Monday, May 8, 2017

W6/CT-144

The weather was looking good this morning so I decided to head out and do some more activations. There were two nearby peaks that could both be climbed from the same trailhead, so I headed over to climb them. The first was CT-144, a nameless peak at the north edge of the San Gabriel National Forest. On the map there appeared to be a good place to park near a power pylon, but I encountered a locked gate. I managed to turn around on the road, and parked on the side. I followed the road to the place where I wanted to start, then left the road.
My destination.
I followed the south west ridge up to the top. The ground cover is lots of little scrubby plants, and it was easy to make my way through them. Some of the steeper sections were slippery with loose sand, but I had no trouble getting to the top. I think that this route is shorter and better than the one described by N6JZT that comes up from the west side of the mountain. As I've started to do more off-trail hikes, I find that there is a sense of freedom that comes with bushwhacking, and the hikes today were almost totally off trail.
At the top there is an old sign post, a good place to lash a pole. I found a place to sit with views of Mt Emma, and set up. There were a lot of ants crawling around near by, but they didn't bother me. Thank goodness. I remembered the feet for the loop, so it was a snap to set it up. I had trouble tuning the antenna on 30 meters, so I gave up and went up to 20 where the tuning is less sharp. I was able to get it down to around 2:1 SWR, so I self-spotted and called CQ. The usual suspects were loud and clear; NS7P, W0MNA, and W0ERI made it into the log first.
Mt Emma from my operating position.
After working the pileup on 20 I decided to try out 17 meters since it had saved me yesterday. I gave a call, and was able to work two stations. Since it was still early, I decided to save some battery for another peak, so I packed up and headed down. I was going to take the same ridge down, but there was an open area leading down to the dry stream bed, so I went down that way instead. Down was very fast, and I was soon back at the road and ready to head up W6/CT-262.
Old posts at the summit.

Trailhead: BPL road. I wanted to go to where there is a power pylon next to the road at a sharp corner, but there was a gate, so I started there.
Website: SOTA Site
Maps: Caltopokb1kxl SOTA Hikes map. Zoom in on the area.
Route: I followed the South West ridge up to the top, then followed the dry stream bed east of the ridge back to the road. See the kb1kxl sota map on caltopo.
Red Tape: None. There are signs indicating that the road can be closed, but there are no "No Trespassing" signs.

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