Our First Summit Activation

My wife Julie (KN6AOC) and I did our first summits on the air activation over the weekend at Strawberry Peak W6/CT-086 in the Twin Peaks area between Lake Gregory and Lake Arrowhead.   I logged 23 contacts and Julie got 17.  I also made my first summit to summit contact with K1BAA who was working the Table Mountain W6/CT-067 summit near Wrightwood some 23 miles away.  And for a bonus, I sent a WinLink message to Cerritos American Red Cross station KK6SMD-10, about 50 miles away.  My longest contact of the day was 100 miles away with station KI6YLQ in Ridgecrest.  …

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Mt Pinos W6-CC-002 SOTA

Last weekend, Julie (KN6AOC) and I hiked up to the Mt Pinos summit, W6/CC-002 at sunset and made some contacts on VHF FM 146.520.   Although our phones were indicating 5G coverage on Verizon there, we had no data service and couldn’t spot ourselves.  And also unfortunately, none of our contacts had any previous experience with SOTA’s and didn’t know how to spot us.  But despite those limitations, we made 5 contacts before the sun passed below the horizon and before our walk down under the stars.  

For the voice contacts, I brought my Yaesu FT-60 handheld, an Ed Fong DBJ-2

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W6/SC-329 East Peak Benchmark Activation / Lessons Learned

My wife Julie (KN6AOC) and I planned to do an overnight camping trip and activate the easiest of four summits on Catalina Island, W6/SC-329 – East Peak Benchmark. I’ve been to the island many times, most often brining my mountain bike but have never hiked it. I knew from my previous biking experiences that the trails on Catalina Island can be quite steep at times. The hike was no different.

We took the 6AM boat out of Long Beach.  was that we should have brought two bags each: one for valuables and one for the camping stuff. As soon …

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W6/CT-230 San Juan Hill

A couple years ago, my wife and I walked up to San Juan Hill (W6/CT-230) to activate this summit.  It was a place I’ve been to many times on my mountain bike.  The walk up took about an hour and a half, and of course and hour and half down.  I remember thinking you know, this is nice and all, but I wonder what it would be like to ride up here and do this?  

Fast forward to Saturday, February 4th, 2023 and here I am doing my first ever mountain bike ride for a summits on the …

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W6/SC-371 Niguel Hill

Niguel Hill is a short and relatively flat walk from Seaview Park on Talvera Drive in Laguna Niguel Park.  I have been to this area several times for other activations and emergency communications drills.   As a summit spot you have good line of sight communications to much of South Orange County making this an ideal location for beginner summits on the air activators.  You’ll also find some line of sight connectivity to parts of Orange, Irvine and Tustin.  There are several convenient picnic tables to choose from.  Most of them are within the “activation zone”, with all being at …

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W6/SC-405 Sugarloaf Peak

In the mountain bike world, when reviewing trail maps and usage, I am always wary of areas that haven’t had much activity.  In the SOTA world, Sugarloaf Peak is one of those places.   Although it was not far away from civilization and close to a very popular trail, it had only been activated 5 times before.    Why?  Well, now that I’ve activated the summit, I can tell you why.  

If one was to hike up to this summit, it would be an all day hike for sure.  At roughly 11 miles round trip, over 2,000 feet of elevation gain …

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