Wednesday, November 4, 2020

2020-11-01 An Icehouse Double


Today, I meet up with Jake (W6RWS), and we head up to Icehouse Canyon near the Baldy Wilderness area to do a summit or two.  I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a while, as I hear that it’s a pretty hike and there are 4 summits in the area of operation.  I had a pretty bad showing on last weekend’s hike, most likely because I had been sitting on my ass all week.  I meant to do a bit of training before this one  but as luck would have it .... and lack of some sort of motivation I sat for another week.  So, after discussing with Jake, who is in a similar position, we figured the best we could do were maybe 3 summits, and most likely two.  The drive to the trailhead is about 2.5 hours from my house with a stop to get Jake.  My goal was to be at Jake’s place by 0530.

<click on images for larger>

As you can see on the chart to the right it would be a long day.  We decided to do Cucamonga first and then see how we felt.  Adam (K6ARK) mentioned we could take a shortcut from Cucamonga to Ontario by hiking over Bighorn Peak.  Hmmm, that doesn’t look easy.  Nothing about this hike is going to be super easy.  After talking to Adam, I figured we would leave Telegraph for last and we’d really have to be “feel’n it to do it. 

We made good time to the trailhead given we were driving at the crack of dawn.  Getting up a little early was made easier since today was the first day of time change.  Parking was almost maxed and I think I got the last positon near the trailhead.  The forecast was for cooler temperatures and possible rain but it looks like it will be high overcast all day, which it was.


The first leg of the trip is to get to Icehouse Saddle.  As you can see, it’s a junction point for several of the summits.  The hike is 3.32 miles 2,700 fee of elevation gain.  It’s not steep and the trail is a very solid hard pack with rock in places (not easy on the feet) but you definitely feel it.  There were quite a few people on the trail and I’d say Jake and I passed ~20 people on the way up.

From the saddle, we head up to Cucamonga Peak, a 2.24 mi hike with 1,755 ft of elevation gain.  It’s a continuous climb for the most part, there is one area that you drop down and then head back up at the saddle.  Over 1,500 feet over a couple of miles is a good climb.  We looked at the trail that heads up to Bighorn mountain as we passed it.  Taking that route to Ontario Peak would be a slightly shorter hike but it looked like a bear.


We both arrived at Ontario Peak a little gassed.  Sitting in an office chair all week and skipping any exercise took it’s toll on my pistons.  All the wine I drank last night didn’t help either.  The summit is very large and is able to support multiple stations.  I decided to head over to the east side to get the best launch to the east.  I setup right next to a nice dropoff using the K6ARK random wire antenna. 

I started out working some other summits where I could and then spotted myself on 20m CW.  I had a massive pileup of stations, all which did a zero-beat on me so all I got was one long solid tone.  To make things just a little more difficult, band conditions were up and down so a lot of stations where I got the first part of their call, the second half would drop into the noise so it took a while to work the pileup down.  At the end, I was a bit tapped and decided to munch on my PB&J sandwich.  I had worked 41 stations on 20m and I figured the guys that were waiting to work this summit on 40 would get Jake.  (Chasers can only chase a summit once per day for points).

Jake stayed on the west side of the summit for a while working VHF while he had some hot chicken soup.  He joined me on the east side just as I finished up.  He setup a LNR MTR end-fed antenna and worked a few stations on 40 before packing up. 

We decided to save Ontario for another day.  The trip down to the saddle was simple enough but a pounding slog.  Once there, I sold Jake on the short trip to Timber peak.  Yup, we are out of shape, given we just had to power through the .74mi, 700 foot climb so it’s a good climb.  Once on top, jaked worked VHF and I setup my HF station.  I figured I packed the darn thing I might as well setup.  We were going to be in the dark anyway so why not. 

 I was glad I was using Outd logger on my phone.  It keeps track of the number of contacts with a little counter.  As I worked stations, I noticed that it only showed 1.  The reason is that the UTC day had just flipped so the count dropped to the one station I had worked at the start of the new day (4PM PST).  In order to get the points for the summit, an activator needs four on the summit in a UTC day.  It didn’t take too long and Jake was ready to roll so I skipped 40m and we headed down the ~4 miles to the car.


About halfway to the car we needed to fire up the head lamps.  At this point is was a slog given tired legs and feet.  We made it safely, passing a couple of people on the way down. 

Once loaded up in the car, the next order of business was to find an “In-And-Out” burger restaurant, and Jake vectored us in on one on the way home.  WOW!  Did that hit the spot!

All in all we had a great time today.  I will say I was pretty trashed when I got home.  Definitely need to keep my fitness up between summits. 


Expedition Summary

SOTA summits:W6/CT-006 (Cucamonga Peak), W6/CT-052 (Timber Mountain)
Points:12
Activation Date: 2020-11-01 (and 02 UTC)
Unique: Yes for both
Activation No: 215 & 216, 217 (Timber counted twice given I cross 0 UTC)
Call sign used: N1CLC
Radios: KX2
Antennas: K6ARK random wire
Band/Modes used: 20m, 40m, CW (morse) SSB (voice)
Cell Data: Spotty AT&T
Miles Hiked: 14.3 mi
Hiked Elevation Gain: 4,744

Contacts

Date:01/11/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-006 (Cucamonga Peak) | Call Used:N1CLC | Points: 8

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

Notes

19:45

KD0YOB

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

19:51

WB2FUV

14MHz

CW

 

19:53

KX0R

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

19:54

K6QCB

14MHz

CW

 

19:55

N0DA

14MHz

CW

 

19:56

N7CNH

14MHz

CW

 

19:57

W0MNA

14MHz

CW

 

19:59

W7UM

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

20:00

W4KAC

14MHz

CW

 

20:01

W0ERI

14MHz

CW

 

20:01

NA6MG

14MHz

CW

 

20:02

NW7E

14MHz

CW

 

20:03

KT5X

14MHz

CW

 

20:03

ND0C

14MHz

CW

 

20:04

N4LAG

14MHz

CW

 

20:06

AI6ZV

14MHz

CW

 

20:07

WA6MM

14MHz

CW

 

20:08

KD7ICW

14MHz

CW

 

20:10

WB7BUZ

14MHz

CW

 

20:12

K4MF

14MHz

CW

 

20:14

AB4PP

14MHz

CW

 

20:16

WU7H

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

20:17

K6TXA

14MHz

CW

 

20:19

WF4E

14MHz

CW

 

20:19

K6NBR

14MHz

CW

 

20:21

N7CQR

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

20:22

K6LDQ

14MHz

CW

 

20:23

N4WBN

14MHz

CW

 

20:24

WF4I

14MHz

CW

 

20:26

N1ZF

14MHz

CW

 

20:27

K0LAF

14MHz

CW

 

20:28

K6QCB

14MHz

CW

 

20:29

N1AW

14MHz

CW

 

20:32

WU7H

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

20:33

N4LAG

14MHz

CW

 

20:33

N4MJ

14MHz

CW

 

20:36

NM5S

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

20:45

WW7D

14MHz

CW

Summit-To-Summit

20:59

K6KWI

144MHz

FM

 

21:00

WB6JUI

144MHz

FM

 

21:34

KM6FZX

144MHz

FM

 

 

Date:01/11/2020 | Summit:W6/CT-052 (Timber Mountain) | Call Used:N1CLC | Points: 8

Time

Callsign

Band

Mode

Notes

00:00

K1LB

14MHz

CW

 

00:04

K6QCB

14MHz

CW

 

00:04

W0MNA

14MHz

CW

 

00:05

W0ERI

14MHz

CW

 

00:06

KD7ICW

14MHz

CW

 

00:07

KN7A

14MHz

CW

 

23:36

KN6OS

144MHz

FM

 

23:59

W7EEE

14MHz

CW

 

 

Loadout:

      GoPro Hero8

      Gregory Zulu 40 backpack

      First aid kit.  Make sure it’s a good one... like ability to patch up an impalement wound. 

      Elecraft KX2 10 watt HF Radio

      The K6ARK Spider Thread Antenna

   30’ of coax feed line (not needed

      Slim Jim dual band antenna for my HT.

      3 L of water (8 lb)

      iPhone with All Trails, MotionX GPS and sota goat

      Trekking poles (not today)

     LNR End Fed multi-band antenna

   SOTAbeams Tactical 7000hds Compact Heavy-Duty Telescopic Mast TAC7000HDS

    MFJ MFJ-1714 144 MHz 1/2 Wavelength Antenna for my HT

   AnyTone AT-868UV DMR radio for testing.

   Custom wine bottle cork paddles for CW (crafted by K6ARK)

   American Morse Ultra Porta Paddle for CW

   Delorme Inreach satellite tracker and communicator.

      Jetboil MicroMo cooking system (left at the car this trip)

      Yaesu FT-2DR HT (backup left in the car)

     Packtenna. (did not take)

     CHA MPAS with spike and additional MIL mast (and version 2 of the top section) (left in car)

      Yaesu FT-891D HF Radio at 100 watts  (left this in the car :) )

    Extra LiFePO Battery (not needed)

     Helinox Chair Zero Ultralight Compact Camping Chair.

 

73,

N1CLC

Christian Claborne

(aka chris claborne)

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