Activation Date: September 27, 2015
ATT Data Coverage: Spotty
ATT Voice coverage: Not sure but presumed to be spotty
APRS Coverage: Not sure
Hike stats: 1.6 miles roundtrip and 1,000′ ascent up to 8,400′, walk on trail and bushwhack last 1/2mile to tree covered summit
I’m still fine tuning my 4WD mapping skills. Despite checking maps from Garmin, Google, the Forest Service and other sources I still seem to end up with a picture that doesn’t quite match reality and has me re-planning on the fly.
Setting out from the north side of Big Bear Lake into the San Berdardino mountains had me rambling across my typical ever narrowing dirt roads; a right turn here, another, an occasional cross roads, lefts and finally a turn that guides me forward to an abrupt halt. The Forest Service has unexpectedly installed a fence across the trail with the express intent of stopping me. The map indicates you can drive on but clearly it would require a fully tracked vehicle such as a Bradley or Abrams tank neither of which I have. Maybe Delamar Mountain Road would have been a better choice but at planning time it didn’t seem that way. Well no problem. Simply park the Jeep, jump out and start hiking up the Bradley obstacle course that was my 4WD trail.
The first mile is pretty easy and you end up following the old 4WD trail that is now verbotten until a point that seems the most appropriate to bushwhack. It almost seems that others have blazed a bit of a trail and you dutifully follow it seeking comfort from the fact you are heading up and per the Garmin toward the peak.
The peak is pretty uneventful and flanked on all sides by trees which mask any easy view of Big Bear Lake or any easy landmark to get a bearing or a sense of place.
The LNR 40/20 is up in no time and I am even more of a convert to this style of antenna and while I still have a deep appreciation for the Buddipole its place is probbaly elsewhere.
40m and 20m are slow and I bag my 4 plus QSOs reasonably easily. In keeping with my desire to help as many chasers as possibly I try 2m but compared to Keller its a bust. I hear a station calling me but clearly they can’t hear me. I try a slightly higher point, a more forward point to Big Bear but my antenna and 5W just doesn’t cut it.
I retreat down the hill and back to my Jeep followed by the welcome of a restaurant and hotel bed. More peaks tomorrow await!!