Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2019-06-29 Onyx Peak + 1


I had to travel up to LA to take care of some family business so I thought I’d spend the night at my brother’s casa, visit and, then hit a couple of peaks near Big Bear CA to get a double.  I’ve been looking at Onyx peak (W6/CT-044), and a no-name peak next to it, PT 9070 (W6/CT-045) for a while now as a fun double.  If you had the time you could hike between them on the PCT but I didn’t have that much time.  The trailheads are about 5 minutes, so that was the plan. (click on photos for larger)
 

PT 9070

I was wheels up out of Garden Grove, CA at about 6:30.  The travel time was about 2 hours.  There is a high overcase with some thicker stuff moving in due to a hurricane in the south.  PT 9070 looked a little more difficult so I decided to hit that one first.  After getting to my charted parking spot I found a open gate but it stated that it was  private property.  It is a little dubious given that it’s a county road.  I’ve seen people do this a lot in California to keep the lookers out.  Some rock climbers told me that there is a chance of towing if you don’t park on the highway so that’s what I did.  The trail head is at about 7,900 making the teprature perfect for a hike but it had a real chance of getting hot here.  With the peak at 9,070 that means that means that I’ll have ~1,170’ to climb over 3 miles, an easy hike. 


I met a couple of guys inside the gate and they mentioned that it was not problem using the access to get to the PCT which is about .2 up the road.  Once on the PCT it was a pretty hike.  Although I had done some planning (see chart HERE), I ventured off the trail when I came across other trails or roads that were a better fit for the objective (all of them uncharted).  It was then that I learned about what I think is a new feature of the alltrails.com app.  I started getting "off route" alerts when I left my planned / charted route.  This is a cool feature.  The trail is lined with pine, ponderosa and other trees and was beautiful.  Use my track to see what I’m talking about.. 

The compassionate  bushwhack to the top was easy since this is mainly forest area with pine oak and the usual chaparral, easily navigated.  I found a perfect soft operating position under a large tree and got to work.

Once setup I easily got my four contacts.  I worked the usual suspects in the midwest including Gary, Martha, Charles and some in BC Canada.  I then switched to “chasing” mode.  I heard AI6CV, Norito, calling CQ on my hand held.  He was on Bertha, CT-54.  I also worked  Jerry KG6HQD, and Jose K6HZR on Telegraph Peak not far from me.  In addition I worked 5 CW operators summit to summit.  One was on Sardine Pk north of Truckee, 2 in Arizona, and one each in British Columbia, Canada, and Alberta, Canada.  One of the Arizona contacts (N7LP) was on Timber top, a summit I did just a couple of weeks ago, so I got a “SOTA complete” on that one.

This was a fun and busy activation.  I would have liked to have stayed longer and done more chasing but I hdd to get over to the other peak before it got too dark.  I desummited mostly the same way as the ascent to avoid any possibility of private property and I took a slightly different path down as I had spotted a closed road closer to my position.  I marked the road on my track published HERE since it was uncharted. 

The trip down always seems longer because the adventure is diminished.  The trail is super hard pack so its hard on the feet.  I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the way down and upon reaching the car, loaded up and headed to the Onyx peak trailhead five minutes up the road.

Onyx Peak

The PCT parallels a service road that goes to the peak, where there are a lot of RF towers.  The trail presented a very scenic hike for about a mile or so before connecting to the service road.  The road is not so scenic.  It was warmer now but the high cirrus was holding the temps in the neighborhood of 85F.  When I got to the summit I was bushed.  I tried to setup away from the towers after taking a break.  I got my activation but it was difficult.  We are at the bottom of the solar cycle so the bands were crap.  I was also having problems with my radio.  When it’s late in the day, there aren’t many other SOTA guys summiting and the ones that were, I couldn’t seem to hail on the radio.

I took a recommendation from another ham to shortcut the long road on the way back.  I was kinda done for the day and the shortcut was easy and took close to 2 miles off the return trip.  I’ve logged about 10 miles of hiking today and 1,863 feet of elevation gain.  I was happy to be loading up and heading out as I was hot and grimy. You can see my path HERE.

Unfortunately my wallet slipped out of my pocket at my brother’s house, which meant I had to go all the way back and retrieve it before heading home.  On the plus side, I got to eat dinner with my niece.  Overall this was a great trip and I was able to scratch an itch I’ve had for over a year.  Given that I shot video as well, I probably didn’t need to write such a long post but oh well...Check out my video below. 



Contacts

W6/CT-045

Date:29/Jun/2019 Summit:W6/CT-045 (9070) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 8 Bonus: 0   Delete

Time
Call
Band
Mode
17:46z
W0MNA
14MHz
SSB
17:47z
AC7AP
14MHz
SSB
17:48z
W0ERI
14MHz
SSB
17:49z
NW7E
14MHz
SSB
17:50z
N0RZ
14MHz
SSB
17:52z
VE7JH
14MHz
CW
18:08z
K6HZR
144MHz
FM
18:15z
KK6YYD
7MHz
SSB
18:15z
KG6HQD
14MHz
SSB
18:21z
VE7JH
10MHz
CW
18:28z
N7LP
10MHz
CW
18:33z
K7TSY
10MHz
CW
18:41z
VA6TTX
10MHz
CW
18:44z
N2ZIP
14MHz
SSB
19:00z
AI6ZV
144MHz
FM




W6/CT-044 - Onyx


Date:29/Jun/2019 Summit:W6/CT-044 (Onyx Peak) Call Used:N1CLC Points: 8 Bonus: 0   Delete

Time
Call
Band
Mode
21:58z
N6AEB
14MHz
SSB
22:10z
NW7E
14MHz
SSB
22:12z
K0RS
14MHz
SSB
22:12z
W0MNA
14MHz
SSB
22:13z
W0ERI
14MHz
SSB
22:13z
N0EMU
14MHz
SSB
22:14z
K0LAF
14MHz
SSB
22:15z
KC0PBR
14MHz
SSB
22:16z
K6QCB
14MHz
SSB
22:19z
AB4PP
14MHz
SSB
22:20z
N7UVH
14MHz
SSB
22:21z
NS7P
14MHz
SSB
22:22z
VE6TWP
14MHz
SSB
22:23z
N6AEB
14MHz
SSB
22:25z
N6DNM
7MHz
SSB
22:34z
AB6SO
7MHz
SSB
22:35z
AA7DK
7MHz
SSB


Loadout for the multiple summits:

      Yaesu FT-891D HF Radio at 100 watts
   30’ of coax feed line
      Yaesu FT-2DR HT
      3 L of water (8 lb)
      iPhone with All Trails, MotionX GPS and sota goat
      MFJ-939Y auto antenna tuner for 891 used on the last summit.
      Trekking poles
     Packtenna.
   Extra LiFePO Battery
   AnyTone AT-868UV DMR radio for testing.
   Custom wiine bottle cork paddles for CW (crafted by K6ARK)
   Delorme Inreach satellite tracker and communicator.
   JetBoil for the hot tea :)


73,
N1CLC
Christian Claborne
(aka Chris Claborne)


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