Operated in the CQ WPX CW contest last weekend with a couple of friends. On the way there, mid-week, I planned a day or so for SOTA in the northern part of SBNF and the easternmost bit of ANF (because the road is still closed due to winter!)
Headed out early Wednesday morning from southern SoCal to northern SoCal. Didn’t beat all of the morning traffic, but it wasn’t bad. Pallets of culvert pipe were stacked along the road past the Mill Creek station showing what the road repair crews were doing.
Gate was closed at the bottom (as expected), so had a pleasant stroll up Onyx Peak W6/CT-044 from the highway. There is a nice PCT segment for about a 1/3 or 1/4 of the hike and the switchback up and along the ridge makes it a pleasant stroll. The short forest on top is quite spectacular. Desert to the east and forest to the west. Mountains everywhere.
Gold Mountain W6/CT-053 over Baldwin Lake
San Gorgonio - 10 points still looks cold!
PCT swimming pool where USFS road crossed the PCT
Making plans a bit last minute, I decided to hike Lightning Gulch Pt aka 9465 W6/CT-041. This one had some steep sections making it more of a hike and less of a stroll than Onyx. Some rocky sections suggest this one is better hiked with more preparation. (Hiking with company, letting someone know, etc., in case of twisted ankle.) Quite a spectacular bit of forest.
Flowers and crumble up top
Only trace of snow encountered in a dark deep saddle
After all that, I had about enough time to get over to the USFS campground near the summit of Table Mountain W6/CT-067. In the morning I activated there before joining up with the contest crew for pre-contest antenna and tower work party.
Mandatory visit of hallowed ground
Again, SOTA took me to some peaks I would never have visited otherwise. Nice views up in the land of 8 and 10 pointers.