Sunday, May 14, 2017

W6/CT-018 Strawberry Peak

What a beautiful day to be out in the woods. I left early, and took the Angeles Forest Highway to the Crest Highway. I stopped at Switzer Visitor Center to buy a day pass, so I wouldn't get another ticket, then continued to Red Box Gap. Not sure why it is called that. My first destination was the SOTA summit Strawberry Peak. N6JZT says it is called that because it looks like an upside-down strawberry, but I don't see it.
Clouds in the valley.
As the other activators described, I followed the trail up across the side of Mt. Lawlor to the saddle, where I turned off and headed up the ridge. There were a fair number of other hikers out, but as I'm not from the region, I'm not sure if it was a normal amount for a Saturday morning. I think I could see downtown LA, but I'm not sure. It was hazy, and I didn't have a large area map.
Beautiful scenery.
 It took me about 1.5 hours from parking lot to summit. There were some people on the highest summit, so I went back to the second summit to set up. I tried to point my antenna to the northeast, just in case I could work an EU station, because it was NA<>EU S2S day. I didn't hear any Europeans, which is what I expected.
The perfect rock formation: one for sitting, one for the mag loop.
There was no cell signal on top, but RBNHole quickly spotted me and generated a small pileup. I quickly worked six stations on 20 meters, then packed up to go activate some more peaks. The hike back to the saddle was quick, but somewhat difficult because my hiking shoes have no tread left. I should have bought a new pair weeks ago, but I'm good at procrastinating. I also managed to stab my hand on a yucca, not something I'd recommend.

Trailhead: Red Box Gap, Angeles Crest Highway.
Website: SOTA Site.
Maps: KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map. Includes loop over Mt. Lawlor.
Route: Cross the highway, and follow the dirt path. It switchbacks up to a small saddle, then continues up across the side of the mountain to the Strawberry/Lawlor Saddle. Follow the ridge up from the saddle to the summit.
Red Tape: Adventure pass needed for parking.

I'm having fun, even if it looks like a grimace.

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