A side note: Hwy 2, the Angeles Crest Highway, has been closed for some time between Vincent Gap and Islip Saddle due to a rock slide. I had previously climbed Baden-Powell and Throop Peak from Dawson Saddle, a point which is no longer reachable by automobile. So this time I made the climb up Baden-Powell from Vincent Gap, an 8-mile round trip hike with about 2800' of elevation gain and loss. The peak reaches an elevation of about 9,400' above mean sea level. Wikipedia article is here.
Additionally, both hikes require either a National Forest Adventure Pass or an Interagency Pass to park a vehicle. APRS coverage and AT&T 3G data coverage were plentiful at both summits.
|Sign at Vincent Gap.|
The weather couldn't have been more beautiful: Mid-50s, very light winds, and sunny. The Vincent Gap hike is also a lovely approach, with a 41 switchbacks and a very steady 700' per mile gradient. The trail is actually the PCT for most of the hike, and it is very well-marked.
There were sections of the hike which contained small amounts of snow and a bit of ice, but as long as you're careful, there's no reason to slip.
|The snow started to appear at about switchback #13 of 41. I counted the switchbacks as I climbed. One of the things I really like about the Angeles National Forest is the lack of underbrush. I think this is due to the acidity of the soil.|
|View looking west at switchback #25. It's steep.|
|After switchback #38 you reach a section that's pretty flat. The destination is the hill straight ahead. The PCT splits off just ahead and continues down to the right.|
Mt. Baden-Powell is, of course, named for Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, OM GCMG GCVO KCB. Or you can just call him Lord Baden-Powell. He was a Lieutenant General in the British Army, a writer, and founder of the Scout Movement.
At the summit you will find an obelisk dedicated to Baden-Powell and a USGS survey marker.
|View looking north. I would have hated to be the mule that carried all that concrete up the mountain.|
|One of the plaques on the obelisk.|
|Another another plaque.|
|Another another another plaque.|
|Not another plaque. This is the survey marker. My XYL loves to find these.|
|My setup just before deploying my antenna. My homemade UNUN is in the black box to the immediate left of the FT-817ND. PB sandwich at the ready, too.|
|My SOTA logbook from the Baden-Powell activation.|
After reaching Vincent Gap I headed back toward the town of Wrightwood, outside which is the Table Mountain camping and ski area. Table Mountain (W6/CT-067) is essentially a drive-up peak, but government installation precludes making the final approach by any means except by foot.
|The sign which keeps SOTA activators honest.|
|The road to the summit.|
|My operating position at Table Mountain.|
The sun was setting and there was a definite chill in the air. I put on a fleece cap and started to operate.
I managed to get the antenna to work on 75 meter SSB, but 80 meters proved to be too much for my little tuner to handle.
Overall it was a great day. I earned another 16 activation points, experienced a great deal of beautiful California scenery, and put some miles under my feet. I also made some contacts on some unusual bands, which is always a bit of a joy.
I appreciate all the help, chasers. 73. And Vive la France!