Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018-03-11 Corte Madera Mountain

Today’s objective, activate W6/CC-026
- Corte Madera Mountain
I loved this hike!  It’s  robably the most enjoyable one in the county since I’ve started doing this.  If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know I like hiking this part of the county because it’s not a pile of rocks, my poles actually sink into dirt, and it’s a bit more scenic.  It had finished raining just hours before I started the hike and today’s weather was very nice.  It was warm and we had scattered clouds, some of them sitting on top of the distant mountains.



The IAF for this trip takes you to a little parking spot and the trail is a  6.49 mile round trip to the mountain although I logged 7.1 miles.  The last time I was up in this area to activate Los Pinos, there were a few cars parked here and I had wondered why.  There is a way to drive to the back side of Los Pinos to shave off a mile but I was warned that right after the rain, that route would be uber muddy, with a sort of clay mixture.  I’m glad I started where I did because the trail goes onto a road that is very scenic. It starts out easy and presents a gentle climb over the next 1.5 miles.  There were some very muddy spots but using poles allowed me to keep from sliding all over the place.

As you can see from the topo for the route, it gets a little steep after 1.5 miles taking you up a small mountain, wrapping you around it, and then, over to another mountain, down and then finally up onto Corte Madera.  The entire trail is well used and is well maintained.  There were just a couple of steep parts up ravenes that served to drain some of the rain off
(hiking poles were handy). 


There are several signs indicating that this is a bird of prey sanctuary.  The area is lush and you hear and see quite a few birds. The views were awesome and I always like the colors you get just after it rains and the light filters through thick scattered clouds. 

Setup of the radio was easy today.  The wind was almost zero and the stake went into the ground with very little pounding.  The ground was soft but with no wind, I didn’t need to tie it off.  I was told band conditions were bad today (we’re at the bottom of the solar cycle so it normally sucks) but I was able to pull my normal contacts from the midwest, Canada and one from the east coast (K3TCU in Pennsylvania).
Before I fired up my HF I tried to contact my pal Adam, KJ6HOT on my VHF handheld but I couldn’t reach him.  Guess who was my first contact on HF?  Adam.  he was actually tuning around looking for someone else when he heard me first fire up.  When I was done getting contacts, I used a pine cone attached to a string and pulled my roll-up jpoll antenna up about ten feet off the ground and then tried to contact Adam.  It worked this time.  The quality wasn’t the best and we probably were talking via bouncing my signal off some hills on the way to his location in Ramona.  I’ve contacted my house no problem from Los Pinos, the next large mountain over, without any problem. I wasn’t in any hurry to pack up and really would have liked to meditated but with the overcast, I didn’t want to hike in the dark (I forgot about the time change).

I would have driven over to Los Pinos and activated that but I was tired and I wouldn’t have received points anyway since you can only activate a peak once per year (I activated Los Pinos last Jan).  I forgot to load more food into my backpack like I had planned so I only had an energy bar for the trip.  I was very hungry so I picked up a  “super burrito” from my favorite restaurant, Veronica’s Kitchen in Descanso.  Mmmmm, that’s how you top off a great hike.

I received a recording of today's summit activities from KJ6HOT.  Take a listen HERE if you are curious as to what the hec I'm doing on the mountain.

Stats

Association:   USA
Region:   Coastal Ranges
Lat / Long / Height:   32.7576°N   -116.5911°W   1419m / 4657ft
Locator:   DM12qs Show »
Points / Activations:   4 points,  activated 10 times
Latest Activation: 
 2017-12-31 by N6OQ
IAF
32.73558, -116.55727

Miles: 7.1
Cellular Data: AT&T Yes
APRS: Yes

Contacts

Call Sign
Comments
KI4TN
TN
KJ6HOT
Adam in Ramona, CA
AC1Z
NH
W0MNA
KS
NS7P
OR
W0ERI
Martha in KS almost always contacts
me
WD4CFN
TN
N1GB
VT
KD0MQO
MO
N4EX
KY
VA2MO
QC
N4QYI
KY
K0HNC
KS
N0EMU
CO
ND0C
MN
KG3W
PA
KF7AXB
WA
VE7ATJ
BC
NG6R
IL
K9IR
CA
KC0PBR
CO
K0LAF
MO

Loadout for today:

      Yaesu FT-891D HF Radio at 100 watts
      Yaesu FT-2DR HT
      DDT Ops Anti-Venom field pack with food
      3 L of water (8 lb)
      SOTA Dog
      iPhone with All Trails, MotionX GPS and sota goat
      Hiking poles

REFERENCE

      For more info on SOTA, rules, etc, go to the homepage HERE.
      Ham Terminology
      SOTA Specific Links
73s,
-- Chris Claborne, N!CLC

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