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
|Route:||Trail and short cross country|
|Hike Distance:||1.6 miles round trip|
|Steepness:||Mostly moderate, steep at the very end|
|Cell Coverage:||Good (Verizon), APRS Excellent|
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.