This was another trip I put together to activate a never-active peak. This one is out in the southern end of Death Valley and is accessed by interstate 10. You could hike it in a day trip if you wanted, but I went out there as part of an overnight trip.
Although not part of Death Valley (the valley itself), this part of the park is just as barren as the rest of the region. This actually makes for easy traveling since you don’t have to contend with trees, brush, water, or . . . anything really. After a good night’s rest I packed up and headed for the peak.
You can take just about any route you want to reach the top. I approached via a canyon that runs from the southeast to the northwest. The route is pretty easy with a mix of sand, gravel, and rock surfaces.
This peak is pretty isolated, so putting it on the air was definitely going to require HF. What surprised me though was that I actually had perfect APRS coverage. I had brought my Kenwood APRS handheld on the possibility that I might be able to self-spot that way if cell coverage was unavailable. However, there were digipeaters above Hesperia that I was picking up perfectly. It goes to show – you never know when you will have coverage on one system or another.
The band conditions were excellent and I was able to make a number of contacts on 40 meter and 20 meters. However, there was one doofus who had his Windows dings and dongs going out over the air.
The route going up the hill was pleasant enough, but there was an old mining road that ran below the peak. On the way down I took that route out of the hills.
All in all, a very successful activation, a beautiful day, and a good hike.