Keller Peak (W6/CT-013) September 27, 2015

Summit: W6/CT-013

Activation Date: September 27, 2015

ATT Data Coverage: Very good

ATT Voice coverage: Not sure but presumed to be OK

APRS Coverage: Not sure

Hike stats: Drive-up when gate open (typically 9-5pm and road OK). Elected to hike from from locked gate; 1.5 miles roundtrip and 600′ ascent up to 7,882′, walk on paved road and exposed summit.

Looking at Mt Baldy in San Gabriel Mountains
Looking at Mt Baldy in San Gabriel Mountains

The look out tower has been there for decades and is a welcome place after being buffeted by winds on Keller Peak. There’s a similarity in most look out stations but each is unique in its story. Keller is no different being personalized with Smokey the Bear stuffies, a story of a female staff member that occupied the station for almost 40 years through to the story of an unfortunate aircrew who crashed in the the early 1940s just below the tower.

Welcome committee!
Welcome committee!
Duane - Volunteer fire lookout
Duane – Volunteer fire lookout

A gate across the road is locked before 9am and I hike the last 1/2 mile or so to the peak. It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday as I reach the peak to witness a forest of antennas that are so familiar to peaks in metro areas. I wonder what impact all this unwanted RF will have on my operations.

I have brought my new LNR 40/20m trail friendly End Fed antenna along with a 21ft carbon fibre fishing rod. Setup time is really quick and probably less than 5 minutes with another 5 or so minutes to get the KX3 out and setup. Already substantially quicker than the Buddipole.

Each activation is exciting for many reasons not least of which is will your antenna work given band conditions etc. I like to start with 40m and I’m instantly happy with the antenna as I net 6 chasers on 40m which seems far more than I ever achieved with my vertical Buddipole. The band change to 20m has me completely sold on the LNR antenna as I don’t need to do a thing to the antenna unlike the Buddipole which had me fiddling for 10 minutes or so. 20m nets me 4 chasers. I wrapped up the activation 7 2m FM contacts.

This is a good start to 2 days of activating as I have netted 17 contacts.


  1. Looks like a good activation. Keller is a favorite for a quick activation spot.

    Many of the volunteer forest fire lookout folks who man the tower have their technician tickets, by the way. I think it’s recommended training for them.

    Nate N0PCL


  2. Hi Paul, I enjoy reading about your SOTA activations and the photos compliment the write up, please keep them coming. Good to see you have moved to a wire antenna, well done. One day we might make a S2S contact? The best option from VK is on 10m around 21:00 to 22:00 UTC, do you have a 10m 1/2 wave dipole you can mount on the fishing pole? I use a homebrew link dipole for 6/10/20/40m mounted on a 7m (23 ft) or 9m (29 ft) pole.


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