SOTA W4V/SH-001: Hawksbill

After activating Stony Man (W4V/SH-002), I hopped in the car and drove a bit more south on Skyline Drive to reach the Upper Hawksbill Trail parking area.

The trail up is wide and well-maintain and joins up with a gravel fire road for the last third of the ascent to the summit. At the top, there is a shelter and stone stairs lead to an observation platform that has a stunning view. The total distance in is about a kilometer and a half and elevation gain is about 100m. I had good cellular data service from parking to summit.

Panorama from the observation platform.

That observation point is probably not an ideal place to set up an antenna due to foot traffic, but it would be a tempting platform to set up VHF antennas given the view.

My antenna ended up in the trees behind the platform; their tops are slightly above the platform.

I opted to throw my end-fed antenna into some trees behind the shelter near the peak, paying attention to signs which indicated that some areas are undergoing conservation and were closed to off-path traffic.

It’s ironic that the two ten-point summits in the park are among the easiest to activate — I probably should have started with these. Between the two of them, I worked about fifty stations on 20m and 40m CW.

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