Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020-12-23 Toro Peak

Today’s expedition takes me to Toro Peak, where I’ll meet Ted, aka W6TED.  We’ve both been wanting to do this one and it’s taken a little planning.  Ted contacted the Santa Rosa Band of Cahuilla Indians tribe that owns the land where the summit is located to see how we could get permission to access.   Ted eventually figured out the process to get a permit and after stopping by the tribal office, we had a ticket to play.  The cost however was a tad pricey, $40/person.

<Click on pictures for LARGER>

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

2020-12-22 Poser Mountain

Today is my annual trek to Poser Mountain.  I started doing this on 12/22 every year to commemorate the first bushwhack and very difficult descent when I decided to descend the mountain via a ravine (big mistake).  The chaparral has grown a bit since last year and the mountain posed the usual challenges. 

On the way up I wrote a small note about the mountain, bushwhacking and SOTA, called “SOTA Darma: Bushwhacking”.

SOTA Darma: Bushwhacking

Bushwhacking success comes after multiple battles on the mountain within which planning, along with hundreds or thousands of small decisions and thoughtful steps are contained. But don’t be misled by my words, the mountain is not my enemy, but my teacher, for after every hike, I give gratitude to the mountain.

2020-12-19 Hill 2703

I’ve had my eye on this summit for a while but never went after it.  After a couple of other hams summited and activated, I decided to get after it.  It’s a simple and short hike, and it’s near my house between Iron Mountain and Mount Woodson.  Today’s summit has no name so they call it “2703”, most likely the elevation of the summit.  There is iron ore on one side of the trail and the other is granite.  It’s interesting country here, mostly granite boulders though.  The summit is just a tad funky, in that the high points are on top of massive granite rocks. 

2020-12-13 Elsinore HP

This is always a fun little hike but not so much on the drive just because it’s kinda long and boring.  I had the option of Sitton or this one and I felt lazy so I went for the shorter hike today.  At times there will be a little water in the area but not today. 

After making a nice late from the machine, I headed out for the 1+ hour drive up by lake Elsinore.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020-12-04 Cowles Mtn. MTB

Today is my first real mountain bike (MTB) expedition to do Summits On The Air (SOTA).  I’ve done a test of the newly repaired bike to my test range, Black Mountain.  It’s by my house and the service road was a good test to ensure my MTB is ready to roll.  I converted an old Cannondale MTB that my neighbor had to an e-bike to use as a commuter bike for work.  I’ve put 8,000+ road miles on it since I’ve done the conversion but the bike was setup for road.  Because the shock in the front and the headset were shot, it was a real danger, so I couldn’t really use it off-road.  They no longer make the parts I needed for repair and I wanted to change it to a standard front end with normal fork shocks.  There is a bike mechanic in town who has converted my model of bike for others, so I took it over to Chainline Bikes in El Cajon

2020-11-28 Combs Peak With Jamie and Adam

A fellow SOTA buddie, Jamie, N6JFD came in from out of town.  Adam and I both know Jamie and of course we had to get out and hit a summit together.  Given it’s thanksgiving weekend, we wanted to avoid some of the more popular hiking areas since they will be mob scene,  so we settled on Combs peak, W6/SD-011.  Combs peak is located just south of Anza and just north of Werner Springs.  I’ve done it before but not this year and Adam and Jamie have never done it.  It’s located just off the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and is a tad over 2 miles to the summit.  The elevation gain is 1000+ feet, with most of it in the last quarter mile. 

I picked up Jamie and we headed out for a 1.5 hour drive to meet Adam at the trailhead.  The hike up is a pretty simple trek up the PCT and a left turn to head up to the summit.  On this last section, there is a lightly used tail to the summit but this is the steepest part of the hike. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Update Your Names DB for Outd

As you may know, I’ve switched to Outd for logging contacts on my iPhone for SOTA operations.  I wrote a review of Outd HERE.  One thing that it won’t do it pull callsigns from  In addition, if the callsign changed hands, the name will be wrong.  What I decided to do is create an updated file with callsigns that I’ve worked for SOTA that are not in the DB and sometimes fix the names that are in there if I know they are bad.  I’ve added about a 1,000 calls so far that are not in the stock version.  I was hoping to get a dump of calls that are in the SOTA DB but that might not be permissible. 


If you use Outd and would like to use my file, go HERE for instructions on how to install the latest version.  If you have calls that you would like to add or repair, feel free to send me a list with the callsign and name separated with a comma (“,”).  Also, if you have any issues, please let me know right away.

Chris Claborne
aka christian claborne