Summit: W4T/SU-005 Roan High Knob
Date: October 14, 2013
Weather: Temp in the 50s, calm breeze, misty, and mostly cloudy
Kenwood TH-F6A triband HT
2m/70cm portable beam (Courtesy of KG4HNY)
Hiking Path: AT from Carvers Gap to summit
Rocks along trail
On the afternoon of October 14, 2013, I successfully activated W4T/SU-005 Holston High Knob. I arrived at Carvers Gap around 3 pm EDT. Due to the government shutdown, the access road from Carvers Gap/TN-143 up the mountain was closed. Thus, I parked at Carvers Gap next to the Appalachian Trail.
I began my ascent at approximately 3:15 pm EDT. I accessed the AT by heading uphill directly behind a bathroom located at the end of a parking lot. The path to the AT is not marked and can be confusing for first timers. I recommend directly accessing the AT, which crosses TN-143 just a few feet north of the parking area.
This section of the AT contains a lot of ballast rocks. Caution is advised, as these rocks enhance the risk of slipping and receiving an ankle injury. The trail is not very steep but it does feature multiple switchbacks.
On my way up, I ran into a couple hiking with their dog. They had seen pat at the summit and I briefly explained the basics of Summits of the Air to them.
After hiking for nearly 45 minutes, I turned onto a side trail that leads to Roan High Knob. Only .10 mile along this trail sits a shelter. To get to the summit, you must pass the shelter, continuing to ascend a gentle slope until reaching a very large rock. Atop this rock is the USGS bench mark.
Upon arrival at the summit, I met Pat KI4SVM. After assembling Curtis’ beam antenna, Pat not only lent me a piece of coax but also acted as my “antenna mast”, holding the antenna as I called CQ. Making contacts was difficult, even with the beam. Surely enough, I made the necessary four contacts plus two more while perched on top of the rock on Roan High Knob.
Before Pat and I descended the mountain, we spoke to some AT hikers at the shelter. We had a nice conversation about amateur radio. We both made it back to the parking lot shortly before 7:00 pm.