Sunrise over the San Gabriel Mountains an a monsoon sky. The bright spot below is Malibu Lake.
11 AUGUST 2021 W6/CC-057
After being discouraged by all the threatening private property signs last year, I decided to call the number listed on the signs and ask permission to activate the summit. After explaining the SOTA program, permission was readily granted.
I first ascended Castro Peak May 27, 1973, when I was 17 years old. It was a charming summit with a stand of pine trees and an abandoned fire lookout tower. I did this hike a dozen or so times back in the ’70’s and watched as the summit was slowly developed into the massive communications site it is today. Now there is quite a bit of trash and other detritus from the various fires that have swept over the summit. Most notably the Dayton Canyon Fire in 1982 and, more recently, the Woolsey Fire in 2018. Now the summit is rather unlovely. A lot of fences, cameras and razor wire.
Although I could’ve driven to the summit, I decided to park my car at the lower gate and hike up in the spirit of SOTA and for the exercise. From the lower gate the hike is less than a mile with about 600′ of gain.
Band conditions weren’t great – my furthest contact was Gary W0MNA in Kansas. I did manage a summit-to-summit with Hal N6JZT and Dan NA6MG over on Mount Islip.
Cell coverage by Verizon is excellent.