Toughest Hike in the North Carolina Mountains for SOTA

The latest SOTA Adventure by Dean K2JB, Scott, KW4JM and Pat, KI4SVM hiking the Black Mtn Crest Trail from Mt. Mitchell to Celo Knob and down to the Bowlens Creek Trailhead. It was 12.2 miles and a cumulative elevation change of 7,638 ft. of what many have described as “The toughest hike in North Carolina.” I find no reason to dispute it. They crested 7 peaks over 6,000 ft and skirted several more sixer’s. It was a ‘cast-iron son of a gun.’ But they made their required ham radio contacts from Celo Knob and made indelible memories along the way. Celo Knob has been among the rarest of the rare SOTA summits in the Carolinas with only one activation in 7 years of SOTA. The three all camped at Deep Gap and continued on the next day. Pat, KI4SVM hiked the reverse track up to Mt Mitchell from Bowlens Creek while Dean K2JB and Scott KW4JM proceeded to Celo. The plan worked to perfection as all three made contact with each other from the trail and the summit of Celo making this hike a double bonus - getting “Completes” in the process. The trail was a tough one with many treacherous drop offs and cables and ropes in places where traversing the ridge is difficult. This is definitely an epic hike that will contribute to the legendary status of these three hikers. Pat, Dean and Scott lead the W4C association in summit points. There are some great footage and photos made by the activation team to contribute to this video.

Thank you Dean, Pat and Scott for inspiring me to create the video of your effort.

Ariel NY4G

Video link


Thanks for the video Ariel! I was lucky enough to work those guys on Mitchell and Celo. I would agree on that being the toughest hike in NC. I have been out to Cattail Peak and back from Mitchell. Very rough country. Congrats to KI4SVM, KW4JM and K2JB for their accomplishment.

Thanks again for the video!!

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Fantastic video. Sorry I missed ya’ll but congrats on your adventure. Some beautiful scenery.

Jack KB7HH

Great video! I was on W4C/WM-044 and W4G/NG-002 that day but I guess our activation times didn’t overlap. Glad for your success!