A misty sunrise over Castro Peak and Ladyface
After reading AJ6KZ’s warning about this summit being closed I decided to drive up before work on a misty Thursday morning before dawn and take a look. While the peak itself is on Las Virginis Municipal Water District’s land and the route does cross private property, I’ve never encountered a gate or any “private property” or “no tresspassing” signs. As on my previous two ascents of this mountain I found the route open. There is an unmarked dirt road opposite a mailbox at 32701 Mulholland Highway that I followed up past a derelict tractor and a Hyundai Santa Fe that was in good shape two years ago but has progressively been smashed up on each successive visit.
I suspect that AJ6KZ looked at the new driveway to the east of this route that is clearly gated and marked “No Tresspassing” or the Las Virginis Municipal Water District’s Bodle Peak Motorway access even further to the east that is similarly gated and marked.
Before reaching the top there is a hillside off to the right that follows a use trail around a 5th wheel trailer and truck at the top of the dirt road and jumps over to the old Bodle Peak Motorway. This old route to the former fire lookout on the summit is very badly eroded. It looks like the people below have actually diverted runoff rain along the old motorway to flow into their stock tank near where you leave the first dirt road. The motorway was noticeably more eroded on this trip from the downpour we had last December.
I set up my big doublet between the 30′ and 20′ Jackite poles and had a lot of fun on six different bands – including my first-ever SOTA contacts on 10m and 12m. This antenna took me a lot longer to rig but I felt it was worth it