Monday, August 21, 2017

W6/NC-353 Burdell Mountain

Burdell Mountain is a prominent peak in northern Marin county. There are a number of possible approaches to the top. There is a trail that starta at Olompali State Historic Park on the north side of the mountain, or a few trailheads on the south side, in Novato. I chose to start at the trailhead at the top of San Andreas Drive, because, as far as I could tell, it was at the highest elevation. I think the hardest part of hiking is gaining elevation, and I had two more summits (Peak 1575 and Little Mountain) planned for today, so I decided to try and minimize the total climb.
San Andreas Dr trailhead.
I got to the start fairly early, and there were already a number of cars parked there. I started out up the Middle Burdell Fire Road, which is the route the Bay Area Ridge Trail takes. There were a bunch of joggers and dog walkers out in the cool morning. I took this trail up through some open meadows.
On the way up. Still below the clouds.
The morning clouds hung around until I was packing up after the activation. The Bay Area Ridge Trail turned off onto the Deer Camp Fire Road. At the intersection with the Cobblestone Fire Road, I took the new trail up. The area is signed very well, and the trails are very easy to follow. Just below the summit ridge there is a flat area, with a big tower of to the left. Across the paved tower access road there is a use trail that runs up the last 50 feet to the summit ridge.
Plateau below the summit. Tower to the left.
Running along the ridge is a stone wall of the type you'd expect to find in New England. There is a gap in the wall, and a herd path running along the ridge on the other side of the wall. It was totally socked in when I reached the summit, so I turned left and walked along until I found a good area to set up in.
Summit Ridge and stone wall.
There was a fence marking the boundary of some private property, so I lashed my pole to this and got on the air. I set out an alert for 30 meters and quickly got six contacts. I had a new, large battery with me, so I got on 17 meter SSB, where I made four contacts, one of them to NH. VHF netted two on 2 meters and one on 70 cm.
Operating position. Private property on the other side.
By this time the sun had burned off the clouds, and it was getting warm, so I packed up and headed down. There were some great views to the east, over the flat area west of the Napa River, and to the south once I got farther down the mountain. At the bottom I left and headed over to the trailhead for Peak 1575, on the other side of town.
Mt Tam in the distance, Big Rock Ridge on the right with the towers. Peak 1575 to the right of the frame.

Trailhead: Top of San Andreas Drive. Other trailheads also possible.
Website: SOTA Site. Marin Open Spaces website.
Maps: AA6XA SOTA Hikes map. See open space website above.
Route: Take the Middle Burdell Fire Road and Cobblestone Fire Road to the intersection with the paved Mt Burdell Fire Road. Across the road is a use trail that leads to the summit. There is a gap in the stone wall, and you can walk along the summit ridge in both directions.
Red Tape: None.
Looking east from the summit.

No comments:

Post a Comment