Black Mountain SOTA Adventure 5-10-2014

We started from north Orange County at about 6:15 AM. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the San Diego area. The turn off from Carmel Valley Road is at 32.993691, -117.119732 equivalent to N 32° 59.621 W 117° 07.184. From here we drove up the road to the free parking area. The trail head is at 32.99258 -117.11625 equivalent to N 32° 59.555 W 117° 06.975. [Note: there is another frequently used access via Hilltop Community Park located at 9711 Oviedo Way.] The route we took is a 2 mile up hill (~800 feet elevation gain) to the summit at 32.981700897217, -117.11640167236 equivalent to N 32° 58.902 W 117° 06.984. Lots of Geocaches were found along the way which we also used as way points. For the first half mile or so, there are benches to rest and  short side trails for a scenic view of the area. The trail then becomes single track and quite rocky. This area is popular for mountain bikers as well as hikers. The last half mile is an arduous climb to the summit on the rocky vehicle access road. Once we reached the summit we found ourselves a nice area off the beaten path to set up our SOTA shack. We were surrounded by the aromatic scents of wild sage bush, mustard and anise.

Phone service was good at the summit so Bob was able to contact K6KWI Neil for spotting. Regretfully, we never had a SOTA contact with him.  At one point we used a local repeater to contact KK6MAA, Bob, so we could do a simplex contact with him. We had two great summit-to-summit contacts with K6CMG, Chris, and K6YOA, Gary. After several hardy tries we finally worked KK6KUM. He was on the way down from a SOTA activation at San Gorgonio.  Overall the propagation was very poor but we had loads of fun anyway!

Route to the summit that we took.

Our route to the summit.

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Bob KB6CIO grabbing a Geocache.

Bob KB6CIO grabbing a Geocache.

Ramona Lilac

Ramona Lilac

Monkey Flower

Monkey Flower

DSC_6353

DSC_6362

 

 

 

 

Bloming Sage Bush

Blooming Sage Bush

Yes, a bit rough

Yes, a bit rough

 

At the top.

At the top.

Mustard

Mustard

Anise

Anise

The shack

The shack

 Cache gaurian

Geocache guardian

 

KK6LBC Janet photographing Geocache under footbridge

KK6LBC Janet photographing Geocache under footbridge

Here's the cache.

Here’s the cache.

Contents of cache.

Contents of cache.

Dead invasive thistle

Dead invasive thistle

Typical of single track portion of the trail.

Typical of single track portion of the trail.

 

 

On the way down

On the way down

 

The End

The End

Date:10/May/2014 Summit:W6/SC-338 (Black Mtn.) Call Used:KK6LBC Points: 1 

Time Call Band Mode Notes
18:58z K6CMG 144MHz FM He was on W6/CT-010 Islip
20:06z K1CT 144MHz FM He was mobile
21:31z KK6MAA 144MHz FM Bob
21:46z KK6KUM 144MHz FM San Gorgonio

Date:10/May/2014 Summit:W6/SC-338 (Black Mtn.) Call Used:KB6CIO Points: 1

Time Call Band Mode Notes
18:53z K6CMG 144MHz FM He was on Islip W6/CT-010
19:12z NS7P 14MHz SSB 59/56
19:13z W0MNA 14MHz SSB 59/56
19:14z W0ERI 14MHz SSB 59/56
19:21z ND0C 14MHz SSB
19:32z K6YOA 14MHz SSB 33/53 Gary W6/CT-014 Kratka S2S
21:45z KK6KUM 144MHz FM  San Gorgonio