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


 

 

 

Saddle Peak April 6, 2014

Image

Saddle Peak – 855m (2,805 ft), 2 points W6/CT-035

 

KB6CIO (Bob) and KK6LBC (Janet) walked to Saddle Peak to do a SOTA (Summits On The Air) activation.  Saddle Peak is 2805 ft above Malibu, California.

Here is the routing:  Park at 34.081229,-118.645473 (equivalent to N 34° 04.874 W 118° 38.728).  There are roadside plaques with information about the area. This is where you will want to park. See below arrows for the trail head.

TH

At 34.07917 -118.65078 (equivalent to 34 04.750 -118 39.047) veer slight left up the paved road DSC_5955toward the water tank gated area (see photo). Walk around the gate and continue up the road back on to the trail.

Turn left (sort of SW) at 34.078995 -118.656522 (equivalent to N34° 04.740 W118° 39.391). I did not get a picture of this T intersection.

The summit is at 34.075802 -118.658401 (equivalent to N 34° 04.548 W 118° 39.504).  According to ridewithgps.com this is a 1.0 mile walk each way. From the parking there is a 407 foot elevation gain to the summit. The walk to the summit is easy however, the trail is rocky so sturdy shoes are recommended. Only some portions of the trail are shaded so bring water. There are no facilities in the area.

Route Plan

Route Plan

There are several Geocaches along the way which can be used as additional way points. We were delighted as we found all of them. One of them was full size with a trackable that Janet traded.

Geocache

Geocache

Cute Trackable

Cute Trackable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DSC_5967-1

Parking Area

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DSC_5878-3

Bob

Bob

Moss on rock

View on the trail.

View on trail.

 .

.

Flowers along the trail.

Flowers along the trail.

.

Janet KK6LBC operating the station.

Janet KK6LBC operating the station.

Catalina in the distance.

Catalina in the distance.

City View

City View

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Date:06/Apr/2014 Summit:W6/CT-035 (Saddle Peak) Call Used:KK6LBC 

Time Call Band Mode Notes
18:23z NA6MG 144MHz FM
18:25z WA9STI 144MHz FM 146.58 Scott
18:27z N6JZT 144MHz FM 59/56
18:39z N6JZT 28MHz SSB 59/59 Hal 28.385
18:42z WA2USA 28MHz SSB 59/53 IN
18:43z NA6MG 28MHz SSB 59/59
18:44z KD5ZZK 28MHz SSB 59/55 Summit to Summit with Andrew W5A/BR-002 Boat Mt Arkansas
18:47z KF5RSA 28MHz SSB 55/59 TX
20:34z K6CMG 144MHz FM Chris

Date:06/Apr/2014 Summit:W6/CT-035 (Saddle Peak) Call Used:KB6CIO 

Time Call Band Mode Notes
18:23z NA6MG 144MHz FM
18:27z N6JTZ 144MHz FM
18:53z N6JTZ 28MHz SSB 28.385
18:55z KA5LYL 28MHz SSB Todd Corpus Christy TX
18:58z K0LAF 28MHz SSB
19:02z NE4TN 28MHz SSB Walt TN
19:31z W0MNA 14MHz SSB 14.3425 53/55 Gary KS
19:35z NS7P 14MHz SSB OR 59/57
19:36z W6BUX 14MHz SSB Chatsworth 59/59+
19:37z NA6MG 14MHz SSB
19:37z N6JTZ 14MHz SSB 59/56
19:38z W0ERI 14MHz SSB 57/54 Martha KS
19:40z K0MOS 14MHz SSB 33/33 CO
19:42z AD5A 14MHz SSB TX 59/44
19:51z N2CPA 7MHz SSB 7.285 Westlake Village 100w
19:54z W6BUX 7MHz SSB Chatsworth
19:56z WA6RIC 7MHz SSB Rick 59/56 Ridgecrest
20:00z WA6ARA 7MHz SSB Ridgecrest 59/55 10w
20:03z W1AW/3 24MHz SSB 24.970 59/59 PA
20:09z WA2USA 24MHz SSB 24.950 55/33
20:10z KC9TTR 24MHz SSB 55/52 Indiana
20:11z AD5A 24MHz SSB 59/55 TX
20:12z KJ5RM 24MHz SSB Name: Jory TX
20:12z K0LAF 24MHz SSB Bob 33/33 MO
20:16z WX4ET 24MHz SSB 22/33 Great Op! Did SPOT
20:18z AE4FZ 24MHz SSB NC 44/33