Sunrise over the San Gabriel Mountains from Peak 4,020
2 MARCH 2021 W6/CT263
I left our house in Topanga Canyon shortly after 4 am. It was 51ºF in our driveway and just a few short miles later at Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Cheney Drive the Audi’s thermometer read 33ºF. Another steep canyon temperature inversion this morning.
The hike starts at the Verdugo Oaks Boy Scout Camp off old Highway 5 near Templin Highway. The trail is 1.81 miles long and has a stout 1,155′ of gain. It looks like the trail has not been maintained in a while as is a little bit brushy, but not too bad. It is steep in places and has a number of wooden stairs. There are numerous benches and trashcans along the trail.
My way was lit by a waning gibbous moon and the light cirrus cloud cover gave way to a colorful sunrise as I made the ridge. The activation zone is huge and I found a nice wind-sheltered nook to set up my station. The summit has good cell phone coverage from Verizon. Perhaps the best part is that I didn’t see another person on the entire hike!
I managed only 11 contacts under poor band conditions. I did make contact twice with Chris F4WBN in France and he was loud and clear at 57 and 59. Gary W0MNA and Martha W0ERI were also very clear from Kansas. I only made one 2m contact, Jon K6LDQ, of course. This might be a tough activation with only a UHF/VHF HT.
I tried to contact Scott WA9STI on Circle Mountain over near Wrightwood o 2m, but we could only communicate via the PAPA repeater system. Likewise with my friend Keith K9TPR in Topanga Canyon. VHF is tough on this one.