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Chabot 2 Benchmark - Where do you set up if you do not have a key to the gate?

I would appreciate the opinion of other SOTA activators on the best location to set up when activating this summit.

The trailhead for Chabot 2 Benchmark is easy to locate, with good parking. The “trail” is a paved road with lots of dog walkers and well behaved off leash dogs. As I approached the summit I saw a coyote and he saw me and went the other direction!

The paved road takes you to within a few feet of elevation of the activation zone and since today I was early and had time I decided to see how close I could get to the actual summit.

The paved road leads to a locked gate with many locks. There is a radio station transmitter at the site and a good number of repeaters. The site looks over the San Francisco Bay and is a likely spot for a wide area/regional repeater.

On the map above you can see my track (prepared by GAIA) and the actual summit. My first experiment was to the east of the summit. I followed the fence line 8′ tall topped with barbed wire to the north end of the fenced in transmitter/repeater site where I encountered another tall fence running east and west that blocked my passage. I considered setting up about mid way along that fence which would have meant attaching my Packtenna mast to the fence and sitting adjacent to a grassy hill side. From the fence to the drop off was only about 6′ wide – the view of San Francisco Bay was beautiful but I decided to try the other side.

Returning to the locked gate I hikes a short gravel road to the west then through an opening into a eucalyptus grove. Then north through the eucalyptus grove with a bit of down then up to the north end of the fenced in transmitter/repeater site. Again a blocking fence so I returned to a small clearing in the eucalyptus grove and set up for HF operations.

I think you could operate from three different spots; along the east side fence and grassy hillside; approximately 750′. Or in the eucalyptus grove; approximately 756′. Or at the end of the gravel road approximately 726′ which is the lowest end of the activation zone.

Both times I’ve gone, I’ve set up in the eucalyptus grove, as high as I can get.