCWS52N R53N
19:16K1LB10MHzCWS55N R55N
19:28NU7P14MHzCWS57N R56N
19:28W0MNA14MHzCWS55N R55N
19:29W0ERI14MHzCWS55N R55N
19:30AK5SD14MHzCWS52N R51N
19:32N7EDK14MHzCWS51N R53N
19:33W5ODS14MHzCWS52N R43N
19:35KF9D14MHzCWS55N R33N
19:38WB7BWZ14MHzCWS55N R55N
19:38W6TDY14MHzCWS55N R55N

W6/SS-630 – 6244

This was my 3rd summit of the day. I parked my truck near the PCT and cooked some ground beef patties on my small gas grill in the shade before hiking up to the summit. Beautiful short hike along the PCT among stands of Joshua trees. I got as close as I could to the summit on the PCT before heading up through a small canyon. This probably wasn’t the best way as this route required hiking along a rocky ridge. At the top I setup my equipment and get to work on the bands. Worked 20, 30, 40M CW, no QSOs on 30M. Called out on 2M FM, and got one station out in Phelan, AC – that’s pretty far away! I found a summit register placed by Bob Burd which was mostly empty, I signed with my call and placed the register back. I hiked down a different, easier way. Back at the PCT temperatures dropped so many through hikers were back on the trail. Back at the truck, I packed everything up and headed back to Los Angeles. What a great weekend out in the desert!


Total distance: 2.82 mi
Max elevation: 6145 ft
Total climbing: 1049 ft
Total time: 02:59:27
Download file: W6_SS_630.gpx

Date:02/06/2023 |  Summit:W6/SS-630 (6244) |  

22:27W6DER7MHzCWS53N R41N
22:28K6QCB7MHzCWS55N R53N
22:29NT6E7MHzCWS57N R55N
22:31W7USA7MHzCWS56N R45N
22:32W6TDX7MHzCWS42N R43N
22:33K6CWC7MHzCWS41N R599
22:34W6JMP7MHzCWS57N R599
22:52KD7WPJ14MHzCWS33N R55N
22:55WB7BWZ14MHzCWS55N R53N
22:56WI5D14MHzCWS55N R55N
22:58AD0WB14MHzCWS51N R33N
23:00PY2VM14MHzCWS22N R57N
23:02K7IOC14MHzCWS55N R599
23:04PY2AE14MHzCWS31N R57N
23:15KG6USS144MHzFMS59 R59

W6/SD-044 – 5352

This summit is in Joshua Tree National Park, so it qualifies for POTA in addition to SOTA if you’re into that kinda thing. I woke up early in the morning and headed out to JTNP to try and beat the heat of summer. While this hike isn’t very long, the wet winter was kind to various plants which were eager to seed. Of course, these seeds are scratchy and pokey, and moving through this knee high stuff was enough to cover my shoes and socks. Writing this blog post out two months later, I think those socks still have seeds stuck in them from this trip. Anyways, at the top was a nice flat area to setup an antenna and relax while operating. Worked 40M, 30M, and 20M CW before heading down. An easy, fun summit to bag, in an interesting area of JTNP.


Total distance: 1.58 mi
Max elevation: 5370 ft
Total climbing: 796 ft
Total time: 02:32:53
Download file: w6:SD-044.gpx

Date:15/06/2023 |  Summit:W6/SD-044 (5352) | 

16:45WB6POT7MHzCWS57N R57N
16:46NT6E7MHzCWS58N R55N
16:47NG6R7MHzCWS58N R57N
16:48KF6HI7MHzCWS57N R57N
16:49WU7H7MHzCWS57N R32N
16:51K7GUD7MHzCWS33N R51N
16:51KR7RK7MHzCWS55N R55N
17:00WW7D10MHzCWS52N R43N
17:02N0DNF10MHzCWS51N R22N
17:03N6PKT10MHzCWS51N R52N
17:04K6EL10MHzCWS51N R55N

Saddleback Butte – W6/ND-308

This was a fun one for me. After hitting up a few easy summits with summer bonus points in the Crestline area, I kinda wanted to camp before heading home to Los Angeles. Saddleback Butte caught my eye because there are camping facilities right by the trailhead – the idea was to head up to the summit just after dusk and activate, come back to camp, sleep, then head home in the morning. The hike up was easy, sandy in some parts and calm with a slight breeze. It took about an hour to get to the top, where I was greeted with extremely high winds, so high my antenna mast broke at the fattest, bottom piece. It was impossible to get any kind wire up in the air. I ended up with my 20M wire segment blowing like a flag over a ledge. After calling for about 20 minutes on CW, which I knew wouldn’t work at this hour – I gave up, packed my battered equipment down and went back to camp. I didn’t sleep well because the campground is situated near a busy road; trucks and motorcycles kept me awake. At first light, I headed back up to the summit where is was much calmer than the night before. I worked 20, 30, 40M CW. After I exhausted all the chasers I headed back to camp before the summer desert heat took hold. I’d do this one again, but I’m not sure I’d camp there again.


Total distance: 4.23 mi
Max elevation: 3644 ft
Total climbing: 1054 ft
Total time: 02:34:10
Download file: W5_ND_308_skunked_.gpx

13:55K2JB14MHzCWS44N R33N
14:02N0RZ14MHzCWS57N R55N
14:04WN4AT14MHzCWS51N R33N
14:06W4GO14MHzCWS33N R55N
14:11W5ODS14MHzCWS57N R55N
14:13W8EO14MHzCWS35N R55N
14:18AK5SD14MHzCWS52N R51N
14:29K7MK10MHzCWS57N R55N
14:31K6HPX10MHzCWS44N R51N
14:31N7CNS10MHzCWS45N R44N
14:32K9OZ10MHzCWS51N R55N
14:34N0DNF10MHzCWS51N R22N
14:44WG0AT7MHzCWS32N R55N
14:45K6YK7MHzCWS33N R33N
14:48WW7D7MHzCWS33N R53N