W6/CT-018 – Strawberry Peak

I hiked up to Strawberry Peak on a Saturday with some friends. Turns out that this is a very popular hike among Los Angeles denizens. I would do this again, on a weekday as the summit was crowded with noisy folks at one point. I made several contacts on 2M, including two summit to summit contacts. 20M seemed dead (spotted over APRS). I tried 40M, got nothing but later found out my spot didn’t make it out.

https://sotl.as/summits/W6/CT-018

Date:11/Jan/2020 Summit:W6/CT-018 (Strawberry Peak) 

TimeCallBandModeNotes
20:45zWA6VVC144MHzFM
20:47zK6LDQ144MHzFM
20:50zKJ6OKV144MHzFM
20:52zKN6DFX144MHzFMS->S W6/CT-022
20:54zKK6URQ144MHzFM
20:58zKK6TLN144MHzFM
20:59zWA6TK144MHzFM
21:03zKK6WHT144MHzFM
21:06zN6AN144MHzFMS->S W6/CT-262
21:08zWA9STI144MHzFM
21:10zKG6DNY144MHzFM
21:13zN6YDT144MHzFM
21:21zW0MNA14MHzSSB
21:23zW0ERI14MHzSSB
21:27zN6NKW14MHzSSB
21:30zW5ODS14MHzSSB

Total distance: 3.58 mi
Max elevation: 6161 ft
Min elevation: 4639 ft
Average speed: 0.95 m/s
Total time: 02:16:54
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Los Angeles is somewhere out there
Picknick + SOTA
Standard issue SOTA station
Typical view
Hiking crew just below the summit
Hiking down
Summit Log bolted to this rock, which was completely full.

W6/CT-098 – Occidental Peak

I almost dismissed this summit as another SOTA activator I spoke with said this hike wasn’t worth it, but after going the trail up the trail myself, I would respectfully disagree. Most of the hike is under shady trees, making it ideal for a summer getaway from the city. The summit offers several nice sitting rocks and great views. The trail is difficult to follow at times, so downloading the tracks below for your GPS may be helpful. 73!

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-098

Date:09/Jan/2020 Summit:W6/CT-098 (Occidental Peak)

TimeCallBandModeNotes
21:19zKM6AVH144MHzFM
21:20zKF6FLJ144MHzFM
21:21zK6LDQ144MHzFM
21:24zW6EL144MHzFM
21:25zKM6PFM144MHzFM
21:27zKK6TDU144MHzFM
21:32zW6DVI144MHzFM
21:36zW6KLE144MHzFM
21:41zKB3UUS144MHzFM
21:50zKM6UPQ144MHzFM
21:54zKI6RF144MHzFM
21:56zKD6FR144MHzFM
22:10zN4EX14MHzSSB
22:11zN0RZ14MHzSSB
22:13zN1AW14MHzSSB
22:16zNR0R14MHzSSB100mW!
22:20zAI60Z14MHzSSB
22:22zW7RPE14MHzSSB
22:25zK3TCU14MHzSSB
22:28zWA6QDQ14MHzSSB/KH6 HAWAII
22:37zN6RL14MHzSSB
22:40zKZ9W14MHzSSB
22:55zKE6MT7MHzSSB
23:02zK6HPX7MHzSSB
23:03zW7RV7MHzSSB
23:05zK0KM7MHzSSB
23:08zKM6CND7MHzSSB

Total distance: 1.07 mi
Max elevation: 5735 ft
Min elevation: 5505 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
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Most of this hike is shaded with oak.
Slab from an old communication site. You pass by a modern site leading up to this point
View from the trail
Summit log tucked into some rocks
I see a few SOTA folks signed the log
View of TV Village from the summit.

W6/CT-158 – 4020

This is probably the easiest SOTA activation I’ve done to date. Next time I activate this peak I may bring heavier equipment! There is a road all the way to a Nike missile site (LA-94), then a short walk up to the benchmark, which reads Camp 9. Be aware that you need to drive through the fire camp, which consists of buildings on both sides of the road leading to the top. When I activated this summit, there were several fire fighters training in the road, but nobody seemed to mind that I was there. I setup my station near the benchmark and made several contacts on 2M and 20M. 40M was very quiet. Thanks to all the chasers!

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-158

Date:03/Jan/2020 Summit:W6/CT-158 (4020) 

TimeCallBandModeNotes
21:12zKF6FLJ144MHzFM
21:14zN6BKL144MHzFM
21:16zAI6ZV144MHzFM
21:17zKK6TLN144MHzFM
21:18zKN6GOM144MHzFM
21:20zWA9STE144MHzFM
21:27zN6JZT144MHzFMHAL
21:30zKM6UPQ144MHzFMBOTA
21:39zN4EX14MHzSSB
21:40zW0ERI14MHzSSB
21:41zNA6MG14MHzSSB
21:42zW0MNA14MHzSSB
21:43zNG6R14MHzSSB
21:44zVE6AGR14MHzSSB
21:46zW5ODS14MHzSSB
21:48zAC1Z14MHzSSB
21:49zK6LDQ14MHzSSB

Total distance: 0.09 mi
Max elevation: 4029 ft
Min elevation: 4016 ft
Average speed: 0.83 m/s
Total time: 00:04:49
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W6/CT-025 – Josephine Peak

Another day off work means another SOTA activation. I had Josephine Peak on my radar because there is a fire road all the way to the top, which means I could ride a bike up to the summit. I made it a bit over a mile up the road before I needed to stop and walk. After that it was intermittent riding/ pushing. There are several switchbacks which make the grade a bit easier, but these obviously add quite a bit of distance to the route – something I didn’t think about when starting this activation. At the top of the summit there is evidence of a fire lookout tower, and a small shelter for radio equipment. I made a surprising amount of contacts on 2M given it was a Tuesday; 20M and 40M felt quiet but I still managed a few contacts on each. It got cold and dark quickly, so I tore the station down and headed to my car which was parked on highway 2. The downhill ride was fast; I was on both brakes hard the entire way to maintain a reasonable speed. Overall, this was a fun activation.

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-025

Date:10/Dec/2019 Summit:W6/CT-025 (Josephine Peak) 

TimeCallBandModeNotes
22:40zKM6CJK433MHzFM
22:53zKJ6MCO144MHzFM
22:55zAD6JK144MHzFM
22:56zKD6UTC144MHzFM
22:57zAI6ZV144MHzFM
22:58zKM6RKK144MHzFM
22:59zK6LDQ144MHzFM
23:02zKG6MDH144MHzFM
23:05zKN6EIE144MHzFM
23:07zKI6NAZ144MHzFM
23:11zKM6TNT144MHzFM
23:19zZL2IFB14MHzSSB
23:20zW0MA14MHzSSB
23:21zW0ERI14MHzSSB
23:35zWU7H7MHzSSB
23:39zNW7E7MHzSSB

Total distance: 4.08 mi
Max elevation: 5554 ft
Min elevation: 3615 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
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Trails leading up to the top
Looking up at the summit
Small shelter and some microwave equipment
Strawberry Peak and Mount Lawlor from the summit
My ride up to the top

W6/CT-019 – San Gabriel Peak

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-019

Date:10/Dec/2019 Summit:W6/CT-019 (San Gabriel Peak) 

TimeCallBandModeNotes
00:06zWD6FOE144MHzFM
00:08zKI6NAZ144MHzFM
00:10zKR6RG144MHzFMSan Diego/ TJ border
00:12zKM6AVH144MHzFM
00:13zWC6Q144MHzFM
00:16zK6BNN144MHzFM
00:17zKB0J144MHzFM
00:18zWB2WIK144MHzFM
00:26zKI6NAZ7MHzSSB
00:27zNG6R7MHzSSB
00:28zN7MQ7MHzSSB
00:29zK8TE7MHzSSB

Total distance: 1.63 mi
Max elevation: 6175 ft
Min elevation: 5108 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
Total time: 00:42:43
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W6/CT-146 – Hoyt Mountain

Kel and I hiked up W6/CT-146, Hoyt Mountain. This is worth 4 points for SOTA folks. Parking is just off Highway 2, at Grizzly Flat Trailhead. Once you’re there, follow the big fire road. Stay to the right at the split by the old water tank base. Eventually, the road kinda just stops under the high tension power lines at the top. It took a bit of time to find, but here is a narrow, somewhat overgrown trail right in the middle of the hill which goes up to the summit. Further up, the trail gets better and more defined. This bit was somewhat challenging for me, and presents you with a few false summits.

I started out working 2M FM thinking someone could spot me on SOTAWatch. To my surprise, I could only get a single station! I’m generally able to get tons of 2M contacts, but this was a holiday weekend so….. I setup my HF station – Yaesu 817 into a resonant vertical antenna cut for 20M, supported by a squid pole. While doing this, I figured out how to self spot using the APRS-> SOTA gateway. After getting a message back from the system informing me I was spotted, I started calling out on 14.340Mhz, where I was immediately picked up by W0MNA in Kansas, followed by ZL2IFB in New Zealand, my first QRP/ SOTA DX station. 🙂 I made several more contacts, noticed the time and started packing down the station when I found the radio was configured to transmit at 2.5 watts. No wonder I was getting 44~47 signal reports. The hike down is the reverse of the way up. Overall, this is a fun hike.

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-146

Date:30/Nov/2019 Summit:W6/CT-146 (Hoyt Mountain) 

TimeCallBandModeNotes
09:55zAI6SP144MHzFM
10:15zW0MNA14MHzSSB
10:17zZL2IFB14MHzSSB
10:18zWU7H14MHzSSB
10:19zW0ERI14MHzSSB
10:20zN4EX14MHzSSB
10:21zN5HA14MHzSSB
10:22zK6LDQ14MHzSSB
10:25zK5SVV14MHzSSB
10:28zKI6EAB14MHzSSB

Total distance: 2.41 mi
Max elevation: 4409 ft
Min elevation: 2969 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
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Park at Grizzly Flat Trailhead
The gate at the trailhead
View from the summit. Downtown Los Angeles can be seen in the background

W6/CT-225 – Flint Peak

November 10th, 2019. This was a quick activation. I cycled up to the top, made 10 contacts, and was back at the starting point within an hour. Getting to the actual summit is impossible as there is a fence to keep folks out of the antenna area. I didn’t bother setting up the HF station, so I just worked local 146.520 Mhz, 2M FM using the Yaesu 817. RF levels felt high, as my HT was struggling to pull signals from the Mount Wilson repeater which is line of sight to this point. Furthest contact goes to WB2WIK, who was near the Ventura County line.

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-225

Date:10/Nov/2019 Summit:W6/CT-225 (Flint Peak) 

TimeCallBandModeNotes
22:08zKM6CEM144MHzFM
22:10zK6LDQ144MHzFM
22:12zKI6UCN144MHzFM
22:12zKK6TDU144MHzFM
22:15zKA6JAC144MHzFM
22:15zWB2WIK144MHzFM
22:19zKA6HGT144MHzFM
22:20zKK6ZVQ144MHzFM
22:25zKN6CJK144MHzFM
22:28zKN6DFX144MHzFM

Total distance: 0.7 mi
Max elevation: 1854 ft
Min elevation: 1493 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
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W6/CT-150 – 4202

November 9th, 2019 – This was the second summit of the day with Lars, KJ6CBE. The hike up, and down from this point was uncomfortable for me with loose sand and rocks most of the way. The trail starts very steep, then follows the ridge line (also steep) up to a false summit where it flattens out for a bit. Continue along the trail to reach the real summit. I worked 40M, and 20M SSB. Lars worked 2M FM. The radial system on my vertical antenna broke, leaving me with higher SWR than I wanted on 20M. Still made a contact to the east coast. Not bad for 5W at solar minimum.

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-150

Date:09/Nov/2019 Summit:W6/CT-150

TimeCallBandModeNotes
21:35zK6HPX7MHzSSB
21:36zW6JP7MHzSSB
21:38zK6LDQ7MHzSSB
21:41zKC6ARY7MHzSSBW6/CT-015
21:43zWC6J7MHzSSB
21:45zK6VVV7MHzSSB
21:53zN4EX14MHzSSB
21:54zWW7D14MHzSSB
21:59zN0RZ14MHzSSB
Total distance: 0.54 mi
Max elevation: 4209 ft
Min elevation: 3642 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
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W6/CT-021 – Vetter Mountain

November 9th, 2019. I like this summit. I’ve been up to this location before, not knowing about SOTA. It’s a pretty easy hike with rewarding views. The original fire lookout tower was destroyed in the 2009 Station Fire. 10 years later, they are constructing a new lookout. Lars, KJ6CBE worked 146.520 FM and I worked 20M SSB. My furthest QSO was W4KRN in Virginia. Thanks!

https://summits.sota.org.uk/summit/W6/CT-021

Date:09/Nov/2019 Summit:W6/CT-021 (Vetter Mountain) 

TimeCallBandModeNotes
18:45zW6RO14MHzSSBQueen Mary
19:05zWW7D14MHzSSB
19:06zWU7H14MHzSSB
19:06zNW7E14MHzSSB
19:07zNS7P14MHzSSB
19:08zK6QCB14MHzSSB
19:10zW4KRN14MHzSSB
19:11zKJ6DQ14MHzSSB
19:13zVA7VJ14MHzSSB
19:16zK6LDQ14MHzSSB
19:17zK7GT14MHzSSB
19:18zW6RWS14MHzSSBW6/SD-443
19:20zW7PMF14MHzSSB
Total distance: 1.87 mi
Max elevation: 5919 ft
Min elevation: 5374 ft
Average speed: 0.00 m/s
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