Looking south across the Santa Clara River Valley. Saddle Peak and Sandstone Peak in the Santa Monica Mountains are visible
23 FEBRUARY 2021 W6/CT-140
I got a late start for me on this one. I didn’t pull out of the driveway in Topanga until about 5:30 AM. At home it was a balmy 56ºF, but by the time I got to the bottom of Topanga Canyon, it was 36ºF. This was a pretty steep canyon inversion layer caused by a very mild offshore, or Santa Ana, wind condition that was relatively high up. Cold air ran down the hillsides and pooled up in the wind-protected canyons and valleys.
As others have noted there are two ways up this mountain. The firebreak that follows the ridge line is steep and there is a lot of elevation loss – it is a roller-coaster ride. I suggest the trail that snakes off to the right of the road/firebreak. There is a lot of dirtbike erosion on the trail.
This route is 1.85 miles and has about 1000 feet of elevation gain that includes over 100 feet of elevation loss. It looks like there was once a trail that avoided some of the loss that continued on the north side of the ridge line, but only about half of the trail now remains.
The top is a broad summit that has recently been scraped of brush. Fortunately there was a manzanita bush in full flower that made an excellent anchor for my Goture 24′ carbon fiber fishing pole mast. When I got there a humming bird was ravaging the nectar from the flowers and was not too thrilled to have company. She kept buzzing my head as I called CQ.
I made 31 contacts on 40m, 20m, 17m and 2m. Chris F4WBN was loud and clear 58 from France on 20m. It was warm and breezy so I hung out for two hours and had a very enjoyable SOTA outing. Many of the usual chasers were out. Thanks to you all. My Verizon coverage was in and out, from no service to full bars. I was able to self-spot. I don’t really consider that cheating.