Mount Emma

Looking northwest at dawn. That’s the Sierra Pelona in the middle with the Tehachapi Mountains to the right and Hines Peak and Alamo Mountain along with the rest of the Sespe/Topotopo region to the left

14 MAY 2022 W6/CC-003

As I headed out in the pre-dawn darkness I intended to do Mount Emma and one or two of her unnamed neighbors. So often when I head out to activate a summit I have several ideas in mind. This is generally a good idea if one encounters a locked gate or changing weather conditions.

The last time I hiked up Mount Emma was on November 5th, 1995. This was back when the Kentucky shooting area was open. At that time is was the wild west out there – fully automatic weapons being discharged with abandon. I encountered a young teen whose gun safety skills were questionable at best. It was not a relaxing hike. Their was a wildfire shortly after that excursion that was deemed to have been started by shooters and so the area was closed to shooting.

The hike is short and steep: about a mile and 1,000′ of elevation gain. The trail is marked with a new sign.

The walk up took me about 40 minutes carrying a pretty heavy pack. I was bringing along my new drone — a DJI Mini 2. I have the beginnings of an idea for a movie that I would like to do about SOTA, so I wanted to practice flying Chester as I’ve named my little bug-like drone. Chester was the cricket in The Cricket in Times Square.

Getting good, cinemagraphic shots turns out to be surprisingly hard. I was clearly going to have to develop some skills. Here is a short video (01:43) I made on this ascent on set up time for an activation with my big antenna and all the comforts:

Flying Chester cut into my activation time on the air and I only made 8 contacts. At the end I was fortunate enough to get a summit-to-summit with that other early bird, Dan NA6MG on Mount Gleason. Dan suggested that I try activating Pacifico as the gates at Mill Summit were open, so I changed my plans to activated the two local unnamed summits and headed up Angeles Forest Highway.

The summit is named for Emma Pallett, one of the daughters from the pioneering Pallett Ranch in the area.

The sign on Mount Emma Road
Looking East at Mount Baden-Powell W6/CT-004 and the rest of the big Gabriels
Looking northwest at the Sierra Pelona, Lake Los Angeles, Palmdale and the Tehachapis

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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