Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Parker Mtn., W6/CT-153

This is a view of Parker Mtn., W6/CT-153, after exiting the 14 freeway and driving towards the mountain.  I almost didn't make this trek due to the heavy wind warnings in the area.  I thought about making an activation at a different location, but I decided I wouldn't let a little wind stop me.  Probably a bad choice.

As I don't have 4wd on my Toyota, I had initially planned on parking at the fork in the road and hiking up, following the dirt road (yellow line).  When I arrived at the fork, I decided to see how far I could drive up the road as I didn't really want to hike in the heavy winds.  I made it .59 miles, driving very slowly.  I found a parking spot, 1.1 miles away and hiked the remaining way.  Without 4wd, I did not want to press my luck.

I chose to park at this location where I knew I could safely turn around.  It is debatable if I could have made it the final fork with 2wd.

The road veers left around the front mountain before the final ascent to Parker Mtn in the center of the photo.  Looking at Parker Mtn., you can see a road on the right below the peak.  It is possible with 4wd to take this route to the top, coming up the back side of Parker Mtn.  When I was hiking out, I saw a Suburban on this road that seemed to have no problem.

Here is the final fork in the road.  I took the direct path on the left.  It is very steep.   The road raises 400ft in elevation over a quarter mile.  The other option is to veer to the right for a gradual elevation increase as the road takes you to the top from the other side.

There are two markers on the peak. One U.S. and one from the County.  I was having a hard time in the wind steadying the camera and the U.S. marker is out of focus.  I had read that there is a geocache somewhere near the top, but I couldn't find it.

This would be a great location to activate on a non-windy day.  It was hard to stand and walk around with the wind blowing so hard.  I connected my Jackite to the metal posts on the right in front of the cement slab, as I had seen NA6MG do on his post of this location.  In the foreground, the small piece of cement is the County marker.    

I had a lot of problems with the wind and keeping the Jackite upright.  I took this photo north of the Jackite, where I ran the antenna north to a large bush.  In hindsight,  I should have attached the Jackite to a tree that is about 40 feet west of these poles.  It would have added much stability to the Jackite. The wind was so strong, that the pole fell to the ground at least three times during the activation.

The cement slab provided a break from the wind.  At one point, I wasn't paying attention and set the clipboard too far away from the slab.  One of my activation sheets blew about 100' away, over the side of the mountain.  Fortunately, it got caught in a bush.  I ran down the hill and grabbed it before it blew away.

Roxy also enjoyed the wind break that the cement slab provided.

Roxy usually takes a break from her naps when I change antennas.  In the background, you can see the Jackite getting ready to fall over once again due to the wind.

I checked around the base of all the trees for the geocache, no luck.  The views were real nice today. I finally got the APRS SOTA spot to work.  I tried it several times as well as SMS with my phone and they both worked!  Thanks to Scott, WA9STI, and Bob, KB6CIO, for helping with my Kenwood D72a and getting me set up with the APRS/SOTA spots and the SMS.

The winds made for a nice clear day.  Although extremely windy, the temperature was perfect.  About 70 degrees hiking up and near 80 upon my return.

Another awesome SOTA adventure.  I will definitely activate this mountain again when there is no wind.  When I first went to 12m, 24.950, there was a station out of Italy calling CQ (I2JSB).  I could hear him quite well, but no luck with the contact.  Thank you to all chasers and spotters.  

2m - No Contacts



12m - N4EX

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