Escapula Peak

just before dawn on the way up

17 OCTOBER 2021 W6/SC-005

I can see why Scott WA9STI has activated this mountain so many times: it is a very pleasant hike through the woods. The gate was open on forest road 9N22 but I decided to go easy on my poor old Audi this time so I parked just off Cuddy Valley Road and walked the additional mile and a half or so. This is still a pretty easy hike at 2.75 miles with 1,350′ of gain.

A couple of mild cautions though. Deer hunting season runs October 12th through November 10th, so this wasn’t probably the best time to do this hike, although the weather was perfect and I only heard very distant gunshot reports. Secondly, this is a very forested hike that follows a tenuous old jeep track. With visual landmarks obscured and a bit of dead-fall blocking this track, it isn’t too hard to get off-route as I did on the way down. My detour added a mile or so and I had to climb back up 500′. So route-finding is a bit of an issue and the potential to end up in the wrong watershed exists.

It was 31ºF when I left the car at first light. Cuddy Valley can be notoriously cold in the fall and winter. This was actually perfect as I was pleasantly cool on my hike up the mountain.

There is a register and it went back to March 12, 2016. Besides Scott’s WA9STI many entries I saw Dan NA6MG’s activation entry.

The activation went swimmingly and was a great deal of fun. I had my first chaser from Japan! Many of the faithful chasers stopped by and I even made contact with Keith K9TPR back home in Topanga Canyon.

After I got home I was contacted by Billy W6QD in Placerville with a SWL report on 2m from 283 miles away!

Cell coverage from Verizon is excellent.

The Station
Close-uo of the station. Scott WA9STI’s SOTA card was in the register
Having fun!
On the hike down. That’s the Tehachapi Mountain in the background

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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