Mt. Lawlor – SOTA Activation – W6/CT-089 – April 2, 2016


Mt. Lawlor Summit

Started from home at 4:30am and reached the Redbox Parking Lot at the intersection to the Mt. Wilson Observatory and Highway 2 around 5:45am. After admiring the sunrise the hike started around 6:00am a magnificent walk in the morning breeze up to the saddle where the trails to Mt. Lawlor and Strawberry Peak start.

The trail to Mt. Lawlor is partly overgrown and one has to take care not to loose it. In any case when in doubt just move up towards the summit. On my way down I lost the trail and ended up in the middle of nowhere which required hiking back up for quite some time until I found the right way down again.

On the summit I set up for HF and enjoyed the tremendous views before starting on 146.52 FM. I have to admit I rarely use FM on summits but today I got so many calls that I stayed quite a while on FM and had a S2S with Neil (K6KWI) on Niguel Hill. On 20m Bob (KB6CIO) spotted me but for 30 min no contact so I switched to CW but broke a wire on my key – my apologies to the chasers coming back to my CQ – my repair attempt didn’t work out.

P1000440 - Kopie

Trail close to Redbox Parking




Panorama from the trail


On the trail to the saddle


Summit trail


On the way


Summit view

Thank you for the contacts from Mt. Lawlor:

Date:02/Apr/2016  –  Summit:W6/CT-089 –  (Mt. Lawlor) –  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:50z N6HEG 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
15:51z KN6CCW 144MHz FM
16:00z NG6R 144MHz FM
16:02z KM6DM 144MHz FM
16:05z KX6A 144MHz FM
16:06z K6CMG 144MHz FM
16:24z K6WWI 144MHz FM
16:29z K6KWI 144MHz FM S2S  W6/SC-371



SOTA Activation of Bertha Peak, CA – W6/CT-054 on September 12, 2014

IMG_2759Trail to the summit at 6:45 in the morning

Bertha Peak via 3N09

Route to the summit via North Shore Dr. in Fawnskin (Big Bear Lake)

For the access to the summit I used the Forest Road 3N09 from the North Shore Drive in Fawnskin until the crossing with the Pacific Crest Trail. Shortly before the PCT there is a possibility to park. I followed the PCT until it intersects with the summit trail. On the way up I encountered some deer, actually I saw only one until I had a closer look at the photo I took. There were several deers – I just didn’t see them that’s what is called perfect camouflage. The hike to the summit is shaded most of the time and the views are spectacular. At the summit are several antenna installations and I set up my operation underneath some trees.

Bertha Peak

Final approach to the summit


Deer on the trail


Bertha Peak from the trail


Summit trail


Summit view


Big bear lake from the operation site

IMG_2770Operation setup

The activation was a QRP operation 5W using a FT-817. The band conditions were not too good but I made some nice contacts on 40m, 20m and 15m. No CW this time I still struggle with copying and the fact that I have the problem of blanking out and can’t follow anymore. So I first have to improve this before I dare a CW activation. Made a S2S with N6MKW Mike operating from W6/SC-001 on 40m.


On the trail

IMG_2791The trail is shaded by trees most of the time

IMG_2794Intersection of the summit trail and PCT

Date:12/Sep/2014  Summit:W6/CT-054 (Bertha Peak)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:25z N6JZT 7MHz SSB 7.182 MHz
15:26z WA6RIC 7MHz SSB
15:27z W7RV 7MHz SSB
15:28z NA6MG 7MHz SSB
15:29z KN6CCW 7MHz SSB
15:30z K6HPX 7MHz SSB
15:31z KN6CCW 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
15:40z WB5USB 14MHz SSB 14.3475 MHz
15:41z KI0SK 14MHz SSB
15:45z N6MKW 7MHz SSB 7.185 MHz S2S
15:51z KB6CIO 7MHz SSB 7.182 MHz
16:11z W0MNA 21MHz SSB 21.318 MHz



Activation of Butler Peak, CA (W6/CT-009) on September 2, 2014

IMG_2720Butler Peak from the access road


The activation of Butler Peak was planned as a longer stay on the summit while operating on HF, FM and a bit of CW. The access was supposed to be an approx. 7 mile drive on a forest road from Fawnskin and a short hike to the actual summit and firetower. The road was reported as open on the San Bernadino Forest homepage. It turned out it was not the gate was locked, due to logging as we found out later. So it was decided to go around and try a deviation through the surrounding valleys (3N16 forest road) and try to access the summit via 2N54 and 2N13.

This trip through the valleys turned out to be more than 20 miles with some extreme 4×4 sections (beware of 2N54 especially) including two creek crossings. In any case we made it to the summit three hours later than originally estimated. As mentioned before the original short access was closed due to logging operations, but these work required the gates to be opened along 2N13 and made it possible to reach the summit. There was no active logging during the trip – logging operations are otherwise an immediate stop and return for any hiker, 4×4, mountain biker etc.

IMG_2712Start of 3N16 towards Crab Flat campground

IMG_2715First creek crossing on 3N16

IMG_2717Crossing Crab Creek

Butler Peak UpThe route to the summit from Fawnskin

IMG_2719Approaching the summit

IMG_2721On the hike to the summit

IMG_2741Start of the summit trail


View from the trail



View from the summit


IMG_2734Another summit view



Big Bear Lake


IMG_2726Summit view

Butler Peak DownRoute down to Green Valley


On the way down the route via Green Valley as recommended by several hikers we met on the way up worked out.  2N13 to Green Valley was open  without any locked gates. I had no huge desire to go down 2N54 again.


2N13 down from Butler Peak






The “Locked Gate” which was open to Green Valley


IMG_2751Intersection of Green Valley Road and 2N13


On Butler Peak I made a short activation before heading back down to Green Valley. It is a pity that the “alternative route” to the summit took too much time and the time on the summit had to be cut shorter than expected.

Date:02/Sep/2014  Summit:W6/CT-009 (Butler Peak)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
18:39z KK6HUB 144MHz FM  
18:06z K6QCB 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
18:08z KW6ACK 144MHz FM  
18:12z KN6CCW 144MHz FM  
18:14z KJ6KHF 144MHz FM  
18:38z WA6YPE 144MHz FM  





SOTA Activation of Cleghorn Mountain (W6/CT-112) and Pt. 5699 (W6/CT-099) on August 25, 2014

Cleghorn Pt 5699Cleghorn Mountain and Pt. 5699 have one thing in common. They can be reached from the Highway 138 near the Silverlake State Park. But there the similarities end.

Cleghorn Mountain is around 7 miles from the trailhead (2N47) and only recommended for 4×4 vehicles. I manged to miss a turn and added a few miles to the access as you can see above in the map. The 2N47 leads close to the summit and there is space to park before you hike up to the summit. The trail was in bad shape and required some “hardcore” 4×4. The activation was short due to the additional miles on the missed turn.


Silverlake from the 2N47


Trailhead before dawn


Cleghorn summit



Summit register in red can


2N47 the easy part


Operating site on Cleghorn summit

IMG_2698View from Cleghorn Mountain (Intersection I-15 and I-215)

Pt. 5699 can be accessed via Highway 138 at the Cleghorn Rd. exit. Follow Cleghorn Rd. until it becomes a dirt road that’s where 2N49 starts. 2N49 curves around the mountain slopes and could be attempted with a high clearance street vehicle until 1 mile from the summit access. From there it is 4×4 until you reach the summit access trail close to a radio facility further down the trail. From 2N49 it is a rather steep hike up to the summit. The summit is covered with trees and is shaded and the trees provided much needed shelter from the extreme strong wind.

IMG_2697Start on 2N49

IMG_2701View from summit access Pt. 5699 towards radio facility

IMG_2702View to Silverlake

IMG_2707Summit impressions

IMG_2708Summit impressions (operating site Pt. 5699)

IMG_2710Operating site

IMG_2704Operating site setup

Pt. 5699 is a summit I will come back for another activation. The surroundings are just beautiful with lots of trees quite unusual for Southern California. Unfortunately we had to leave early due to unforeseeable circumstances and head back down.

Thanks to all the chasers and the QSos from both summits.

Date:25/Aug/2014  Summit:W6/CT-112 (Cleghorn Mtn.)  Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:14z KN6CCW 144MHz FM
15:17z K6QCB 144MHz FM
15:27z N7SP 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
15:28z W0MNA 14MHz SSB
15:30z W7QQ 14MHz SSB
15:32z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB

Date:25/Aug/2014  Summit:W6/CT-099 (Pt. 5699)  Call Used:WN6E
Time Call Band Mode Notes
19:08z K6QCB 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
19:09z W6TOD 144MHz FM mobile near Barstow, CA
19:22z N7SP 14MHz SSB 14.285 MHz
19:24z W7RV 14MHz SSB
19:28z KN6CCW 14MHz SSB



SOTA Activation Throop Peak, CA – W6/CT-005 on August 12, 2014

IMG_2633Rising sun at Dawson Saddle

This activation was spontaneous due to a surprising schedule window. I grabbed the opportunity for a great hike and some SOTA fun.

The hike is simply beautiful from Dawson Saddle on the Los Angeles Crest Highway to the summit. Mostly shaded trail with stunning views. The weather was overcast and not too hot, actually on the summit it got rather chilly.


On the way to the summit

IMG_2644Impressions from the trail

IMG_2647Trail sculptures


Trail and full moon


Twisted tree


Summit trail from Pacific Crest Trail




View from the summit


Antenna setup


On the way down

Throop Peak 01

Hike to Throop Peak

After setting up I started on FM and Bob (KB6CIO) mobile near Oxnard, CA was kind enough to spot me on 20m. Propagation was kind of weird this morning and I made contacts into Arizona and Southern California which is surprising on this band. Nevertheless I had fun and great QSOs from the summit. Unfortunately the weather changed from nice to lightning so I had to move down as a precaution and stop the activation.

Thanks to all the contacts and chasers from Kansas to Tennessee and all over the US.

Date:12/Aug/2014  Summit:W6/CT-005 (Throop Peak) Call Used:WN6E

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:50z KM6CEM 144MHz FM 146.52 MHz
15:51z KB6CIO 144MHz FM mobile near Oxnard, CA
15:57z K6QCB 144MHz FM
16:00z W0MNA 14MHz SSB 14.282 MHz
16:02z W0ERI 14MHz SSB
16:03z W7RV 14MHz SSB
16:03z N7AMA 14MHz SSB
16:03z NS7P 14MHz SSB
16:03z W7USA 14MHz SSB
16:04z W7CNL 14MHz SSB
16:04z WB0USI 14MHz SSB
16:05z K8TE 14MHz SSB
16:06z N6JZT 14MHz SSB
16:09z N4MJ 14MHz SSB



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