CAUTION. This email contains instructions on sucking eggs.
The fact that each summit is likely to be a quite different RF location, environment, subject to different propagation, etc is a red herring.
The fact that some models have poorly thought out assumptions, relationships and inputs has nothing to do with antenna simulations using properly engineered programs.
By 1970 the US DoD was selling copies of its Numeric Electromagnetic Code - NEC for $100 for Yankees and $200 for aliens like me. I would offer you a copy but the CIA would see that both of us met with unfortunate accidents. It’s also in FORTRAN and you need to write your own GUI.
EZNEC is based on the NEC engine and is user friendly and is available for free and nothing off the webby thingy. It’s designed for amateurs so you can use it without reading the instructions. It’s not quite perfect but it’s damn sight better than guessing what might happen. If you pay for the next up version is will meet most amateur needs quite accurately. It is still possible to do dumb things with the inputs and get crap out. The results of dumb behaviors are less expensive and traumatic than doing the same thing on the summit. When computer programs are able to see, understand and fix our errors we need to reach for “The Hitchhikers Guide tho The Galaxy”. IIRC in such a circumstance it says “RUN”.
A computer simulation can be run for any antenna and the effects of ground proximity, antenna configuration, ground conductivity, conductor size, etc etc all included as variables which you can adjust for a range of simulations.
For a wire SOTA antenna I prefer to start with an inverted vee configuration with centre at 8 or 10 m and ends at 1 to 3 m above an average ground. This is my most commonly achieved set-up for a horizontal wire.
For a vertical a 10 m mast is assumed and I adjust the shape and radials as I might or have used in the field.
If I find that a particular antenna has very little radiation below 30 degrees elevation then is is not included in my list of good DX antennas.
The ARRL Antenna Handbook has most of the important antenna basics in easy to understand form so it’s worth setting aside the screen and keyboard and reading a copy. It won’t solve every problem you have but you will have a good platform from which to start thinking and exploring.
In an afternoon with EZNEC I can look objectively at more antennas than I could in a year of going to the local park and playing all day on the bands.
My preferred antenna is a centre fed doublet, 6.7 m per side fed with 300 ohm ribbon to a 4:1 balun and an ATU. Covers 7 to 54 MHz with rapid QSY. Not quite as good as a link dipole but I’m prepared to wear the penalty. Others may have different acceptance criteria.
For a versatile high performance but simple monobander, a 5/8 vertical with 3 or 4 radials can’t be beaten IMO. It has both low angle and high angle lobes and even a little gain. Again others may not like it’s lack of azimuth directionality or the need for a decent roost on bands below 20 m.
If going to a remote location, study the site at the top for restrictions on antenna layout, decide what bands you need to use, then take two antenna, two feedlines and the biggest telescopic pole you can fit in plus a roll of duct tape and one of builders line. What else you need to duplicate is up to you.
I don’t expect many of the posters on this theme to agree with me. I do however suggest that they at least download a decent antenna simulation program and spend a day getting familiar with it and looking at the effect of ground types and antenna height on the elevation and azimuth radiation patterns of their favourite antenna.