Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Two States Two Summits

Woke up early today and headed out toward Virginia.  My first stop was High Knob.   W4V/GC-001. High Knob rises 4223 feet in Wise County Virginia.  Upon my arrival I met with one of the construction supervisors responsible for the renovation of the summit area.  He informed me his crew would begin stripping the parking lot in the next hour.  I asked where I could park.  He was super cool and said I could park anywhere.  If he needed me to move he would come and get me.  Very nice guy.  He said he has seen several activators over the past year, and was always impressed by the professionalism.  Great job representing Summits on The Air!!!!

The old fire tower was destroyed by arson on Halloween in 2007.  The new tower may not be a historical landmark, but the workers did an excellent job rebuilding the summit.  The new lookout tower looks great, and offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.  
 The new tower has a great spot for setting up an antenna.

 Above you can see my rig setup on the summit.  Alongside my Elecraft KX3 you can see my new pack, a Maxpedition Monsoon.  

I have my Eberlestock Battleship pack for distance and winter activations.  



An Eberlestock X3 Lo Drag pack for those light fast overnight trips.  



What I was lacking was a smaller grab and go bag that was big enough for the essentials.  I tried the Monsoon, and loved it.  I will be working on a gear review in the next few days for my new Grab and Go SOTA Pack!

After finishing on High Knob I packed up and headed toward Kentucky, and Black Mountain.  Black Mountain W4K/EC-001 has a summit elevation of 4,145 feet, and is deep in the heart of coal country.  Below is one of several mines I passed on my way to the summit.  At one point I got turned around and had to ask directions from  some mine employees.  I got one of those, "you caent git there from here"  looks.  But they warmed up fast and gave me great directions to the summit.

 Near the summit is a very large FAA radar dome.  Veryyyy coool! 
 On the summit is a plaque dedicated to William Risden.  Also very cool.  I set up and again made some great contacts.  I had no luck on 20m which surprised me.  Most of my contacts today were on 40m, strange.
Today was a fun day.  I bagged my first summits in both Virginia and Kentucky.  Both summits are easy to activate, and are very handicap accessible.   I will have to head back next year.  I think I may try and activate in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky all in one day!  

Thanks to all the chasers today!

73's AND KEEP CLIMBING!!!!

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