Looking east to Saddle peak on the right and the San Gabriel Mountains on the left
5 JANUARY 2022 W6/CT-228
Hal N6JZT warns in the write-up of his January 30th 2021 ascent of 1,821 that the trail can be quite sticky when muddy after a rainstorm like only clay soil can be. We had a phenomenal rainstorm about a week ago that dropped over 5 inches of rain at my home in Topanga. Usually a week is enough time to allow the moisture to soak in and the mud factor to abate.
As I started out in full darkness, I could feel the trail was still a bit sticky. I had received a thoughtful Christmas gift from KG6MZR — a wool cap with a headlamp built in. It turns out this was a most fortuitous gift in that shortly after starting out I came across a large sinkhole that was not present on my first two ascents of this summit. I’m not sure I would have seen this hazard had I been traveling under ambient light, as I sometime do.
This was also an activation to try out my new Yaesu FT-5DR’s APRS capabilities. The radio performed very well and I made all my spots via APRS messaging. I like this in that it keeps all my contact with the outside world in the amateur radio spectrum.
I was treated to a glorious sunrise and very mild weather. Perhaps the biggest surprise was working S57S Aleksander in Slovenia along with many of my favorites.