First Activation of W3/PW-064 11/04/2017

On Tuesday I decided to attempt to break SOTA ground by activating a previously unactivated summit in the Pennsylvania Wilds, Peter’s Hollow Hill. Richard (N2GBR) and Mark (NK8Q) have both put a dent in the number of “virgin” summits left in the association in the past 2 years, and I was hoping to finally claim my own “first” summit.

The warm weather in central PA set up for a beautiful day for hiking, and it hasn’t been an overly wet/muddy spring due to our lack of snowpack this winter and near to below normal rainfall we’ve seen. The high on Tuesday was 79 degrees F, while normal is 59.

PW-064 is located on private property, however the AZ is supposed to be located in State Gamelands which has a boundary near the summit. I parked at the base at climbed relatively quickly up a service road until the Gap narrowed and the path turned into a proper trail. For a gameland, the trail was rather scenic, following a brook up through the gap. At one point you must cross this brook, which interestingly enough is underground in some locations. As you walk across a small rock garden, you can hear the water trickling under your feet. The other major obstacle on the way up the gap was from downed trees, of which there were a couple, including one behemoth that was almost too large to climb over.

Eventually the trail split, however this was well advertised on the state maps. I took the left and headed uphill towards a saddle that lies near the boundary of the SGL. I then turned uphill towards my goal, following the border between the private property and gamelands. I hit a corner a little over 100 ft from the summit, then turned right to traverse slighly uphill until I found a section of SGL in the AZ. Up went the Pacific Antenna Trap Dipole and I got down to making contacts.

I started by once again attempting some SSB qsos, only to get snubbed again. I don’t mind CW now that I’ve gotten much better at it, but its nice to work some SSB every now and then too. 20m CW was fruitful, it was nice to hear both W0MNA and W0ERI again. I switched over to 40m for a short while but didn’t hear as many stations as normal. Before leaving, I checked the spots, and tuned up other SOTA stations looking for someone I could copy. WS0TA was weak but good enough to copy and he heard me as well, so a S2S was in the log to finish.

I headed back down to my vehicle and headed home. I had considered and alerted for a possible second summit (PW-065) but left that for another day.

It was nice to get home and read an email from K6MW, letting me know that my activation was the one that turned him into a Shack Sloth. That’s so cool, and a nice gesture to let me know.


Nice writeup! It’s fun to be the first to activate a summit, and when you find that a summit that doesn’t have straightforward public access can be activated from public land in the AZ, that’s good for others to know too.

Peter KD0YOB