Friday, May 16, 2014

Circle Mountain W6/CT-071

We have been experiencing a heat wave this week, so I thought I would drive over to the other side of the Angeles National Forest where it would be cooler.  Circle Mountain, W6/CT-071, is at 6900'.  From the 15 freeway, drive 1.3 miles west on the 138 and turn left on Lone Pine Canyon Road.  Follow Lone Pine for 7.7 miles to a turn out on the north side of the road and follow the road/trail behind the gate.  It is 1.25 miles of steep trail to the peak.

There is plenty of space to park without blocking the gate.  Circle Mountain is in the back of the picture.

The trail is easy to follow, but very steep.  There is a 900' elevation gain after you leave the fire road and begin the trail.  It was nice to have a few spots with shade for breaks.

We had to make a short detour around this tree that fell across the trail.

I stopped at a few Geocache sites along the way.  This one had not been logged in about 18 months.

I am not a big flower person, but it was nice to come across these bright colors in the trail.

The trail finally levels out somewhat and the peak comes into view.  This last section of trail to the top is very easy.

The summit is well marked with this pile of rocks.  There is also a summit log inside of a coffee can.  I signed the log and wrote a few words about my SOTA activation.  I had read that there were three benchmarks on the peak.  I couldn't find any of them.

This metal pole made a perfect anchor for my Jackite.  My last few activations had some moderate to heavy winds, so I wanted a strong support.  Fortunately no wind, just a light breeze to keep it cool.  The temperature was in the mid 70's.

I fully extended the Jackite and ran the antenna from north to south.  There is plenty of space on top of the mountain for any length of antenna.

 I have the 12m LNR End Fedz antenna, slopping to the south.  There were plenty of trees and vegetation in the area to set it up in any direction.

Displaying the SOTA flag.

I had a shaded spot to work the radio, but was soon pushed out by Roxy.

There are many trees near the peak to hang an antenna.  Next trip, I will leave the Jackite at home, reducing the weight in my pack.

With the recent heat wave we have experienced in Southern California, it was hard to believe that there was still some snow on the mountains.

A couple miles west of Circle Mountain is the town of Wrightwood.

It was a little hazy down below in the hot, Antelope Valley.

As I was breaking down my equipment and packing up, Roxy settled in for a final rest before the hike down the mountain.

Circle Mountain was a nice break from the heat.  For the most part, very good signals today.  I was on my last call on 12m ready to hang it up, when I heard KJ5FA with a summit to summit activation from W5A/CA-015, Bear Mountain, in Arkansas.  I even had a contact on 40m from W6FOG who was on a boat, I believe near Morro Bay.  Thank you to all chasers!

2m - KJ6VSI



12m - K2WCT, W1BFN, KJ5FA (S2S W5A/CA-015 - Arkansas)

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