I’m joined by David Hodge N6AN for this pleasant winter ascent
27 JANUARY 2022 W6/CT-012
Back from almost a month in New Mexico, I was raring to do a local winter ascent. I’d asked David Hodge N6AN about his ascent of Waterman Mountain earlier this year and how he might’ve evaded the Bobcat fire closure. It turns out that he had somewhat accidentally gone up a route that was okay. An area bounded by Highway 2 on the north, the main Waterman Trail #1 to the east (my route on my previous activation) and the San Gabriel River watershed to the south describes a somewhat gerrymandered safe zone that avoids the closure. (See map below)
David was cool enough to join me on this adventure even though he had already activated Waterman Mountain earlier this year. We had met for the first time in person a month or two ago for a cuppa in Flintridge after an activation I’d done, but this was our first activation together. We rendezvoused for this trip in La Cañada at 6:00 am and we where the first ones to the roadhead at about 7:00 am.
There wasn’t much snow on the lower roads up through the ski area, but by the time we reached the summit the north slopes were pretty well covered. I broke through up to my knees at one point, so the gaiters were well advised, but micro spikes or snowshoes were not necessary.
David operated on CW and made 63 contacts, including DX contacts to Spain, Switzerland, Slovenia and France on 15m. By contrast I only managed 26 contacts with no DX. Between David’s CW skills and quickly deployed and highly effective antennas he outstripped my operating. Great to see a master at work.