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
|Route:||Old mining road and cross country|
|Hike Distance:||1 miles round trip|
|Road:||Good paved road|
|Cell Coverage:||Poor/None (Verizon), APRS Excellent|
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 one star. It would probably garner two stars on a clear day with a solid view of the Sierra crest.
I went on to do W6/WH-008 next