Tuesday, May 9, 2017


I climbed this peak immediately after climbing W6/CT-144, just to the north. From the same starting area I climbed up the North East ridge of the mountain, trying to skirt around the false peaks on the way up.
From the road at the start.
The hike felt short, even going straight up the hills. I find that it is less tiring to go straight up hills rather than walking up at an angle. Walking with one leg higher than the other gets very tiring. Once I got to the sub-peak it got much less steep, and the walk across the ridge was quick and easy. On my way up to the top I passed a large flat rock that looked like it would make a good operating position. After checking out the summit, I headed down a few feet to set up on the rock.
QRV at the operating position.
It got cloudy as I sat on the summit, but the higher mountains to the south wrung the rain out of the clouds and I stayed dry. I had good views all around, and a pleasant time. Again, I started on 20 meters, then moved up to 17 when I had worked everyone. I tried sideband on 20 and 15 meters, but got no takers even after self-spotting. I still had some battery left, so I turned down the power to 1.5 watts and called CQ on 15 meters. I got a S2S with KT0A, then KP4RV was able to pull me out of the noise from Puerto Rico. Despite being at the bottom of the solar cycle, 15 still seems to be open to somewhere if you spend some time calling. 17 meters also seems to be in decent shape, and I should finish my 1watter kit so I can take it out and get on the band more often.
Rain clouds from the summit.
By this time the NiMH batteries in the KX3 were almost out, so I packed up and headed for the car. I followed the ridge back to the sub-peak, then walked straight to the car. It was a quick hike down, and back to the main road. This was the fifth activation I've done with the KX3, and it seems that the batteries last long enough for at least 2 activations. This makes me wonder if I should buy a big battery to power it. It could be helpful if I want to do more sideband, but CW with 1-3 watts seems to work just fine.

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 took the northeast ridge to the top. See the caltopo map above.
Red Tape: None. There are signs indicating that the road can be closed, but there are no "No Trespassing" signs.

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