Activation of W6/CC-061 Mount Mars.

On the map it did not look that bad!

I wanted to start early but I woke up late and did not get on the road till about 10. The ride up is always spectacular. You pass Morro Rock, Cambria, Cayucos, San Simeon, Hearst Castle, Ragged Point, Piedras Blancas Light Station and the ever present surf pounding on the shore and rocks.

I arrived at the Salmon Creek Trailhead at about 11. Hiking out of the canyon was not to bad. There is a turn off the main trail that is not marked in any way. The only reason I knew about it is because of Gaia and someone else posting a track. This part of the trail is abandoned and for good reason. It is fairly washed out and very overgrown in some places but is still passable. When you come out of this part you are at the base of Mount Mars.

The trek from here shows on the GPS as about .8 mile. It is at about a 10 to 15 degrees angle in places. I was not well prepared for this and probably should have turned back. Of course, I was determined so I trekked on. The summit was shrouded in fog so I really could not see how tall it was. It took me about an hour and a half to get to the top. The hike up is on a barren hillside with no brush or trees. The views are spectacular, you are looking straight down at the ocean and up and down the coast for miles. For me there was some fog. At the top you are challenged with a bushwhack on an extremely overgrown trail that has been abandoned. The only way to tell it is a trail is you can see where the brush has been cut at one time. On my way to the summit I did not find this very well. There is not much of a view from the summit. It is very wide and the brush opens up into an area you can set up your equipment.

Propagation was not good. I started calling CQ om 20 meters CW and was greeted with only a few chasers. I made 8 Q’s. I could hear some others calling me but not well enough to work. I switched to SSB and made no Q’s. There is limited cell service at the top but I could not connect so I could only spot my self via InReach. I then called CQ on 40m CW but was outside the 3 hour window so the RBN did not pick me up. Looking at SOTA Watch the next day I see I was only shown on 20m CW once so the spots I sent out via InReach did not make it. I need to ask why.

After this I packed up and headed down. I found the overgrown cut trail easier on the way out. I took my time on the way down, I could have easily twisted an ankle. I looked at the view many times. As I got back to the main Salmon Creek Trail. My legs felt like spaghetti. I pressed on and made it back to the jeep and headed home.

On the way home I passed by a heard of about 100 Tule Elk in a pasture with some cows and I could see Elephant Seals on the beach.

It was a good day!!


W6TK 20m CW

N6WS 20m CW


WU7H 20m CW

K0LAF 20m CW

W2RAN 20m CW

VA2EO 20m CW

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Nice writeup and pic’s. Been years since I last played down on the coast and/or ventured to cencal…Always find ticks too! Seem to be overly abundant on the coast…

73, Todd KH2TJ

The last 4 summits I have done, I have had many ticks on me. Luckly I have not been bit so far.


Thanks for the report! Looks like a nice summit and WX. Glad I was able to make contact with you. See ya on the next one…


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