The Sierra Crest from Lookout Mountain
31 JULY 2021 W6/ND-037
It was kind of a last minute thing, this activation. I realized a had a leisurely day driving from the El Rancho Motel in Bishop to Tuolumme Meadows campground. So I looked around and, sure enough, there was an easy one just off of Highway 395 around Deadman Summit. The only hitch was that other activators warned of volcanic glass — obsidian — on the dirt road up to the summit. My poor, battered Audi had suffered a great deal on the rough road to Lake Edison on the first segment of the John Muir Trail, but I decided to go for it. With only one of those goofy, undersized spare tires in the trunk, I slowly made my way up the dirt road.
As advertised there was obsidian everywhere and some pretty deep ruts and rocks. I drove pretty slowly and tried to stay in the tracks where others had gone before and the glass was well crushed. The approach road takes off of 395 opposite the Mammoth Scenic Route road. The drive is about 3 miles and goes up 800 feet.
I walked a few hundred feet to an old concrete foundation presumably from the former lookout that gives this mountain its name. This made a nice place to set up the station. Cumulus clouds were starting to build over the Sierra Crest in typical summer monsoon fashion.
I made 22 contacts including 2 summit-to-summit contacts with KF6HP and K7ZZQ on Yellowstone Mesa in Arizona. Thanks guys! Little did I realize at the time but Lookout Mountain is considered a desert summit and, as such, awarded me summer desert bonus points. Easiest bonus points yet.
Cell coverage by Verizon is excellent.
I also discovered later that two other activations of this summit occurred later on the same day. Apparently all three of us were unaware of the others!