Summit 10,660′

Looking north toward White Mountain Peak on an unsettled weather day as Tropical Storm Kay slowly enters the region. That’s Clem Nelson Peak on the right just in the clouds a bit.

10 SEPTEMBER 2022 W6/WH-009

Elevation:10,660′
Route: Old mining road and cross country
Hike Distance: 1 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 550′
Navigation: Easy
Steepness: Moderate
Vehicle: Passenger car
Road: Good paved road
Cell Coverage: Poor/None (Verizon), APRS Excellent
Hike basics

This crazy activation ended up being one of my most discombobulated summit to date. I woke up very early in Topanga Canyon after two very unusual days of rain in September thanks to Tropical Storm Kay off the coast. I was driving up to meet my old climbing buddies Bill Smith and Steve Tennant to do the section of the John Muir Trail between Tuolumme Meadows and Mammoth starting on the 12th, two days hence.

It rained off and on on my way up 14 and 395 but the Owens Valley seemed to be in a rain shadow so I filled up with gas in Big Pine and headed up 168 to Westgard Pass. I was considering several peaks in the area but started with summit 10,660′ W6/WH-009. At first I actually got that summit confused with WH-008 but parked a quarter mile or so down from the entrance to the Bristlecone Pines.

The hike is a short, moderately steep jaunt up a forested hillside. The route starts on an old mining road and goes past some ruins (see photo below). Once on the summit I quickly set up the station only to have the skies over the Owens Valley to the west get darker and darker. When the thunder got louder and closer, I quickly tore the station down and packed up. By the time I was ready to retreat down the mountain, the weather lightened up, so I got everything out and set it all up a second time!

I made a quick 11 contacts including three summit-to-summits and packed it all up again. there wasn’t much of a view due to the storminess, but It was still an interesting, if not somewhat crazy activation.

I gave this summit two stars. It would probably garner three stars on a clear day with a solid view of the Sierra crest.

I went on to do W6/WH-008 next

The hastily set up station with no table or chair.
The PackTenna deployed
Old miner’s cabin.

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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