Looking south across the basin to Santiago Peak and the Santa Ana Mountains
1 APRIL 2023 W6/CT-151
|Route:||Use trail and fire road|
|Hike Distance:||4.2 miles round trip|
|Cell Coverage:||Poor (Verizon)|
This April Fools Day dawned clear and mild — perfect for a SOTA adventure. I got to the trailhead just off Mountain Avenue before sunrise and started up the very steep, very rutted old fire road/trail. Others have mentioned the steepness of this hike and given that it goes straight up the mountain front in the highest section of the San Gabriel Mountains, this did not surprise me. The hike is very much like a longer version of a hike I’ve done hundreds of times growing up in Pacific Palisades — High Peak.
At it’s steepest the hike borders on 3rd class in that I used my hands to climb. There is no serious exposure. I found this bush tunnel through the profusely blooming snowbrush (ceanothus) to be enchanting. I didn’t see anyone up or back. I would advise caution on a hot day as this is a south facing slope and I’m sure it bakes in the summer. Bring lots of water as it goes up mercilessly.
The last time I did this summit my brother and I approached it from the fire roads that come in from the north via Stoddard Flat. This is a very long hike but a much more gentle incline. That was over 13 years ago so I can’t speak to the condition of that road today.
Interesting note for Parks on the Air: Frankish Peak straddles the boundry between the Angeles National Forest and the San Bernardino National Forest. Not sure if you can claim both parks with one activation.
Even though the HF band conditions were not great on 20m – 10m, I still had a lot of fun working many loyal chasers. I had three summit-to-summit contacts in California, Arizona and New Mexico.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was randomly finding Carol K5TFL on Capilla Peak in New Mexico on 20m. After having okay cell service early it went out altogether just before noon, so I was unable to check SOTAWatch 3 for spots. I was just tuning up and down 20m when I found Carol calling CQ SOTA. My YL Cassie KG6MZR and I bumped into Carol on Ortiz Mountain in New Mexico earlier this year and enjoyed talking with this fascinating lady. How cool was it to get a completely rando s2s?!
Here’s a cool, short video shot with Chester the Drone. He gets photo-bombed by some swifts that thought he might be an edible cricket:
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