I posted an alert just now, but figure it might be worth posting here as well.
My co-activator and I are going to take advantage of the mild wx to do a quick trip down to the Smokies to activate (at least) Mt. Guyot tomorrow 2/24. We’ve hiked around its shoulders a few times over the years but never summited as the last 1/2 mi is a bushwack through deep old-growth spruce. It went to the top of my to-do list when I noticed a few weeks ago it had never been activated.
Because of the length of the hike (16mi r/t), the bushwack, and the chance of storms, it’s going to be difficult to predict qrv time even within 90 min. Unless I am mistaken, I won’t be able to self-spot either through sms or aprs. So we’re doing it the old-school way (first time for me).
My plan is to start with 2m, then call cq on 7.285/14.285 +/- for qrm. If that doesn’t work I’ll switch to code on 7.030 then 14.060. If it comes to that, it’ll be my first cw activation (the firsts are piling up!) so please forgive me all of my transgressions
Any advice will be happily accepted. Otherwise wish us luck!
Mt Guyot has been on my radar for more than a year, even had plans to activate it last April, but came up short on time after activating nearby Devils Tater Patch and Scott Mtn.
I’m sure you’ve done your route planning, so it’s up to your fortitude and the weather, which is forecast to be about 50 F with winds around 25 mph. Hopefully, the chance of rain in the morning won’t materialize, because bushwacking through wet forest is not fun!
If possible, please give 80 or 60 meters a try for the “locals”. Many chasers are too close to work you on 40 and 20.
Paul - KB9ILT
Thanks Paul! Yeah, I definitely understand the lure of it. That spruce forest is just so beautiful. Ditto on the hopes the rain holds off. Rain 50 and 25mph wind won’t be fun summit time for sure.
I 100% plan to. I wanted to make my post have as few variables as possible to raise the chances of being heard, but I definitely plan on calling on 80. S. Carolina is having their QSO party on sat so I suspect 80m might be very lively.
Heck, if Cosby Campground wasn’t closed for the season I’d pack up the rig and the XYL and be there this evening. We’d likely head out before sunrise to claim the glory of the first activation for ourselves. Come to think of it, I do know of another campground nearby that is open…
What time did you say your were starting your hike?
We’re just about to start the bushwack now. I think I forgot to mention we are camping on top tonight (and that I am carrying a sat phone apparently) in my original post didn’t I!
I know – bummer about Cosby being closed, I started to look for another campground and then just got a hotel in Newport. We’ll be at the trailhead at 7am, hopefully getting any rain when it’s welcome as we puff up Snake Den. If you’re free, come on up – the more the merrier!
I’d like to join you, but after “deciding” who gets the first contact only one of us would make the return hike.
Good luck! I’ll be listening for you on SSB and CW.
…Or, I’ll give you a nod and smile as we pass on my post activation descent. I believe first light is around 6:30 am…
Yea, that has been on my list too. I was thinking about a trip this spring to get up there and do that one and some others. I look forward to your report.
Oh and you might be able to get an SMS text out from up there. It would be worth the gamble of the weight of the cell phone to bring it and try.
Good to know. I’ll definitely have it with me and will check.
Paul don’t mind the little pointy things in the road leading up to Cosby in the predawn. They’re definitely not caltrops.
Hmm, I need to rethink my strategy.
Wow, I had no idea what I was messing with!
We were 10 mi from our motel here in Newport when I hit an enormous pothole which blew out a front tire. We limped in successfully, but the activation is scrubbed. We’re going to have to spend tomorrow trying to get a replacement tire back in Knoxville (everything is closed on Sunday). If it goes quickly maybe we’ll try to salvage the trip with one of the shorter hike ins. Sunday wx looks bad.
What a bummer. Moral of the story is don’t make jokes about caltrops apparently.
What a bummer! I was looking forward to trying to chase you from here in Colorado.
I climbed that Mount Guyot, not the one in Colorado, about 25 years ago, with one of my sons when he was maybe 12 years old, and another young man, about 18. It was summer, and our main concern was weather. I think we started on the TN side from near the trailhead for Mount Cammerer. There was a good trail most of the way, and the last part of the route was on the AT. Then we left the trail and hiked up through some difficult terrain. Even after all these years I remember:
Part of the upper route appeared to be the remains of an abandoned, unmaintained, overgrown trail dating from long ago. We actually found a rotten sign along the AT, and we decided to leave the AT at that point - that was correct, and it saved us much effort.
It was like hiking on a sloping swamp, with our boots going over a foot down into the muck, until we were almost knee-deep in wet, living material like nothing I’ve seen on any other summit, for much of the remaining ascent - very slow and strenuous.
There was no sign of the summit point, only a very broad high area, with none of the usual visual markings we associate with summits. I remember no rocks on top. It’s like an un-mountain.
At the time we believed that Mount Guyot is the third highest prominent USA summit east of the Mississippi, and it may well be. Mount Mitchell and Clingmans Dome are higher. We felt very proud to have climbed it, and it was obvious from the top that very few people make the effort. Hope you can join the club…
The descent was easier than the climb, but I still remember wading through all that biomass - moss, bog material, living things dark and mysterious. Perhaps in winter it will be frozen and no problem.
We three were in good shape, the weather held, and we did very well - it was a long, humid, summer day. In bad weather it would be a very bad place indeed…rather like the Moors of Scotland.
Please be sure to take GPS so you can find the summit. If clouds roll in, hitting the AT will not be too hard, as it winds partly around the mountain. Use a compass or GPS.
Whoever first activates this strange peak absolutely MUST write it up and post notes on the Summit Page for others.
Mount Guyot may be the strangest high peak in the East, and I look forward to when someone activates it!
Well, that wasn’t the strategy I was thinking of. Sorry to hear the mission has been scrubbed. I hope you’re back on the road soon and can get an activation or two in.
The Database is down right now, but from what I remember there aren’t any short-hike summits in the Cosby Campground area. If you head west to the main road through the park, there are a couple of short-hike summits south of Clingmans Dome, which is an easy drive-up summit.
Looking through my notes from my last trip into the park I have Nettle Creek Bald (W4C/WM-027) listed as an easy one at 2.4 miles from the Thomas Divide Trailhead. This is very close to Clingmans Dome, so you could probably activate both fairly quick.
Good Luck and please let us know how the remainder of your trip goes.
Paul - KB9ILT
Miraculously quick tire switch. We’re going to go for it. Predict same summit time 1700 (no smelling roses). 73!
I see that the db being down is keeping spots from updated so I can’t update my alert. If the MT can do that manually, bless you. The spot is all correct except the description should be: “going for it. time +/- 30min. pls spot.” Our time window is getting very small, so we’re going to go and hope we get a spot. If not, it’ll be a good hike!
The problem when the database is down is that SOTAWatch validates entered summit codes against it and rejects the Spot or Alert if it doesn’t get a match.
I know, no tricks to get an alert up but a spot can still be entered either via SMS or a smartphone APP.
I’ll put a spot up if you wish - what do you want as the message - ETA time ?? which summit code?
OK got the info from yesterdays alert, put up spot for you ETA 1700 ± 30mins.
I hope you’re posting from the parking lot because hiking 9 miles uphill plus a 1/2 mile bushwack in 2 hours is awfully ambitious. Put on your running shoes!
Glad I saw that and recalculated (dang zulu time). Summit at 1900z. Starting up in 15 min.
OK, I’ll repost with 1900 UTC
Maybe to late this time but in your alert in the comments section add S+12, this gives you an hour before and 12 hours after your alert time. Only works for CW.