SOTA Activation of Occidental Peak, CA W6/CT-098, Feb. 21, 2014

Today Bob (KB6CIO) and I (WN6E) activated Occidental Peak, CA within the SOTA (Summits on the Air, http://www.sota.org.uk) program.

A SOTA activation is about amateur radio and hiking from small hills to major mountain, having fun and making contacts from the summit. Local or worldwide contacts depending on the propagation and luck.

Occidental Peak is in the San Gabriel Range and accessible via the Los Angeles Crest Highway and the Mount Wilson Road approx. 3.9 miles from the “Redbox” Ranger Station. At the access road to a major antenna (red you can’t miss it) along Mount Wilson Road you can park and tackle the hike. Just follow the fence of the antenna facility on the right side of the entrance gate. Where the fence ends is a helicopter pad located and at the wind flag the trail to Occidental Peak continues.

ImageAntenna facility start your hike along the fence at the right of the entrance

Image

Red antenna

Image

Wind flag at helicopter pad – here the trail continues

The trail is not very well marked and winds its way around a fake summit above the Mount Wilson Road towards Occidental Peak summit. Sometimes the trail is not more than a few feet away from the cliff down to the road, so caution is required. Most of the time the path stays below the ridge, just try to spot the way markers (stacked up rocks). On some occasions it goes up to the ridge and down again, offering some breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the surrounding mountains. After the final approach the summit offers some view of the Mount Wilson Observatory but is generally covered with trees and dense shrubs. A summit register in a red container is easy to spot.

Image

Downtown Los Angeles

Image

Local wildlife

Image

Trail

Taking our time we reached the summit of Occidental Peak after roughly an hour from our parking spot. After signing the summit register  setting up to get on the air was the next thing to do. Our first contact was NA6MG (Dan) who spotted KB6CIO (Bob) which helped a lot.

Propagation was better than expected after the sun storm at the beginning of the week. Most of the contacts were on 20m and surprisingly on 12m. I made some 2m contacts but could not reach N6JZT for a “Summit to Summit” contact on nearby Mt. Lukens. Hal (N6JZT) was “full quieting” but could not hear me or Bob. Mt. Lukens is in line of sight to Occidental Peak which makes this a real weird phenomena.

Contacts during this activation:

Time Call Band Mode
18:18z NA6MG 144MHz FM
18:22z KQ2U 144MHz FM
18:25z WA6VVC 144MHz FM
18:52z K6TUY 14MHz SSB 14,347 MHz
18:58z N6MKW 14MHz SSB
19:01z NS7P 14MHz SSB
19:02z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB
19:03z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
19:04z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
19:06z W7CNL 14MHz SSB
19:07z W7RV 14MHz SSB
19:14z N7AMA 14MHz SSB
19:15z N4MJ 14MHz SSB
19:17z WA6RIC 14MHz SSB
19:27z N4EX 24MHz SSB 24,980 MHz
19:29z KE5JDF 24MHz SSB
19:30z N1EU 24MHz SSB
19:31z WA2USA 24MHz SSB
19:32z AE4FZ 24MHz SSB
19:34z W0ERI 24MHz SSB
19:35z K5WI 24MHz SSB
19:36z W0MNA 24MHz SSB

IMG_1716

Antenna setup

IMG_1715

Operating setup

IMG_1755

Along the trail

Advertisements

One thought on “SOTA Activation of Occidental Peak, CA W6/CT-098, Feb. 21, 2014

  1. Pingback: Bob, KB6CIO, activation report Occidental Peak CT-098 Feb 21, 2014 | rkliman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s