Friday, April 11, 2014

HP Verdugo Mtns. W6/CT-034

Living in the Crescenta Valley, I have looked at the Verdugo mountains every day for the past several years.  I was anxious to finally hike to the peak, not just because I look at them everyday, but it is only a three minute drive from my house.  There are a few ways to access the peak.  I chose the Whiting Woods route.  It is about three miles via a fire road to the top.  It took me 1:38 to get to the top, including a wrong turn that added nearly 15 minutes.  Only 56 minutes to hike down.

I was busy enjoying the views and taking pictures when I turned left, instead of right on the Verdugo Motorway.  After I made the turn, I was enjoying the views and after I walked a while, I stopped and checked my map, realizing I turned the wrong way.  Roxy and I made a U-turn and followed the fire road to the peak.  Once on the Verdugo Motorway, it is a nice, gradual incline for this final stretch.

Whiting Woods Road ends at the fire road.  There is plenty of shaded parking.  Walk around the gate and begin the steep ascent.  The easy to follow fire road climbs about 1900' over 2.6 miles.  If you do this trek during the warm/hot months, bring a lot of water.  

The peak is easy to see on the final ascent.  It is easily identified by the tall poles.  There are nice views from the top.  An AT&T truck drove up during my activation and went inside the fenced compound.

I used this bush on the north side to anchor my Jackite.  It was a nice place to activate as I had views on both sides of the mountain.

I raised the antenna in a North to South sloping configuration.  I bring three End Fed antennas (20, 40, and 12).  It takes me a few minutes (sometimes longer), to take down each antenna and put up the next.  I take my time and enjoy the experience of being outdoors and setting up the equipment. I also move slowly in the brush, keeping my eyes open for rattlesnakes.

A walker stopped by and asked what I was doing.  I explained SOTA to him and he mentioned that he was a "Ham" and more young people should see SOTA activation's to increase interest among youth in amateur radio. He said that he was licensed when he was nine years old and is now 70.  I told him that I hope I am still walking in the mountains when I am 70.  He checked me, saying, "I am not a walker.  I am a trail runner.  I have run most of those mountains", pointing to the San Gabriels, and off he ran.  

Once again, Roxy finds the only available shade and settles in for a nap while I work the radio.

While working the radio, I was enjoying the view of Burbank Airport.  I saw several planes take off and land.  There are also views of local SOTA peaks.

Mt. Lukens, W6/CT-030, is north of Verdugo Peak.

San Gabriel Peak, W6/CT-019 and Occidental Peak W6/CT-098 are visible in this photo as is Mt. Wilson.  Mt. Wilson has an Observatory, several commercial antennas, as well as private and public repeaters.  The PAPA System, of which I am a member, has one of their linked antennas on Mt. Wilson.

Cahuenga Peak W6/CT-037 is south of the Verdugo Mountains.

It was a hazy day down below, taking away from some of the views.  The tower in the middle of the photo is Flint Peak W6/CT-225.

It began to heat up and it was time to go.  I live down below in the Crescenta Valley and feel blessed to live this close to the mountains.  Another awesome SOTA adventure!  Thank you to all chasers and spotters!

I made the following contacts:

2m -  WA9STI, N6AKI

20m - N6AKI, K7NEW, NS7P, KA5PVB, K6TUY, KF7JQV, W0MNA, NK6A, W0ERI, N6JZT,          
40m - N6AKI, W7RV, K6EO, K6TUY, N0OI, WA9STI


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