Limited access until August in North Carolina

Large parks closed until AUGUST in North Carolina. Going to limit some activations.

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Thanks for posting that, Kent. SOTA everywhere is being impacted by this pandemic and access is changing daily. It is always important to check the relevant websites for up to date information on closures and access, even when we are not having a global crisis. This has saved me from aborting an activation and select an alternate summit before leaving the house on more than one occasion.

There are still plenty of summit and trail options accessible in W4 at the moment, but it does take a bit more detective work to verify these days. If activations fit within the scope of your local guidelines, here are a few links for our National Forests/Parks/Trails in W4 to start your search.

Blue Ridge Parkway - Road and Facility Closures - Blue Ridge Parkway (U.S. National Park Service)
Chattahoochee National Forest -
Cherokee National Forest - Cherokee National Forest - Home
Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests - National Forests in North Carolina - Home
George Washington and Jefferson National Forests - George Washington & Jefferson National Forests - Home
Shenandoah National Park -
Daniel Boone National Forest -
Alabama National Forests -
Mountains to Sea Trail - THE MST DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK | Mountains-to-Sea Trail

73, pat - ki4svm


I’m disappointed the SNP is closed. :cry: Many people decided to escape and crowd the park. 73 Karen

Hopefully they will change their minds if thing lighten up.

Kent K9EZ

Yep, things have been definitely weird. I’ve had three aborted peaks in the last two weeks because of unexpected closures here in NC. Hawksbill Mountain (W4C/EM-049), Table Rock Mountain (W4C/EM-051) and Grandfather Mountain (W4C/EM-002). I need to get a lot better at determining closures before I drive for a couple of hours.

Thank you for the links @WW4D

Come on Fellas one in this thread listing possible access points and another commenting on unexpected closures and wasted trips. The idea of lock down social distancing, staying home and unnecessary travel are supposed to work towards stopping the virus not chance yourselves against either catching it or spreading it further. It puts the SOTA program in a bad light in my opinion. Non essential travel “oh I’am going out to hike up a summit to talk on my radio” or maybe it could be said you are entertaining those doing the RIGHT THING staying home by giving them a Summit Activation to log. Think about that when they hook up the ventilator to you or someone else.
vk5cz …


VK5CZ “virtue signal” report in North Carolina: RST 592.


P.S.: W4KRN is not a “Fella”.


Hi Rich and thanks for the contact today!
I’m not entirely clear why a big country like Australia with only 25M people (and only 2 Covid deaths per 1M) locked down all outdoor activities but I don’t live there so I don’t know! I get why New York, New Jersey and other USA states have intense lockdowns but those areas have lots of virus issues due to the density of people living there.
We have stricter rules in the metro areas of big cities here like Denver but where I live and where I climb there are very few people. In fact, I hardly see anybody!
In any event, people should follow the rules for your particular country and area. I know we do here in Colorado!

73, Brad


The first is almost certainly directly because of the second.

A few stereotypes around why:

  • Most of the Eastern hemisphere is used to epidemic outbreaks so the playbook is enacted quickly.
  • That’s not true of most of the Western hemisphere outside of Africa.
  • Africa is used to epidemics but has poor governance and health systems.
  • Some Western countries place a greater emphasis or value on personal freedom and/or small government.

Geert Hofstede’s work is a good reference for the cultural aspects across the world


Ok…thanks for that additional info Andrew. Yeah…I can attest to the fact I place a greater emphasis on personal freedom and small government…guilty as charged!
73, Brad


I listen to our Chief Medical Officer as does our government and opposition government, He says Self isolate if you have the virus, Social distance your self from other people and adhere to Non essential travel, until the medical system can get on top of this virus that non of us wanted. Its got nothing to do with governments of any persuasion stomping on freedom under “normal” circumstances these are unprecedented times. If staying home and not doing SOTA which is what this reflector is about so be it.

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Actually, Ian, it’s very relevant, but psychologically, not legally. In general terms (not talking about specific individuals), someone in a country/culture with a strong, rules-based Cultural Dimension is much more likely to listen to the Chief Medical Officer because following rules is valued in such a culture.

In a culture where following rules depends very much on context, it becomes easier for someone to ignore or create contexts where the rule does not apply to them, because finding ways around rules is valued more highly. The Chief Medical Officer may be talking sense, but it doesn’t apply to me because I’m in a situation where his rules don’t apply (eg, miles from anywhere).

You can’t divorce your personal decision making from the environment in which you have been raised or placed to evaluate decisions, because no one, other than in an 1970s economic textbook, is ever purely rational in their decision making.

Of course none of that actually impacts on whether activating right now is a good idea or not. I personally think it’s not a good idea because I can see the benefits of stricter lockdowns in the case numbers around me, but I can understand why people may reach a conclusion different to me whilst evaluating the same criteria.


Yep Andrew I get all that, it’s the Non essential travel bit that is holding me back because I have to travel a hundred or more km from Clare to find some summits to make the trip worth while. The other thing is I would not ask my loyal farmer/land owners to access there land either and put them under unnecessary stress about it either. I know I could visit many summits and as long as I had phoned for permission I would probably not see another person anyhow which has happened lots of times in the past.
But that is just me maybe careful as she goes, and show respect to the land owners who let me on their summits under more normal circumstances.

The restrictions and guidance here in the UK have changed almost daily. A more recent one is asking walkers to avoid footpaths that pass through farmyards. That takes out a couple of my close-to-home daily exercise circular routes, though when I have passed through on PROWs and seen the farmers, relations have been very cordial, and social distancing easily observed and respected. Nonetheless, having now seen that new guidance (Cheshire Police website yesterday), I will not now use those paths.

For a while now, it has been established IF you need to drive to get to a suitable location for outdoor exercise, then that drive should be no more than five minutes. So I won’t be getting to any summits during the current phase. In any case, I do not NEED to drive to a place for daily exercise. I can walk out of my door and be in the countryside inside ten minutes, with no social distancing issues in doing so. Plus the nice thing on the edge of town where I live, the immediate countryside is not popular walking country, and so it’s very rare to see anyone, and easy to social distance with room to spare if I do.

A lot of the landowners seem to have taped up latches on kissing gates too, so most of them are now possible to get through without actually touching anything. I’m usually finding I can go and walk for an hour or so in local countryside without seeing another person, touching anything with my hands, and certainly without needing to get in my car. I guess that’s relatively fortunate.

I tend to take my handheld out with me for a natter with friends while walking. I wouldn’t take anything else - HF, portable antenna etc - as I don’t see that stopping and setting something up is a justifiable part of daily exercise.


Those of you allowed to go out and have an hour of exercise around home are very lucky.
I wish we could do so during these lockdown days. There are a couple of nice walks I’ve been doing with our dog and there’s almost 100% chance to find or cross nearly nobody when done late in the evening and no problems to maintain 2-3m distance from anybody if done during the day.
This is the longest walk I usually do going most of the time along the river course. I do from INICIO (start) to FIN (end) and then back along the same route, which takes me about 1h45min to 2 hours, although I’ve managed to do it 1h35 one day walking really fast:
During these walks along the river, some wild life can be found from time to time:


I also do another more urban walk surrounding the old part of the town and it’s very nice because you go along very ancient stone walled buildings, the remains of the defensive walls protecting the city of Pamplona in the past and the cathedral, thus having a great medieval flavor all the way.
This one takes me around 45 minutes to an hour from start to end and back:

Following some pics I’ve taken during this urban walk:
This is Pamplona’s Town Hall building decorated for Christmas.
I’m looking forward to seeing our lockdown a bit less strict to at least let us go out and do some of this nice and terapeutic walks.
Take care all, stay home or away of people and crowded places and keep washing your hands.



Great maybe I can activate Max Patch now without having to do a SOTA presentation for all the college kids.

I checked out your QRZ page - way cool! Your linked end-fed really caught my attention - accustomed to a 49:1 or 64:1 balun but have never seen 81:1 in the past. Very interesting.

And to keep it on topic: Still some SOTA activity in Southern Cal but way down from normal due to many closures of trails. MIGHT get some relief this summer…maybe.

Howard KE6MAK

Hi Howard,
Just a quick comment to not hijack this thread. An EFHW antenna impedance varies from 2000 to over 4000 ohms depending on band, etc. I wanted to build an antenna that requires no tuner so I settled on an 81:1 matching unit. I did lot’s of testing and tweaks. My trapped antenna is resonant on 40,30, and 20m…no tuner required. It works very well! However, now I have an internal tuner with my KX2 so the antenna works from 40-10m!

73, Brad