Monday, June 26, 2017

W6/NC-350 Loma Alta

I got to the trailhead around noon after activating Barnabe Mountain, and was quickly ready to start hiking. From the parking turnout on the south side of the road, you walk uphill along the road to the path. Here it heads down, under the road bridge to the Loma Alta Open Space Preserve on the other side. This narrow path meets the Old Railroad Grade fire road. Continue straight, then head uphill and to the left onto the Sunrise Fire Road.
Parking area, looking in the direction to hike.
The Sunrise fire road climbs up to the ridge. The first half is steeper, the second has a number of switchbacks. On top of the ridge, go through the gate, and go up the hill to the summit.
I also hope you're not food.
There is a fence at the top to lash your pole to, and excellent views of the northern Bay Area. I had just received a Baofeng UV-5R in the mail, so I was eager to try it out. It seemed to be able to receive everything my TH-F6A did, but I didn't do extensive comparisons. I did, however, work two aeronautical mobile stations, one on 70cm and one on 2 meters. There were a few field day stations on VHF/UHF. I worked the strong ones, and listened to half of some contacts. Loma Alta might not be a good mountain for VHF contests.
I then went down to HF where I worked some field day on both CW and SSB. It was difficult to get through most of the pileups, but a KH6 station worked me after my first call. One very loud station in the SJV section told me that I was the first he had worked from the SF section. Is field day not popular along the north coast?
KB1KXL field day.
Field day: 1B SF. Mt Tam just to the right of the picture.
When I was done operating, I packed up and headed down. On the way down I missed a turn, and took a more circuitous route back to the car. There was a woman walking her dogs, and one tried to bite me. I should have gotten her name so I could report it. I would have expected dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash if they were liable to attack. It was a much more interesting hike down.
Heading down.

Trailhead: Just East of height of land of Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Website: SOTA Site.
Maps: Open Space Map. KB1KXL SOTA Hikes map.
Route: Old Railroad Grade to Sunrise Fire Road. This is the route the Bay Area Ridge Trail takes, so you can just follow those markers.
Red Tape: None. Watch for mountain bikers.
Looking back to Barnabe Mountain.

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