Woohoo! Get ready for the Cinco de SOTA Campout! This will be our fifth annual W4 spring campout (I think we can just ignore the lack of a campout in 2020 ) and this year it will also take place during the Cinco de Mayo weekend! There just might be a theme for our Saturday night potluck dinner. Who’s bringing the Piñata?
Keeping with the trend of moving our spring campout around, we will be heading a bit further south on I-81 next spring. We will be staying at the U.S. Forest Service Stony Fork campground near Wytheville, Virginia conveniently located near the intersections of I-81 and I-77. You can even hike to Little Walker Mountain - W4V/WV-042 from the campground.
Like all of our W4 campouts, come when you can and leave when you have to. We encourage everyone to show up - activators, chasers and newbies. It is always a great way to take a deep dive into activating SOTA summits with so many experienced activators around willing to share the trail and summits with hams new to SOTA.
The window for reserving campsites opens up on November 12th, so mark that date on your calendar. I plan on reserving campsite 19 since I have been there before and know that it will work for my hammock.
For some reason, except for the USFS topo maps, the campground loop is never depicted correctly on maps. Use this image for a better map of the loop.
It is time to make your reservations! The window for reservations opened up at 10 am this morning. Many of the campsites are still listed as first come-first serve but still plenty to reserve at the moment. There is a fairly large contiguous stretch of campsites available (40s) and we have at least two of them reserved already.
Another Spring W4 campout is in the books and it was a great one! We had nice, warm sunny days for activating and cool nights for camping for the majority of the weekend. We didn’t have the greatest condx on HF but with ~35 folks out activating there were no shortage of S2Ss. We had lots of new folks this year in addition to the usual suspects representing the W4G, W4C, W4T, W4K, W4V, W8V, W8O, W9 and W2 Associations.
As always, we usually pass several milestones during these campouts and hear a few from this year.
Two New Mountain Goats - Congrats to Dee - KO4LIT and Michael - N4DCW
Patrick - NE2P added a third Mountain Goat to his growing herd
Two freshly minted hams completed their first SOTA activations - Welcome to the madness Betsy - KQ4IBL and Debbie - KQ4IAM
Mitch - KN4ONH completed his first SOTA activations
We had at least 4 or 5 first activations of summits in the area
We also activated a bunch of summits that have not been in anyone’s logs for a long time
Wow! What a week of chasing. You all wore us out trying to get as many of the activators as we could in our logbook. You really brought VA alive for those days of activating. Thanks for all the activation’s and fun chasing. Well Done!
Wow is right! 14 VA chases since the first of May. That’s probably more than I’ve gotten
in the previous 6 months. And under pretty poor condx from the west coast. Good work
boys and girls!