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
|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.|
|15:21z||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|
|15:38z||WB0USI||7MHz||SSB||Sacramento, CA 59/57|
|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|
|15:59z||K5BOO||14MHz||SSB||59/55 Keith had Sched w VE5JLO. I ask him to call for his party so I could move. He tried.|
|16:13z||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|
|16:21z||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: