Summit: W4V/GC-018 Wise 10 Benchmark
Date: December 21, 2013
Operators: Slater K4QWZ & Erik WX4ET
Summit Weather: Unseasonably warm, a bit windy, light rain
After departing High Knob, Erik and I traveled towards Wise 10 Benchmark. We parked at a blue water tower off of Coeburn Mountain Rd/SR-646. From there, we took a short hike south along the road, then up a gated trail to the summit, which is perched on a small, steep hill overlooking the road.
The short trail to the summit does have a few thorns here and there. Halfway along the trail there was a bunch of trash, everything from tires to stoves to a urinal resting against a tree.
The summit was covered in trees and leaves. The view was limited, but we could see towards the south and was able to see the Lonsome Pine Raceway below. A few miles south, a tall mountain range sits directly between us and the Tri-Cities, threatening the life of any VHF signal that looks to penetrate it. Ominous rain clouds also in the distance, approaching our location.
We set up our equipment and announced our arrival on the .700 machine. Unsurprisingly, we were not able to pick up much on the repeater input. We starting calling CQ. At first, it appeared that making contacts was going to be difficult. But after adjusting the direction of our beams, we made our contacts.
Light rain and sprinkles fell while we were operating. As we were packing up, the rain picked up. Although the wind was strong on High Knob, the trees and lower elevation appeared to block a lot of the wind from our location.
We got back to the Explorer and made our way back to the Tri-Cities, just as the rain was moving in. We made a quick stop in Colonial Heights to meet with John KJ4ZFK who gave us Christmas presents: a SOTA bumper sticker and decal. Thanks John!