Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SOTA Activations #10 and #11 Lickstone Bald and North Eaglenest Mountain

Lickstone Bald W4C/CM-012

This was a plan B activation.  Scott KW4JM texted me that the BRP is closed.   He suggested Lickstone Bald as an alternative and he has already secured permission since this summit is in a gated community Ascot Ridge.   We met at the Home Depot in Asheville and quickly proceeded to the development.   It was a beautiful community with beautiful homes.

We negotiated the gravel road leading up to the summit on Scott's Honda Civic.  It was steep, the Honda was only able to climb with a running start.


  We got up to the gate where it turns into a rocky trail and hiked the rest.    Here is the GPS track of the hike.



The hike was 1.8 miles long and steep in portions - especially up the ridge line.   Scott noticed that the trail was veering away from the summit.   That is when we decided to climb up the ridge line off trail (dog leg in the image above).  At the summit we were rewarded with spectacular views, crisp and clear through the leafless hardwoods, a a cold wind.


Scott KW4JM at the summit


My station 


View of Waterrock Knob which we hiked not too long ago


Scott taking photos at the summit


Scott  set up below me by a few yards and tried to take shelter from the wind.   I was more exposed but close to convenient sapling to hold my mast.  Scott and I picked different bands so we don't have RF interference and signaled our intention to change by yelling.

Scott cleared out 40m and I cleared out 20m and 30m. We then decided, we need to quit and hike down before we run out of daylight.  After all we still needed to go to North Eagle Nest Mtn.  It was about 3:30 PM after my last QSO with KX0R on 30m and we packed up and hiked down.

North Eaglenest Mtn W4C/CM-022

We negotiated our way up North Eaglenest Road - a beautiful community and a beautiful drive up high in the mountains and it was getting dark.   We caught the last glimpses of sunset as we were setting up. 



Finally made my first QSO with Gary W0MNA at 22:51 UTC (almost 6 pm local) and by then it was dark.   I fortunately have my headlamp with the night vision red lamps.  He was followed by his wife Martha W0ERI.   I made a total of 11 Qs - 6 on 40m and 5 on 30m.  I had my last QSO with WB7ULD at 23:08 UTC.   We took down our antennas in the dark aided only by our small lights - Scotts iPhone and my headlamp.   We were getting good at this set-up and take-down stuff

At the end of the day - I earned 102 activator points and Scott summited his 165th summit and jumped to #4 in the all time list in W4C association (Woohoo).   I earn my first certificate while Scott climbs up the ladder from amongst the mountain goats (1000 point+ holders).

In SOTA world Lickstone Bald is rare -  activated at this time only by two radio amateurs - Scott 3 times and me once.

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