Figueroa Mountain

Looking out over the San Rafael Wilderness from Figueroa Mountain

14 MARCH 2021 W6/CC-028

Cassie, KG6MZR wanted to get away for a picnic and we both love the Santa Barbara backcountry, so we left Topanga at a leisurely 10am or so. The drive up Figueroa Mountain Road out of Los Olivos is steep, narrow and absolutely gorgeous. The spring grass was finally starting to appear after the rains finally started to show up this season. We lusted after all the beautiful ranches we passed.

The hike is a nice casual stroll – a little over 2 miles up about 900 feet along a perfectly graded road. The oak and pine forest seems remarkably healthy and offers great shade along the way. This hike marked the first time Cassie has joined me on a SOTA excursion. Rather than get on the air immediately, we broke out the picnic basket and feasted on tomato soup and tuna sandwiches first. It was a delightful day with patches of snow on the ground and a sea of fog over Santa Ynez Valley.

We make the summit

This might’ve been the first SOTA activation where I made no UHF/VHF contacts. That’s a bit of a shame because it would’ve been nice to get Cassie her first activation as a Technician. She wasn’t heartbroken. 😉 As it was, I made 18 contacts on 40m, 20m and 17m. 40m was working close in and I had a summit-to-summit with Paul K6PVZ on Simi Peak. Also worked faithful chasers Jon K6LDQ and Jerry NG6N among others close by. Martha W0ERI, Gary W0MNA and Eric N0WAE were my faithful chasers to check in from Kansas, Kansas and Montana respectively. I had 19 total contacts.

Using the Packtenna on this day for quick deployment
Santa Ynez Peak (W6/CC-036) across the fog-filled Santa Ynez River Valley
Zaca Peak (W6/SC-069) poking out of the marine layer of stratus
San Rafael Mountain (W6/SC-013) and Ranger Peak (W6/SC-056) behind a happy activator

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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