“Buzzard’s Roost” 2,507′


6 NOVEMBER 2020 – W6/SC-229

The last time I was up the Zuma Motorway was in May of 2011. You could drive all the way up to Buzzard’s Roost. My brother and I walked from there to the beach at Zuma Canyon. I figured this would be a virtual drive-up. The only other activator of SC-229 KK6QMS reported the same thing in 2015.

Now, however, there is a locked gate at Mulholland Highway, so there is a 1.76 mile hike in up the Zuma Motorway with 850′ of elevation gain. It was a pleasant walk before sunrise, so I didn’t mind. The actual summit is on private property – the Buzzard’s Roost Ranch – however the activation zone encompasses enough of the summit so that it isn’t necessary to trespass. I chose a short bushwack off to the left of the main gate to the ranch to a nice pile of rocks with a good view. The Woolsey fire burned through here in 2018 and the land is still pretty scarred from that disaster.

There is good cell coverage from Verizon, but the VHF is a bit tough because of Castro Peak and Saddle Peak blocking much of the Greater Los Angeles area. I made 2m contacts with Sergio WA6WV in Torrance, Steve WB2WIK in Winnetka was booming in full scale, Derek KM6UHU in Altadena barely pulled me out, and KN6OS Fred in Cerritos gave me a 56. I heard other stations clearly that could not hear me. WA6JFK was full scale from Glassell Park but couldn’t hear me.

This is from my 2011 visit – that’s my car. The spot I picked is just off to the left of frame. This was before the Woolsey Fire.
This is what it looked like this morning. Activation was off to the left.

More information about the Summits on the Air program.

Published by wringmaster

I'm a graphic artist in the movie business. When I was a kid I got interested in astronomy. When it would get too cloudy to observe the heavens, my buddy and I would sit at the VFO of his Hallicrafters S 38c like safe crackers trying to coax faraway signals out of that humble radio. My love of astronomy and radio survive to this day fifty+ years later.

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