Summit: W4T/RV-001 – Holston High Point
Date: October 13, 2013
Weather: Mostly cloudy, calm breeze
Kenwood TH-F6A triband HT
Portable 2m beam
Hiking Path: Very short hike around gated fence
On October 13, 2013, Erik WX4ET and I successfully activated Holston High Point atop Holston Mountain. Accessing the summit was fairly easy, by driving up Panhandle Rd. which turns into a forest road that goes straight to the top of Holston. The road is paved in places but it is largely gravel. There are several dips and ruts along the road. I hit one of them a little too fast, nearly sending Erik airborne.
Initially, we ended up driving past the summit. According to the SOTA map, the summit is located at the VORTAC facility which sits on the northern side of the road. It has a chain link fence around front with two signs, one forbidding weapons, the other stating that visitors are subject to search. There were no signs forbidding trespassing. You cannot see the VORTAC itself from the road, but the fence is visible.
After parking at the gravel road that leads to the fence, Erik and I hiked around the fence, which comes to an abrupt end a few feet north of the gate. We made our way up to the VORTAC. After encountering a snake, we decided to set up along the gravel path that leads to the middle of the VORTAC. Visibility was nil and at times we could not even see the VORTAC that we were sitting next to.
After making our contacts, we got back to my truck and took a little drive further up the road, viewing the slew of antenna masts that occupy the top of Holston Mountain. Damn near running out gas, we successfully made it to the bottom of the mountain and found a gas station, which are few and far between past Elizabethton.