Wednesday, February 22, 2017

W6/NC-317 Wiedemann Hill

I hiked this hill on on cloudy and cool Saturday morning. The most direct route to the summit starts in a gated community, so I started at the Bishop Ranch Regional Open Space Preserve. From the trailhead, there is a short but steep climb up to the ridge, then a nice walk along the top. There has been so much rain recently that the trail was extremely muddy, and as slippery as ice and snow in some places.
So much mud.
There were a lot of grazing cattle up top, and even a sign warning hikers that the cows were more wary of hikers and dogs while calving. The other end of the ridge trail drops into the neighborhood mentioned above. There is a walk along the streets up to an access road for the towers on the summit. Climb over the gate and it is a short walk to the top. 
The end of the neighborhood.

The Alameda - Contra Costa boundary runs through the peak
I set up on the lee side of the peak, looking over the neighborhood I had just walked through. The clouds were low, and I was in and out of them while at the summit. 
View to the east.
Since the ARRL DX contest was going on I only activated on 30 meters. I made a quick 10 contacts, then packed up, since I wanted to go home and participate in the contest with a more capable rig. I briefly tried VHF, but didn't get any takers. On my way down the hill I slipped and slid in the mud, and landed on my back, getting very muddy in the process. As much as California needs the rain, I'll be glad when the trails dry out and it warms up some.

Grimacing in the cold wind.

Trailhead: Park on Morgan Drive. Lots and lots of space. No fees.
Website: SOTA Site
Maps: There were some at the trailhead, but they only covered the section in the park. Also see KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map
Route: Hike up the Grey Fox Trail up to the Redtail Hawk Trail. Follow along the ridge to the trailhead on Ashbourne Cir. Turn left, and walk uphill along the road. Make a left on Cliffside Ct, then follow the access road that continues past the end of the paved road.
Red Tape: It is unclear what land the summit is on. I didn't see anyone else on the trails. Neighbors were friendly.

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