This summit is named after Charles Merwin Gilbert (1910 – 1988), you can read more about his life and career here —> https://eps.berkeley.edu/content/charles-merwin-gilbert. I didn’t do any internet searches on how to summit this peak before attempting it myself, but I think there is a better way up than the way I went. I took the moto through the forest on an (unnamed?) road and parked as close to the summit as one could, then hiked straight up the side of the hill. It was hot; I was quickly moving from shady spot to shady spot to stay out of the blazing sun. Drank almost a liter of water on the way up. At the top, some interesting rock formations and a plaque dedicated to Charles Merwin Gilbert. I setup my station just off the side of the rock formation, under a shady tree, where I got attacked by crawling insects that liked bite me. Called out on 2M, made no contacts. Worked 20M SSB, and 30M CW. Two S2S contacts.
On the way home from several activations in the White Mountains and the Inyo National Forest outside Mammoth Lakes, I decided to bag one last peak along Hwy 395. I started this hike just off Tinemaha Road. The map I was referencing listed a mine at the bottom of the trail but I didn’t see much evidence of that. It was later in the day and very hot; I sucked down a bit over a liter of water in the mile or so to the top. I used about half of my other liter to dump on my head to cool down. At the top, a small rock pile was used to support my vertical antenna. I worked 20 SSB, 40M SSB (which got no contacts) and 30M CW, two S2S there. This summit has outstanding views of the Owens Valley, and I hope to activate this one again soon.
Bald Mountain is a drive up, I think you would need a 4×4 to make it up all the way, as the last bit is steep, with loose sharp rocks. This being said, the dirt road leading up to this summit is well graded, and I believe a sedan could make it most of the way down the 10+ mile dirt road, stoping where it starts getting rough, then hiking the remainder. At the top, there is a fire lookout station, a small log cabin, and a picnic table. Since the lookout station was unoccupied, I took the stairs to the top with a 2M radio and looked for contacts on 146.520. Nothing heard. Next, I went to check out the cabin, which was well stocked with supplies and a cast iron stove. I set my station up inside, with my tri-band vertical just outside the door. Worked SSB, conditions were bad, but I was able to make enough contacts to activate this summit. Sadly, the cabin was kinda a mess inside with empty bottles/ cans/ random trash, and other objects out of place. I took 5 minutes to straighten things up and remove several right-wing authoritarian political stickers. There was also tons of graffiti inside, which by looking at the dates, was mostly recent, within the past 2 years. Hopefully this behavior doesn’t get this cabin locked up so nobody can enjoy it.
This is a drive up, but you may need 4-wheel drive for the last bit through sharp obsidian, which is everywhere in this area. I hiked up from a parking area off highway 395, 6 miles round trip through a beautiful forest. Worked 20M, 40M SSB with one S2S in Utah.
If you’re in the area, this is a very easy summit to activate, it’s right off White Mountain Road, and a short, 5 minute (if that) hike up from a small parking area. Activation zone is pretty small, so I’m not sure one could stretch out a dipole. Worked KM6QCE on 2M FM, who then drove by to say hello! Also worked 20M, 40M SSB.
This summit is in the White Mountain range. I hiked an old two track road to the east side of the hill, then headed straight up to the summit through thick, knee high sage. Once on the ridge it was easy to get over to the summit. Worked 2M FM, 20M, and 40M SSB. On the way down, I took the ridge down to see if there was anything left of old prospecting mines marked on the forest service maps. I found a couple old tin cans and collapsed mine shafts.
Sheep Mountain is near the end of White Mountain Road. I don’t have a car that will make it down this road reliably, so I brought my dual sport motorcycle which ran well at elevation. I was worried about it, as other carbureted motos I’ve owned completely loose power or refuse to idle when faced with altitude. While the hike wasn’t far, less than two miles, and not insanely steep, the elevation 12,439′ according to my GPS, really slowed me down. After reaching the top and catching my breath, I setup my vertical antenna with 8 radials and spotted myself on 20m via APRS. Made 3 S2S contacts, and 1 POTA contact. Unknown to me at the time of activation, this summit qualifies for summer bonus points, which was a nice surprise. I can’t wait to come back to this area for more hiking in the future!
Access to this summit is pretty easy from the Bristle Cone Pine Visitors Center, either by taking the Discovery Trail, or by walking down White Mountain Road, then hiking up. See my .gpx file for more info on this. The assent is steep with loose rocks. Watch your step!
This summit starts at the Ancient Bristle Cone Pine visitor center parking lot. Take the trail to the Mexican Mines, which winds past some old cabins and mine shafts. Continue on the trail until a second set of collapsed mine audits. From here, just head straight up the hill a short distance to the summit. There, you will see another collapsed mine audit; this is where I setup my station. Worked 20, 40, 2, and 1.2GHz. Did a bit of rock hounding, then headed back to the car. This is pretty high elevation, and I was feeling the effects having just come from Los Angeles. No .gpx data for this summit, as I thought I would use a phone app instead of a hardware GPS. Phone app crashed. Doh!
Sunset Peak is rad. I started at Glendora Ridge Road across from Sunset Ridge Fire Road, and followed that up to the summit. At the top is a big chunk of sheet metal, I think from a lookout tower. I thought about ways to use this as a ground plane next time I’m there. Worked 20, 40, 2, and 1.2GHz. I got snowed on, in May, which was a nice surprise. The way down I was having so much fun, I went wayyyy past the turn off back to the car, but I eventually ran into GDR and cycled back on the road.