Sunday, June 28, 2020

2020-06-28 Turner Pk. & Road to Mountain Goat

I’d been trying to figure out what summit I wanted to do this week that would push me over the 1,000 point mark.  In Summits On The Air (SOTA), at 1000 you make “Mountain Goat”.  It’s a cool award and a tough one to get.  So my selection had to involve getting my goat on.  Turner peak does require a bit of goat skill and it’s 8 points would push me over the 1000 I need to be “Mountain Goat”.  In this post I’ll cover today’s summit but also the road to Mountain Goat, 1000 “activator points”.  (click on image for larter)

I started doing SOTA on October 31st, 2017.  I was a pretty new ham with a general license but my home station kinda sucked.  It was really hard to get the home station performing well given that I didn’t have a lot of room for antenna wire and suburbia has a lot of radio frequency interference (RFI).  I somehow stumbled upon “Summits on the Air”, a part of the ham radio hobby where you take a radio to the top of a mountain, get a minimum of 4 contacts with your radio and and log the points for the summit.  These contacts have to be radio to radio so you can’t use repeaters.  

2020-06-27 Noble Mountain

I decided to head up to my cabin and work from there since the coming week is a short one given the fourth of July holiday.  The weather is absolutely unreal right now.  Highs of about 73 with a light breeze.  The house is at 8,300’ so that helps.  I was here last month by myself for 10 days and I activated 20 summits in 9 days of hiking.  I had a great time.  I really wanted to see how many I could comfortably activate in a short amount of time.  This trip I have a minimum of 3 summits that I wanted to do, and possibly a couple of others in New Mexico that have never been activated. 

I headed over to Noble Mountain which I can see from my cabin and setup in the activation zone.  I saw three deer on the way up the mountain.  The top is pretty flat so you basically drive into the AZ and then decide where you want to setup.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

2020-06-20 A San Gabriels Triple

After a long week in the chair I really wanted to get out and do some hiking.  I had been up to the San Gabriels near LA with Adam, K6ARK in April 2018.  We hiked Mt. Islip, Mt. Williamson, and did a quick drive-up to Table Mtn.  I really wanted to go somewhere where the country was more alpine like and this area is good for that, similar to last weekend up at Tahquitz.  If I’m going to drive all this way, I might as well make it worth it and try to do a triple.  In addition, all of these are 8 pointers, helping me get a little closer to breaking the 1,000 point mark.
(click images for larger)

Sunday, June 14, 2020

2020-06-13 Tahquitz Peak

I got up early this morning to head out to Tahquitz.  It’s one of my favorites in the area but the trailhead is about 2 hours from my house, near the town of Idlewild.  The terrain on Tahquitz is super variable, from pine tree lined paths to high desert scrub, brush, and rock.  I’d been thinking about hiking Tahquitz for a while but I didn’t want to be hammered by the summer heat.  There was a weather window that had a nice dip in temperature forecast for Saturday and it didn’t disappoint.