Mount Williamson

Looking from the summit of Mount Williamson to the northeast to the high point of Pleasant View Ridge – the actual SOTA summit. That is Pallet Mountain just off the left shoulder of the high point.

2 APRIL 2022 W6/CT-247

The first thing to know about activating Mount Williamson is that you are not activating Mount Williamson. You are activating the high point of Pleasant View Ridge: USGS 8,248′ which is about a half mile northwest of the actual Mount Williamson. While SOTA Goat will tell you that Mount Williamson is in the activation zone, it probably isn’t because the saddle between this point and USGS 8,244′ is just below the 25 meter requirement.

This area just opened after the Bobcat Fire area closures a day before and the whole area is still showing the devastating effects of that fire and the 2020-2021 drought year. Many trees are fully dead and I saw some trees that had green growth the had snapped off and blown over because of their weakened trunks.

I last climbed this mountain along with the rest of Pleasant View Ridge and Pallet Mountain on May 22, 1988. 34 years ago the entire ridge was beautifully forested with large pine trees.

As it was just getting light I looked up at the burned out, but snow-free southern exposures of Mount Williamson and I decided to leave the micro-spikes at the truck. Big mistake! As luck would have it, the trail winds around to the north west side of the ridge and large, steep and icy sections of snow needed to be traversed. Fortunately somebody had come down late in the day before and large deep footprints were in the icy traverses. Where there were no steps I could kick footholds with 5 or 6 kicks in the icy snow. That and having my trekking poles tipped me over the edge in my decision to continue. A fall probably wouldn’t have been fatal, but it would have been serious nonetheless.

One of the easier traverses on the way down

The hike is a little over 2 miles with a stout 1,750 feet of elevation gain. I had very spotty cell coverage from Verizon but excellent APRS coverage.

I was the first person to sign in the register this year. The last entry was December 1, 2021. The register went back to 6/2/1988.

Even with band conditions very off because of the recent solar flair I still managed 39 contacts with 6 unique summit-to-summit contacts. These summits were in California, Idaho and Oregon. I heard my buddy Keith K9TPR back home in Topanga Canyon and many of the faithful chasers. Thank you everybody!

The Station
Some trees remain in this view down the Bear Creek fork of San Gabriel Canyon. That’s Monrovia and Twin Peaks.
Looking out to the Antelope Valley
The dramatic southern scarp looking down Bear Creek. It was cloudy all day down in the basin and sunny on the roof of the San Gabriel Mountains
Warning at the trailhead for the newly reopened area after the Bobcat Fire.

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.

2 thoughts on “Mount Williamson

  1. Eric, nice write-up on your Saturday activation. I worked about 17 contacts on San Gabriel Peak – thank you for the S2S. But between the interference from Mt. Wilson making my FT-2D go deaf and the number of hikers showing up I packed up and headed home. I still had the drive back to OC to look forward to. Thank you again, I’m adding Mt. Williamson to my list of summits to do for 2022. 73, K6KWI

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the flowers Neil — and thanks for the S2S contact. When I last did San Gabriel Peak I left Eaton Saddle in the dark and got to the summit just as the sun rose. Still… by the time I was done, there was a crowd. Busy summit.
      73 Eric


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