Saturday, May 13, 2017

W6/CT-014 Kratke Ridge

After climbing Waterman Mountain I headed over to Kratke Ridge. This peak is only a few hundred feet above the highway and an easy hike, if you go the right way. I parked in a pullout across the street from the base of the chairlift. At the base there is a dirt road which goes to the top. I didn't know this, so I went straight up the hill, following the chairlift. This was a mistake. It was very steep, and unpleasant to go up.
Top of the chairlift.
At the top is the building where the chairlift ends. The summit is a short distance up the hill behind the building. Again, I set up on the lee side of the hill to try and stay out of the wind. I started operating on 20 meters, and got seven QSOs there. I tried calling on 17 and 30, but no answers on either band. I got three on 40 meters. I then spent about an hour calling on 15 meters hoping to get some dx, but only got a few domestic stations. In the past I've gotten ZL on 15 in the afternoon from Southern California summits. As I was operating, Oleh, KD7WPJ, arrived on the summit. He set up a short distance away, and we were able to operate without causing interference to each other. I took the access road down to the highway, and had a pleasant walk down, unlike the way up.
Ready to go.
Afterwards Oleh emailed me with the data from RBN spots. They showed that the signal strength from his dipole and my mag loop were about the same. We were both running 1.5-2.5 watts, but our antennas had their main lobes oriented 90 degrees from each other. This was not a scientific comparison, but it was interesting to know that the mag loop isn't too bad.

Trailhead: Angeles Crest Highway at Snowcrest Ski Area
Website: SOTA Site. Lots of more detailed trip reports.
Maps: KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map. Zoom in on the area.
Route: Access road. From the base of the chair lift, follow the road to the right. This climbs the hill with a few switchbacks, and ends at the top of the lift. From here, just hike uphill to the summit. Note that the road is not shown on maps.
Red Tape: Adventure pass needed for parking.

Obligatory selfie.

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