Hazeltop is another summit on the “not too hard” list within Shenandoah National Park. If you park at the Milam Gap parking lot (38.4784N, 78.4517W), it’s about a 3.3 km hike along the Mill Prong trail to the summit, with a net vertical rise of about 170m. There are some flat stretches to this trail, but also some hilly bits.
This was a standard activation for me, with an end-fed antenna chucked into a tree, yielding 16 contacts on 20m and another 3 on 40m.
I noticed that a few folks on Sotawatch requested that I activate on 60m, but that’s not possible with my equipment. I have an early FT817 (not 817nd), and it does not support the 60m band at all, not even if I somehow flashed the firmware. In principle, I could mod the transceiver to remove band limitations. The only downside is that I’d lose the regional settings, like automatic repeater shift, but I could still program those in as custom shifts.
That’s not much of a deterrent, particularly as I’m only in North America occasionally. The bigger issue is that I’m not keen to resolder the PC board jumpers with the equipment that I have on hand with me in Maryland. Perhaps when I get to Cyprus later this year and have a full workbench, I’ll give this a try.