Big Bear Lake from the summit. That’s Sugerloaf dominating the left side. You can see Mt. San Antonio an the big San Gabriels in the distance. Butler, Delamar and Bertha are all on the far side of the lake.
28 MARCH 2021 W6/CT-041
As brutal as the weather was last weekend on Circle Mountain, it was as fair for this pleasant hike. This was the last weekend to claim the winter bonus, plus I wanted to try out the new gaiters that Cassie KG6MZR gave me for my birthday while there was still some snow on the ground in this dry year.
The hike follows a disused jeep track along the ridge away from Onyx Summit. It would be a fairly easy hike most of the year, but with large patches of snow drifts on the north side of things and in the shade it was a bit of work. I gave my new gaiters a workout.
The hike is about 3 miles to the summit with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. I lost the old jeep trail a few times on the way up due to the snow and the scrub oak and other brush caused me to meander a bit. The hike goes through an amazing forest of ancient juniper trees. These incredible beings live for over 500 years. Judging from the size of some of the trunks I passed, I’m guessing some were close to 1,000 years old.
I pretty much stayed on route on the descent:
A brief note on the Gaia tracks: I don’t think they do a good job on the Z axis. Elevation gain/loss should be taken with a grain of salt.
Radio conditions were pretty tough with the CQ WPX SSB Contest raging. I did manage to make a few HF contacts on the SSB portions of 40m and 20m. 17m wasn’t in great shape, but I did get one contact there. My farthest contact was North Carolina.
There is a register on the summit and I was the first one to sign in this year. That could well be because it had been covered in snow during the winter months. The two registers went back to December 25th 2009. I was thinking about doing Constance Peak on the way out Highway 38, but after breaking through the softer afternoon snow on the way down, I was pretty tired for such a short hike.