Sandstone Peak x3

Two days before Christmas I return for a glorious third activation of the misnamed Sandstone Peak. Santa Catalina Island in this view looking from Chester the Drone.

23 DECEMBER 2022 W6/CC-056

Elevation:3,111′
Route: Trail and short cross country
Hike Distance: 1.6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1000′
Navigation: Easy
Steepness: Mostly moderate, steep at the very end
Vehicle: Passenger car
Road: Paved
Cell Coverage: Good (Verizon), APRS Excellent
Hike basics

This is a classic hike that I give four stars to with one very important caveat: it is an incredibly popular hike. I usually choose a weekday and I like to start in the dark. This will usually give me several hours alone on this gorgeous summit. Mid-day on a Saturday can see a huge crowd – Scott WA9STI reported his one and only trip to this mountain yielded an estimated 60 people. He says he wont do it again. Be forewarned.

For my third activation of this classic summit — the highest mountain in the Santa Monica Range — I decided to do what I consider to be the classic route. This is the route that I first did this mountain from back in 1974 – 48 years ago. Back then it was the property of the Boy Scouts of America. It was closed to other hikers so we had to hide the car along Yerba Buena Road and approach the peak from what is now the upper parking lot in Triunfo Pass proper. This route is a little longer than the lower parking lot, but a little less elevation gain. This time I found a cross country short cut that saved a little distance and avoided the only elevation loss.

Another hiking note: toward the end of the hike there is a direct route that goes up the north side of the peak. With the heavy traffic this route has become very eroded and loose. It is not recommended. I suggest going a little further and lose a little elevation and take the prescribed, official trail to the top.

This was an especially fun activation with three summit-to-summit contacts. The extremely rare and juicy San Clemente Island was activated by W4PBL. Chris N1CLC heard my s2s and snagged me from W6/SC-454 near San Marcos both on 10m. I also just caught Natalie NW6S on 2 meters from Cahuenga Peak before heading down. Many other regular chasers checked in, including Christian from France also on 10 meters.

Good view of the station from Chester the Drone showing the rock support for the east end of my doublet.
Looking west from Chester over Boney, Exchange and Tri Peaks at Anacapa and Santa Cruz Island
Using a natural runner to support the east end of the doublet — an old rock climbing trick to conserve the protection hardware.
Looking east

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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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