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Figueroa Mountain at 1380m (4528ft) is a drive up summit. Many months ago Janet, KK6LBC, and I were going to be in the area. I looked at the summits determining most were in the “Not yet activated” state. I interpreted that to mean they were probably very difficult to access so we discounted any activation’s. We were within a few miles of this one and I had no idea it was so easy to access. A few weeks later Scott, WA9STI, mentioned this summit as a drive up as he had been there years before his SOTA days. A bit of internet searching provided the easy path that is 13 miles of paved road starting from the intersection of Highway 154 and Figueroa Road. At that point there is a handy Geocache in the gate at the turn off for the 2 mile dirt road. The cache is named “Is the Gate Wet” with an ID of GC3J9WF at 34.73652 -119.9908 or N 34° 44.191 W 119° 59.448. About 1.8 miles up the dirt road there is a sign to the Fire Lookout (take the fork to the right) and you will arrive at the summit (34.743301391602, -119.98509979248 or N 34° 44.598 W 119° 59.106). I parked near the picnic table and went in search of the Benchmark. After walking around the Fire Lookout, which is closed, I found it. I walked back down to the picnic table to set up my station to activate W6/CC-028.

I learned a great lesson from K6EL during his contact with me. In the morning I was being covered by broadcast stations on 40 meters. He recommended I move below 7.200 MHz which immediately eliminated that interference. There were many noteworthy chaser conversations as I operated at a leisurely pace. I had some tough contacts with my meager signal yet the terrific operators worked hard to make it happen. On 18.120 there was a tone on top of my signal so I worked with NY5A to move up to 18.122. Another note worthy call was with KC7JNJ who never made it into my log book. We were in touch by email and cell phone moving all over the bands. Conditions for inland Washington were horrible so we could never complete a contact. He could not hear me over his local noise even though I heard him 33 on 20 and 40 meters. Sadly I was in touch with other potential chasers where the conditions and propagation was not supportive.

As to cell service I was on T-Mobile which had intermittent phone, text, and data service. I had an adventure pass on the dash of my car just in case anyone visited.

On the way up and back there were several Geocaches I used as way points. Others had great views of the area. One was at the famous Michael Jackson Neverland entrance. After I was done I drove back down Figueroa Road. It crosses over Highway 154 entering Los Olivos. There are many excellent wine tasting rooms there, however, I opted for a light lunch at the excellent market / deli in town.

Date: 13/Aug/2014 Summit: W6/CC-028 Figueroa Mtn Call Used: KB6CIO

Time Call Band Mode Notes
14:59z KI6BKN 144MHz FM 146.52 59/59 Joe mobile on 246 to Lompoc. A nice chat.
15:05z K6LHU 7MHz SSB 7.283 55 San Francisco. Waiting for sched with others.
15:07z KD0FLI 7MHz SSB 7.283 55 Colorado. Bob. Waiting for sched with others.
15:20z N7AMA 7MHz SSB 7.273 55/57
15:21z K6EL 7MHz SSB 7.273 55/44 Advised me to move under 7.200 to avoid Broadcast stations.
15:22z W7RV 7MHz SSB 7.273 AZ 59+10/54 QSB
15:32z K6KBE 7MHz SSB 7.195 Mel was mobile east of Stockton 55/56
15:35z WA6RIC 7MHz SSB 7.195 Rick Ridgecrest 53/53
15:36z NS7P 7MHz SSB 7.195 Phil 55/44 Oregon
15:37z K1JD 7MHz SSB 57/22 NM
15:38z WB0USI 7MHz SSB Sacramento, CA 59/57
15:39z WB7ENX 7MHz SSB 22/33
15:40z KB7WSY 7MHz SSB OR 59/45
15:45z AA7DK 14MHz SSB 14.285 59/55
15:53z N4MJ 14MHz SSB 33/44
15:54z W0MNA 14MHz SSB 59/59 Gary KS. Short Chat, nice to be via HF rather than email
15:55z W0ERI 14MHz SSB 59/59 Martha KS
15:56z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB TX 44/444
15:57z W7QQ 14MHz SSB NM 59/44
15:58z WB7ENX 14MHz SSB AZ 59/59
15:59z K5BOO 14MHz SSB 59/55 Keith had Sched w VE5JLO. I ask him to call for his party so I could move. He tried.
16:05z NE4TN 14MHz SSB TN 59/55
16:06z WA2USA 14MHz SSB INDIANA 59+20/55
16:07z KK1W 14MHz SSB 57/53 MASS
16:08z KA3RCS 14MHz SSB 33/33
16:13z KI4SVM 14MHz SSB S2S (got txt from K6CMG w notice) 14.347 22/55 Pat on Hump Mnt W4C/EM-003
16:16z W7CNL 14MHz SSB ID QSB 33/44 14.285
16:17z K2JB 14MHz SSB NC 55/33
16:18z KF7JQV 14MHz SSB WA 44/33
16:21z K5RWP 14MHz SSB DALLAS TX 55/22
16:57z WX4ET 18MHz SSB 18.120 22/22 GOOD OP, WE BOTH WORKED HARD FOR THIS ONE
16:58z N4EX 18MHz SSB 18.120 49/44 NC
17:04z W0CMW 18MHz SSB 18.120 MIKE MO 59/57
17:05z NY5A 18MHz SSB 18.122 (moved off .120 due to dual tones) DAVE TX 59+20 Great OP, Nice chat. Then I had to go to sched w K6CMG
17:10z K6CMG 7MHz SSB 7.287 33/44 CHRIS LONG BEACH, CA

As is typical for me there are WAY to many pictures below:

 

A view on the way up

A view on the way up

Turn left up dirt road here.

Turn left up dirt road here.

Turn up dirt road here.

Turn up dirt road here.

Turn right to Lookout & Summit here

Turn right to Lookout & Summit here

View at the summit

View at the summit

View at the summit

View at the summit

View at the summit

View at the summit

Fire Lookout

Fire Lookout

View at the summit

View at the summit

DSCN0420a

View at the summit

View at the summit

View at the summit

View at the summit

Geocache here that is Snow tolerant up the tree

Geocache here that is Snow tolerant up the tree

Geocache here that is Snow tolerant up the tree

Geocache here that is Snow tolerant up the tree

Log Book

Log Book

DSCN0425

Geocache was hung by wire in post.

Geocache was hung by wire in post.

Geocache well hidden at Neverland's Michael Jackson home.

Geocache well hidden at Neverland’s Michael Jackson home.

Michael Jackson's Neverland Entrance on Figueroa Road

Michael Jackson’s Neverland Entrance on Figueroa Road

Stopped in Los Olivos for refreshments at the end of Figueroa Road on the way home.

Stopped in Los Olivos for refreshments at the end of Figueroa Road on the way home.

 

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