SOTA Activation of Keller Peak, CA – W6/CT-013 on July 25, 2014


IMG_2583Fire tower on Keller Peak early in the morning

Keller Peak was a joint activation with KB6CIO (Bob) and KN6CCW (Ken). The summit can be reached without difficulties from the S18 right after Running Springs. Just turn into Keller Peak Road and continue until the parking lot close to the summit. The fire tower on the summit can be explored starting at 9:00am. The sights and views from the summit are great and well worth the visit.


Keller Peak from the access road


Memorial plaque for aircraft accident on Keller Peak


View from the summit

IMG_2600Summit hardware

The sunspots and general propagation was not in our favor and made HF contacts quite difficult. Nevertheless I managed three S2S (Summit to summit) contacts with N6MKW (Mike) on Throop Peak, N0OI (Scott) on Onyx Peak and N6JZT on Mt. Islip.


Operating site


Antenna setup


View from operating site


View from the fire tower


Other visitors at the tower


Up you go

Keller Peak - from S18Road to Keller Peak

Date:25/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/CT-013 (Keller Peak)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:44z N6MKW 14MHz SSB 14,285.00 MHz – S2S
15:58z KM6CEM 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
16:04z N6MDV 144MHz FM
16:12z W7RV 7MHz SSB 7,280.00 MHz
16:32z NA6MG 7MHz SSB
16:34z N0OI 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz – S2S
16:42z N6JZT 144MHz FM S2S
16:53z N6MKW 24MHz SSB 24,950 MHz – S2S
17:05z K6CMG 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz

Hope to see you on the next summit

73,  WN6E

SOTA activation of Fernando 2 Benchmark – W6/CT-158 on July 18, 2014

Fernando Benchmark 2 – W6/CT-158 was a group activation together with Bob (KB6CIO) and Neil (K6KWI) the summit is an old NIke site and very close to the Los Angeles Fire department Fire Camp 9.
The road to the fire camp opens at 6:00 am and remains open until 6:00 pm. We arrived just as they opened the gate, because we left early from Orange county to beat the traffic and the afternoon heat.
On this summit we decided to try something new 2m SSB. This is quite common in Europe and the East Coast but we decided to try it on this summit for the first time for our activaton on the West Coast.  KB6CIO and WN6E operated QRP, K6KWI used 50 W output power.
DSCN0212Entrance to Fire Camp 9
IMG_2556View from the summit trail
IMG_2553Fire Camp 9 from the summit
IMG_2572Summit views
IMG_2563Summit views
Old Nike site helipad
IMG_2581Summit benchmark
IMG_2575Close to the benchmark
Antenna setup
WN6E operating 2m SSB – QSO with KM6AB
IMG_2576Chopper getting ready for take off from Fire Camp 9
Early in the morning propagation was not good on the HF bands so we started with FM and 2m SSB, later during the morning we switched to HF. Even we made only one contact on 2m SSB I will continue to use this mode as part of my activations. It was real fun with low power and modest equipment.
It was a great day and a lot of fun activating W6/CT-158. Nice drive, great views and tons of radio fun including two S2S with N6JZT from W6/CT-011 and N6MKW on W6/CT-087.
Thanks to all the chasers and contacts for the QSOs:
Date:18/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/CT-158 (Fernando 2 Benchmark)  Call Used:WN6E
Time Call Band Mode Notes
14:40z WA9STI 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
14:41z K6TW 144MHz FM
14:42z W6JAT 144MHz FM
14:45z N6JZT 144MHz FM S2S W6/CT-011
15:22z N6MKW 144MHz FM S2S W6/CT-087
15:42z NS7P 14MHz SSB 14.282 MHz
15:43z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB
15:59z KM6AB 144MHz SSB 144.200 SSB
16:05z KN6CCW 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
16:51z WB5USB 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
16:53z N4MJ 14MHz SSB
16:54z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
16:54z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
16:55z W7CNL 14MHz SSB
16:55z K2JB 14MHz SSB
17:07z N6MKW 24MHz SSB 24.950 MHz S2S W6/CT-087
17:10z K6CMG 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz



Sota activation of Frazier Mountain – W6/CC-003 and Cerro Noreoeste – W6/SC-001 on July 15, 2013


Summit benchmark – Frazier Mountain, CA

The activation of Frazier Mountain and Cerro Noreoeste was a joint activation together with Bob (KB6CIO). In order to beat the traffic in the larger LA area we left around 4:00 am and made excellent progress through all the traffic bottlenecks. On the way we had a 2m chat with Scott (WA9STI) and decided to meet for a quick coffee before continuing to Frazier Mountain.

We arrived on Frazier Mountain a little bit before our scheduled time. Set up the equipment and enjoyed the great views.

Frazier Ground Track Base Camp

Route to Frazier Mountain from the parking lot at the Ranger Station


Forest road 8N04


The road is very well marked


View from the forest road


Mountain top lookout


Antenna setup


Old lookout tower


DSCN0189  Operating from Frazier Mountain

Frazier Mountain was a very nice SOTA activation with two S2S contacts into the Southern and Northern Sierras.  One FM simplex contact was into Anaheim, CA more than 100 miles away (KW6ACK).

Thanks for the contacts from Frazier Mountain:

Date:15/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/CC-003 (Frazier Mtn.)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
18:00z WA9STI 14MHz SSB 14.280 MHz
18:02z W7RV 14MHz SSB
18:04z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
18:05z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
18:07z W7MCP 14MHz SSB
18:09z ND0C 14MHz SSB
18:13z AA7DK 14MHz SSB
18:36z WA6RIC 7MHz SSB 7.285 MHz
18:40z KJ6NHF 7MHz SSB
18:59z KW6ACK 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz – Anaheim, CA
19:12z KD7VVG 144MHz FM S2S
19:26z ND6MDV 144MHz FM S2S
19:55z K6CMG 144MHz FM Long Beach, CA

On the way down from the summit we decided to give a second activation a try.  Cerro Noreoeste W6/SC-001 is not too far from Frazier Mountain and we spontaneously decided to activate it.

The band conditions were not in our favor and after we managed to send an alert to the Sotawatch site on the way there was no more cell phone connection and no spotting possible. Propagation was extremely poor and the fact that we both operated QRP only didn’t help either.

To make a long story short I struggled for two hours to make the required 4 contacts from Cerro Noreoeste. Nevertheless it worked out in the end and there were even two DX contacts to Brazil and Spain from the summit. Besides SOTA Cerro Noreoeste is worth the visit and a great place for a weekend outing with kids and family.

DSCN0208WN6E operating from Cerro Noreoeste

IMG_2543Camp site close to the summit

IMG_2546Antenna setup


Close to the Summit


Forest views

IMG_2552Bob (KB6CIO) operating

Date:15/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/SC-001 (Cerro Noroeste)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
00:04z W1AW/4 18MHz SSB 18,153.00 MHz
00:22z PY2JY 21MHz SSB 21,288.00 MHz – Brazil
00:33z EF6 14MHz SSB 14,185.00 – Spain – Special Event Station
23:35z K5XS 14MHz SSB 14,285.00 MHz




SOTA Activation of Strawberry Peak, CA – W6/CT-018 on July 11, 2014

Strawberry Peak Hike 071114Hike to Strawberry Peak

The activation of Strawberry Peak W6/CT-018 brought some surprises. First surprise was a navigational error by missing the turn to the summit and instead moving towards the Strawberry Meadows. The second surprise was not a real surprise but the consequence of the unintentional deviation from the hike to the summit which changed the schedule and moved the activation into the mid-morning and afternoon heat I wanted to avoid. The hike started at the Red Box parking area right at the Mount Wilson intersection from Los Angeles Crest Highway.

After finally arriving at the summit it turned out that Mike (N6MKW) was also activating Strawberry Peak that day. It was nice to meet another activator in person whom I only knew from SOTA QSO’s before.

The final approach to Strawberry Peak is quite steep and not recommended in the summer heat.

Elevation Strawberry Peak

Elevation profile to the summit

IMG_2472Morning Mist


Along the trail


Fire damage


Trail to Strawberry Meadows


Beautiful scenery along the involuntarily deviation to Strawberry Meadows


Trail to Strawberry Peak summit


View towards Los Angeles from the summit trail


Summit activator operating


Antenna setup


View from the summit


Blooming Yucca

Strawberry Peak

Satellite view of the hike

The activation was my first try operating QRP only and the mediocre band conditions made it a real challenge. Thanks to all the chasers and the help by spotting me on the net. I made it a short activation due to the delay and the extreme heat on the summit.

Date:11/Jul/2014  Summit:W6/CT-018 (Strawberry Peak)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
17:47z KG6HQD 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
17:48z KW6ACK 144MHz FM
17:50z KB6CIO 144MHz FM Thanks for the spots
17:56z KK6HRS 144MHz FM
18:15z W6BUX 14MHz SSB 14,285.00 MHz
18:16z WA9STI 14MHz SSB
18:17z KW6ACK 14MHz SSB
18:43z KN6CCW 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
18:46z N0OI 144MHz FM
19:19z WB7ENX 14MHz SSB 14,320.00 MHz



SOTA activation of Lower Lytle Creek Ridge – W6/CT-147 on July 7, 2014

This was a joint activation with KB6CIO (Bob) and we started around 4:00am to avoid the summer heat on the hike to the summit. The hike from Shep Canyon to the summit starts right at the intersection of the two forest roads 3N31 and 2N56.


Hike to the summit above Lytle Creek


Forrest road intersection


Start of the hike – there is no trail just cross country to the summit


Morning mist not long after sunrise


On the way to the summit


Slowly the temperature increases


Lower Lytle Creek Ridge – W6/CT-147


Pine trees in a valley


Lytle Creek from the summit

The hike up is quite steep in the beginning so most of the elevation gain and cardio workout is right at the start. Due to the lack of a trail its a complete cross country hike not recommended during the afternoon heat in summer. The steep descent on the way back felt like surfing due to loose gravel on steep sections , just without the elegance of a surfer.


Operating site


Operating on 40m , 20m and FM

Operating on the summit was somehow hampered by technical problems but nevertheless the QSOs were fun and thanks to all the chasers coming back to my CQ.

Date:07/Jul/2014 Summit:W6/CT-147 (Lower Lytle Creek Ridge) Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:23z KN6CCW 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
15:27z K6QCB 144MHz FM
15:36z W7RV 7MHz SSB 7.285 MHz
15:36z NA6MG 7MHz SSB
16:42z KI4SVM 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
16:43z WH6LE 14MHz SSB
16:44z NE4TN 14MHz SSB
16:44z W0MNA 14MHz SSB

73, WN6E