W6/CT-228 – 1821

This was my third summit of the day. I decided to hike this one last minute because SoCal traffic was going to start loading up, and I figured why not hike instead of sit in traffic? I parked in a neighborhood somewhere in Thousand Oaks/ Westlake Village right next to the trailhead. Not entirely sure the name. Also not sure if this is still the Santa Monica Mountains? The path up is well defined and easy to follow. At the top is a single bench. I setup my station here as the sun set and called CQ on 40M, but only two takers. Pulled out the FM HT and called CQ on 2M and had a few local contacts. At this point the dew was setting and everything was getting extremely wet, to the point my paper wasn’t working anymore. Made two additional contacts on 40M then packed the station down and headed back to the car. I took the fire break down instead of the trail the wraps around the back side of the summit. My flashlight died on the way down so I used the white LED on my Yaesu, ha! I should probably pack a spare set of cells next time.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-228

Total distance: 2.04 mi
Max elevation: 1821 ft
Min elevation: 1112 ft
Total climbing: 801 ft
Average speed: 1.11 m/s
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Date:08/01/2022 | Summit:W6/CT-228 (1821)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
01:19KT5X7MHzCWS54N R33N
01:21WW7D7MHzCWS589 R43N
01:28AG6AG144MHzFMS59 R59
01:37AG6JF144MHzFMS59 R55
01:41W6XC144MHzFMS59 R59
01:49N8FN7MHzCWS33N R22N
01:54K6LDQ7MHzCWS54N R52N

W6/SC-347 – 1470

This was my first summit of the day out of three, one point summits in the Santa Monica Mountains. The trailhead is right off Mulholland Highway near Agoura Hills, and after about a mile hike in, you’re at the summit! No shade whatsoever. No rock pile to jam an antenna mast in. I ended up keeping my pole in my backpack and used my trekking pole as a secondary support which worked pretty well. It had been a few weeks since I thought about CW so I was super rusty and couldn’t remember how to send some things; I’m pretty sure I send David the wrong summit ref for our S2S. Worked 10M and 40M. Called out on 2M FM but had no takers. I packed the station up, headed down the hill and over to the next summit, Ladyface.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/SC-347

Total distance: 1.81 mi
Max elevation: 1470 ft
Min elevation: 876 ft
Total climbing: 679 ft
Average speed: 1.13 m/s
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Date:07/01/2022 | Summit:W6/SC-347 (1470)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
19:23WB7ULD10MHzCWS54N R55N
19:25N6AN10MHzCWS599 R53N S2S W6/CT-225
19:28WW7D10MHzCWS559 R41N
19:30WA6BJH10MHzCWS55 R55N
19:45K6HPX7MHzCWS54N R55N
19:46K6YK7MHzCWS45N R55N
19:47KI6PMD7MHzCWS55N R54N
19:48K6MAA7MHzCWS45N R33N
19:49NK6A7MHzCWS54N R33N
19:50N8FN7MHzCWS45N R55N
19:51K6SDW7MHzCWS559 R5NN
19:52W6TDX7MHzCWS35N R44N

W6/SC-285 – Ladyface

Ladyface is the second summit I did on a warm January day. The trailhead is easy to find, located just off the 101 on Kanan Rd. I parked on the side of the road and followed Ladyface Peak Trail to the summit. Quite steep in some areas and the road noise from the 101 and Kanan Rd never disappeared. I took the opportunity to rest several times and marvel at the McMansions below, and thought about how many tennis matches are actually played at all the tennis courts in various back yards. At the summit, I found a fiberglass fishing pole. I emailed the last activator asking if they wanted it back, but it wasn’t their pole! I setup my vertical and worked 10M and 40M. Two S2S. Tried 2M FM, but no takers. The weather turned and it got very cold quickly, which I was thankful for as it had been so hot hiking up. I packed the station away and headed down, thinking about how brutal this one would be in the middle of summer, and how I was glad to be doing it in January.

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

Total distance: 2.2 mi
Max elevation: 2024 ft
Min elevation: 810 ft
Total climbing: 1296 ft
Average speed: 0.77 m/s
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Date:07/01/2022 | Summit:W6/SC-285 (Ladyface)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
22:09N5URL10MHzCWS55N R57N
22:11KT5X10MHzCWS589 R549
22:12NG6R10MHzCWS5NN R57N
22:13WW7D10MHzCWS55N R43N
22:14KF9D10MHzCWS55N R53N
22:16N7MQ10MHzCWS54N R54N
22:19N6AN10MHzCWS54N R54N S2S W6/CT-225
22:32KR7RK7MHzCWS55N R59N S2S W7A/CS-072
22:34W7DLZ7MHzCWS5NN R53N
22:35N8FN7MHzCWS339 R55N
22:37W9SSN7MHzCWS45N R22N
22:38KF6HI7MHzCWS559 R54N
22:39K6LDQ7MHzCWS599 R53N
22:41K7NCM7MHzCWS55N R31N
22:42NK3S7MHzCWS45N R22N
The trailhead
Heading up
Someone put a fence up here years ago!
Getting closer to the top
Found a fishing pole! This wasn’t forgotten by the last person who activated the summit though.
Heading down
Continuing down

W6/CT-272 – 2843

This activation wasn’t really planned. I was actually going on hiking a different summit, however the trailhead had a large “Trail Closed” sign. This didn’t stop anyone though, as I could see several others hiking up and down the switchbacks…. Anyways, I went back to the car and tried to figure out a plan B, which happened to be 2843. The hike starts out on a fire road. Around the one mile mark, split off road and head up a very steep firebreak. Luckily, we got some rain the ground was grippy instead of loose dust. Eventually you pass another road, but continue straight up the steep firebreak. At this point I felt like I was being stalked by a creature, but I never saw anything. Near the top, the hills were green with fresh grass, that reminded me of Windows XP. Once at the summit I setup my HF station, but I forgot to charge the battery! Doh! I was able to activate the summit with a HT only, on 2M, with one S2S. Hiking down, I wish I had a second trekking pole, because it was very steep!

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-272

Total distance: 3.88 mi
Max elevation: 2844 ft
Min elevation: 1263 ft
Total climbing: 2021 ft
Average speed: 0.96 m/s
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Date:31/12/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-272 (2843)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
20:35N6XZN144MHzFMS59 R59 S2S W6/CT-212
20:37K6LDQ144MHzFMS59 R59
20:38KI6SLA144MHzFMS57 R59
20:40N6MDZ144MHzFMS22 R55
21:06WB6MYL144MHzFMS59 R59
21:12KM6CEM144MHzFMS59 R59
21:22K6QCB144MHzFMS55 R32
21:30KD7DTS144MHzFMS59 R50 POTA K-3451
21:31KN6DMO144MHzFMS59 R59

W6/SD-037 – Inspiration Benchmark

One of my hiking pals rented a house in Wonder Valley for their birthday, so, of course we needed to go hiking somewhere, and since we were right by Joshua Tree National Park, that’s where we went! At the crowded trailhead, we were able to easily find a parking spot. Others were not so lucky and had to turn around. In addition to passenger vehicles, there were a few tour busses, full of people, all headed up a paved walking path to a vista. Luckily, Inspiration point was the opposite direction of the tourists, and after a few minutes of hiking, they were out of sight. At the summit, I mostly worked 10M, with one S2S.

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

Total distance: 1.91 mi
Max elevation: 5587 ft
Min elevation: 5138 ft
Total climbing: 856 ft
Average speed: 0.80 m/s
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Date:13/11/2021 | Summit:W6/SD-037 (Inspiration Benchmark)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
23:00W6TDX10MHzCWS55N R55N
23:04NW7E10MHzCWS55N R55N
23:07K3GX10MHzCWS55N R55N S2S W6/NC-371
23:08AI6QZ10MHzCWS55N R55N
23:12WB5USB10MHzCWS54N R44N
23:14WB7VTX10MHzCWS54N R53N
23:15N7CNH10MHzCWS55N R44N
23:16W0MNA10MHzCWS55N R55N
23:18WW7D10MHzCWS5NN R41N
23:19W0ERI10MHzCWS54N R55N
23:20K6MW10MHzCWS55N R55N
23:27W5ODS14MHzCWS559 R559
23:30NU3A14MHzCWS55N R33N
23:36KE6MT7MHzCWS44N R54N
23:38K7SO7MHzCWS45N R54N

W6/CT-048 – Ontario Peak

Ontario Peak was my 100th activation in the logbook, but really only my 97th or 98th activation as I’ve stayed on a couple summits past 00:00z a few times and worked chasers a second time so they could get double points. All that being said, I wanted my 100th activation to be a long hike, in addition, I wanted to hike to a summit I’ve never been to. Ontario Peak fit that description, and having hiked Ice House Canyon twice before I knew what I was getting into. Originally I was only going to bring an HT for UHF/ VHF to save weight, but at the last moment the FT817 kit found it’s way into my pack, however, I omitted the antenna mast and Bioenno battery and just brought some twine to support my vertical antenna from a tree, and some AA batteries to run the rig.

The hike up is somewhat popular, and about 6 miles to the summit with a bunch of elevation gain. Once at the top I was surprised to find how small the actual summit is. I ate a burrito and relaxed a bit before calling CQ on my HT. This immediately got me 4 contacts, 1 S2S. Feeling pretty exhausted from the hike up, I wasn’t feeling motivated to set up the HF station. Good trees to support a wire are all kinda off the edge of ridge and likely outside of the activation zone. Since I hauled the equipment up there, I figured I would just lay the vertical over the chaparral and see what happened. I sent a spot on 20m CW and to my surprise, made several contacts. Moving to 30m, the AA batteries in my radio were acting up and the rig shutdown several times while calling CQ, so I gave up. While packing up the rig, I heard 3 S2S stations on 2m. Whoooohoo! After working the S2S stations, I finished packing up for the 6 mile hike back to the trailhead.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-048

Total distance: 12.78 mi
Max elevation: 8717 ft
Min elevation: 4934 ft
Total climbing: 6115 ft
Average speed: 1.11 m/s
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Date:05/11/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-048 (Ontario Peak)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
20:23KN6CQX144MHzFMS55 R59 S2S W6/CT-086
20:39K6LDQ144MHzFMS59 R59
20:41WA6WV144MHzFMS59 R59
20:41KI6SLA144MHzFMS59 R59
21:05K7EA14MHzCWS599 R599
21:06WB6POT14MHzCWS599 R599
21:07W0MNA14MHzCWS559 R559
21:08W0ERI14MHzCWS55N R55N
21:09K6PB14MHzCWS55N R55N
21:17K6QCB10MHzCWS55N R599
21:34K6STR144MHzFMS55 R52 S2S W6/CT-240
21:35W6LOR144MHzFMS55 R52 S2S W6/CT-240
21:42KN6CQX144MHzFMS55 R57 S2S W6/CT-013
Fall colors!
Icehouse Canyon
Past the saddle, on the way to Ontario Peak
Lots of dead trees near the summit
First view of the top!
Made it to the top!
One last photo of the summit on the way down.

W6/SD-166 – Bartlett Mountains

This is a rad hike in Yucca Valley. I tried to summit this one earlier in the year when summer bonus points were on the table, but I couldn’t find the trailhead. Returning a few months later after a bit more research, it turned out I was just one hill away from the trailhead the first time. With that sorted, my wife and I started to head up. The trail is pretty obvious, but it’s easy to loose track of it in some areas. Once at the top I setup my vertical and called out on 30M, then 40M, then 20M, self spotting on each band. Made on S2S to Timber Mountain, W6/CT-052, which makes that a complete for me. I look forward to hiking this one again.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/SD-166

Total distance: 2.45 mi
Max elevation: 3812 ft
Min elevation: 3251 ft
Total climbing: 817 ft
Average speed: 0.95 m/s
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Date:22/10/2021 | Summit:W6/SD-166 (Bartlett Mountains (HP))

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
19:32NW7E10MHzCWS449 R53N
19:33NS7P10MHzCWS55N R33N
19:35N7OOS10MHzCWS559 R559
19:37WW7D10MHzCWS55N R37N
19:47AJ6KZ10MHzCWS229 R419 S2S W6/CT-052
19:57K6EL7MHzCWS549 R559
19:58W6DE7MHzCWS55N R55N
20:01K6YK7MHzCWS559 R559
20:06F4WBN14MHzCWS559 R599
20:07W0MNA14MHzCWS559 R599
20:08K3TCU14MHzCWS559 R559
20:10WN4AT14MHzCWS549 R55N
20:11W0ERI14MHzCWS549 R55N
20:12W4KRN14MHzCWS559 R33N
20:17WB7BWZ14MHzCWS55N R52N
This is where I parked; the Fiat was struggling for traction on the hill that leads up to this point.
This is still “the road” but you’re going to need a lifted 4×4 to travel it.
Heading up!
Trail
More trail
At the top, my wife found the only shade!
Heading down…..

W6/CT-214 – Calabasas Peak

Calabasas Peak is the first summit I activated in the Santa Monica Mountains. I parked across the street from the trailhead on Stunt Road and walked up the steep fire road to the summit. Once there, you will find a couple different benchmarks and a sturdy post to hold an antenna mast. There is little to no shade on the hike up, and very little shade at the summit. I drank 2 liters of water on the short 3.5 mile hike, as it was quite hot the day of my activation.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-214

Total distance: 3.69 mi
Max elevation: 2149 ft
Min elevation: 1247 ft
Total climbing: 1109 ft
Average speed: 1.19 m/s
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Date:08/09/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-214 (Calabasas Peak)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
21:24KB9ENS10MHzCWS559 R559 S2S W5N/SI-001
21:41K6TUY14MHzSSBS59 R59
21:42K6ARV14MHzSSBS58 R53
21:42N0WAE14MHzSSBS58 R44
21:54AJ6CL14MHzCWS599 R599 S2S W6/CT-218
22:04WW7D10MHzCWS559 R549
22:05NG6R10MHzCWS559 R559
22:07AA7OY10MHzCWS559 R559
22:09AB6ET10MHzCWS559 R579
22:26K6LDQ144MHzFMS59 R59
22:27KI6SLA144MHzFMS59 R57
Stay to the left here
Hard to tell here, but the road is a bit too steep for reasonable mountain biking.

W6/SC-161 – Townsend Peak

This is a pretty easy two point summit just off Interstate 5 north of Santa Clarita. Park near Templin Highway and find the fire road along the south side of the highway. Follow this up to a locked gate and continue up the hill. Eventually you will come to a saddle, with a light use trail which leads to the summit. Watch out for rattle snakes! Worked 20M, and 40M CW, no S2S.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/SC-161

Total distance: 3.01 mi
Max elevation: 3179 ft
Min elevation: 2536 ft
Total climbing: 827 ft
Average speed: 1.18 m/s
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Date:11/10/2021 | Summit:W6/SC-161 (Townsend Peak)

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
00:37WW7D7MHzCWS559 R439
00:40K6QCB7MHzCWS549 R42N
00:42N7CNH7MHzCWS559 R44N
00:44KF6HI7MHzCWS599 R559
00:48KR7RK7MHzCWS599 R229
00:51W6GRT7MHzCWS549 R56N
00:55NU7B10MHzCWS559 R33N
00:58N7BHP10MHzCWS55N R33N

W6/CT-262 – 4300

There is something about the lower elevation summits along highway 14 that I really like, and while I’m not sure exactly what that thing is, 4300 has it. I started this hike from Aliso Canyon Road and followed the transmission line service road under a support tower and started hiking up cross country style as there was no trail. After a false summit, I made it to the top where it was quite windy. I was able to find a place to sit next to a thick bush which provided some relief from the wind, and a burned tree provided good support for the vertical antenna. There was good cell service, so I spotted myself on 30M. While calling CQ, I noticed some strange noises from the receiver, thinking nothing of it, I continued calling but got no replies… I figured I would try another band. Changing bands require a switch to flipped at the feed point, which adds a loading coil for whatever band was selected. To my surprise, the loading coil for 30m was sitting on the ground – no wonder the radio wasn’t working! The good news was I could still activate on 20M, as this antenna design resinated well there without coils. Made one S2S. On the hike down I picked up a faint use trail and followed it back to the service road. What a great day!

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-262

Total distance: 17.83 mi
Max elevation: 4183 ft
Min elevation: 2746 ft
Total climbing: 34045 ft
Average speed: 5.96 m/s
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Date:15/10/2021 | Summit:W6/CT-262 (4300) | 

TimeCallsignBandModeNotes
19:40W0MNA14MHzCWS559 R559
19:42K2JB14MHzCWS229 R229 S2S W4C/WM-014
19:45W0ERI14MHzCWS589 R55N
19:46N4MJ14MHzCWS559 R559
19:49AI7FF14MHzCWS55N R559
19:53W4SK14MHzCWS559 R559
19:55WW7D14MHzCWS599 R569
19:57K8LJG14MHzCWS5NN R33N
Typical views
restoration area
Summit is in view
This post must be the summit marker?
Lost a loading coil which took out 30M/ 40M. 🙁
Heading down