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Backpacking SOTA Trip this weekend in W4C and W4T

Hey all,

This weekend, I will be doing a combined backpacking trip and SOTA activation trip. I am pretty excited because this is my first backpacking trip in a while (read: “too long”) and will be the first backpacking SOTA trip. I will be going with two friends Nate (W4NHP) and Brian (not yet licensed but I am putting pressure on him :smiley: ) I am still thinking through the expected times we will be on the summits to put on the alerts, but here are the summits we are planning and generally when I think we might be there.

  1. Fri (7/20) Breakneck ridge W4C/WM-019 around 2100UTC (Not yet activated)
  2. Sat (7/21) Hyatt Ridge W4C/WM-035 around 1900UTC (Not yet activated)
  • Sunday - hiking all day-
  1. Monday (7/23) Laurel Top W4T/SU-007 around 1400UTC
  2. Monday Mount Kephart W4T/SU-006 around 2200 UTC Considering a second activation after 0000UTC for the chasers or doing a NPOTA activation depending on battery remaining.
  3. Tuesday (7/24) Clingmans Dome W4C/WM-001 about 1700UTC

We will mostly be on 20 and 40 SSB, and 144 FM, but we may throw in some 10, 15, or 17 depending on conditions. Also, we may have capability to do PSK31. Unless something changes (drastically), we wont have FT8 capability.

We are pretty much ready with gear (backpacking and radio) and food and all, but if there is any sage advice, all is welcome. I have already gotten a lot of good stuff from here as I read way more than I post.

Hope to talk to at least some of yall!

-Steve
W2SWA

Steve,

Sounds great!
I enjoy listening to you and the gang on 2 meters in the mornings.
Glad to see you doing more activations and getting back into backpacking.
Looks like you have things planned pretty well.
I like to have a list of local repeaters in case I need to round up a few last minute VHF/UHF contacts , not to mention for emergencies.
I also load tracks into my GPS or Alltrails phone app, even for easy ones.
Sometimes helps you find the trail heads. (Sometimes GPS directions and listed instructions can fall short)
Best of luck and hope to work you on the air.

73 - KC4WZB, Joel

You should jump in with us in the morning. The more the merrier, but yea, they are a fun bunch.

Thanks for the ideas. They are all great. I had not thought about the repeaters. I will have my phone with repeaterbook, but having them on paper is an ever better idea.

Hopefully you can work us. When I try to work activators in similar locations, I am often in the skip zone it seems. We shall see though.

73!
-Steve
W2SWA

Sounds fantastic Steve.

In addition to the repeaters, I’d definitely try calling on 146.52. Ops in the area are aware of SOTA and you’ll likely get some response.

I did Laurel Top and Kephart as part of the traverse we did a couple months ago. Thatt report is here: SMNP Newfound Gap to Cosby traverse report. Kephart is straightforward as the summit is on the trail. Laurel Top was surprisingly difficult mainly because the most obvious way to the summit, from the east, is probably not how you want to approach. We did it that way but we just scrambled into the AZ and our spot was precarious. I’d try either following the ridge where it intersects the AT north of the summit or from the more gentle sloped west side. In any case, prepare for non-trivial bushwack.

I’ll pack a radio to work on Monday so I’ll be listening for you!

73,
Joe // N0MAP

Well, the weather is supposed to be horrible during our trip. Thunderstorms and rain pretty much the whole time. We have decided to postpone and try again maybe in a month. Stay tuned…

-Steve
W2SWA