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This activation would never have happened if it were not for an awesome ham, Mark, N6IB. As I was hunting for a summit in the central California area I chatted with him on DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) several times. He was, at that time, a radio technician for the county supporting their many mountain top sites. Each site I ask about seemed to need an extreme 4×4 vehicle, helicopter, or keys a locked gate. He suggested Blue Ridge as there is a paved road all the way there and no gates at all. I looked at the SOTA page and saw the “Not Yet Activated” which concerned me. There must have been a reason no one from SOTA had not done this one yet. I never found that reason. I had a scenic trip with a wonderful activation.

From highway 190 turn on Balch Rd (36.138990, -118.807677) in Springville. You will periodically see signs for “276” during the drive. The drive took me about an hour for the 19 miles. I go slower on the single lane and rougher parts of the road. You make a left turn on Mountain Road 276 at (36.288634, -118.815725). When you enter Sequoia National Forest (there is a large sign) the road changes to a single track with blind turns so watch for other traffic. Continue up that to Blue Ridge summit 36.28689956665, -118.83959960938 (N 36° 17′ 12.840? W 118° 50′ 22.524).

I found a Benchmark PID GT1847 Altitude: 5807 N 36° 17.212 W 118° 50.383 (NAD 83) on the rock in front of the propane tank which validated that I was in the right place. This also matched my GPS and imagery information.

The mountain is a bit noisy in the RF world for 146.52 FM so I never made any contacts there. I simply could not hear anyone. You may be able to find a spot that is quieter that is still in the activation zone. There were no noise problems on the other bands. If I did not have to drive home that night I could have worked more stations. The chasers were awesome with the propagation being a bit better than usual.

There was no cell service for T-Mobile. I could not do voice, text, or data.

APRS on 144.39 had intermittent service. My theory is that the RF noise from public service radios and paging systems was overloading my Kenwood TH-D72 front end.

Because there was no cell service and no APRS all SPOT’s were done via my DeLorme Inreach SE from the Iridium satellite system.

I had a very special contact with N6IB while he was showing the new radio tech around other sites. He meet me on 446.000 FM and made a contact from the lookout on Jordan Mountain (36.18700, -118.57920). He was 120 degrees and 16 miles away from me.

Date: 21/Oct/2015 Summit: W6/SS-429 Blue Ridge Call: KB6CIO Points: 6

Time Call Band Mode Notes
15:39z NG6R 7MHz SSB 7.185 59/55 Palos Verdes CA
15:48z K6HPX 7MHz SSB 57/53
15:49z W7CNL 7MHz SSB 33/44
15:51z W7USA 7MHz SSB 44/44 AZ
15:54z KD7ZLF 7MHz SSB 22/22
15:55z W7RV 7MHz SSB 57/55 SCOTTSDALE AZ
15:59z NA6MG 7MHz SSB DAN 33/45
16:03z K6WPV 7MHz SSB 55/41 Bob Santa Maria
16:08z AA7DK 7MHz SSB 44/44 Flagstaff AZ
16:15z N6IB 433MHz FM 446.000 59/59 Mark; Jordan Mnt Look Out; 120 degrees; 9114 ft; 16 miles
16:24z W0MNA 14MHz SSB 14.285 44/55 KS Gary
16:27z W0ERI 14MHz SSB 44/55 KS Martha
16:28z KA5PVB 14MHz SSB 55/44 TX
16:33z KX0R 14MHz SSB 55/57 CO Teri SOTA
16:35z AE5B 14MHz SSB 22/22 Good Operator
16:36z K7HLN 14MHz SSB 33/44 MT Bob
16:37z N1GB 14MHz SSB 44/33
16:41z W4DOW 14MHz SSB 22/33 Virginia
16:42z N8BB 14MHz SSB 22/33
16:43z N4EX 14MHz SSB 22/
16:56z N4EX 21MHz SSB 21.385 22/45 Great Operator
17:03z KD0MQQ 21MHz SSB 22/55
17:04z KC5CW 21MHz SSB 22/55
17:05z K4MF 21MHz SSB 22/44
17:06z K5KJ 21MHz SSB 33/33 TX
17:25z KA9EOK 24MHz SSB 24.950 55/59 Bob Wisconson FT450 40M Dipole with Antenna Tuner
17:39z NE4TN 28MHz SSB 28.385 55/55 TN
17:40z W4MPS 28MHz SSB 22/42 QSB NC
17:41z KM4HOH 28MHz SSB 22/56
17:44z KD9ANY 28MHz SSB 44/59 Indiana Danny FT857 CB Ground plane w radials
17:47z ND6M 28MHz SSB 55/57 W TN Jim Near Battle Fields Shilow
17:50z WA8PGR 28MHz SSB 57/57 Andy 756Pro SW Michigan
17:55z W8NRH 28MHz SSB 33/58 Columbus OH 100w FT1200 Windom Doc
17:58z KK4SSV 28MHz SSB 22/57
DSCN1430

Road narrows to single lane when you pass this sign

Really?

Really?

Route

Route

Benchmark

Benchmark

Benchmark here

Benchmark here

DSCN1400

A view from the summit

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The county site

DSCN1406

At the summit. Can you tell me what this is?

Blue Ridge - Jordan Peak

A very special contact for me with N6IB

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