SOTA W4V/SH-013: Pass Mountain

I activated Pass Mountain (W4V/SH-013) and The Pinnacle (W4V/SH-005, not to be confused with just plain Pinnacle, W4V/SH-019, a never-visited peak) in the same day, and I have one pointer: don’t park in the obvious spot, neither Pass Overlook nor Pinnacle Overlook are near the paths to their respective peaks.

For Pass Mountain, you want to park in Beahm’s Gap Overlook (38.694861N, 78.319929W). It doesn’t have formal parking spots, but plenty of people parked along each side of the parking area without an issue. There are no facilities here except a small shaded kiosk with some maps and notes on local nature. The trail head is just barely to the south of this parking area.

The trail head opposite Beahm’s Gap parking area. There’s an AT trail symbol on the pole.

The trail up levels out at an overlook, but this is not the peak (although the peak has a lot of trees, so the view is actually better from here). Thereafter, the trail remains level for a while and you may wonder, “where’s the peak?”.

The Thornton Gap entrance is to the south of Pass Mountain; I took the trail in from the Beahm’s Gap parking area to the north and west of Pass Mountain.

Eventually, there’s a small, rocky hill, that adds another ten or twenty meters, and the peak is on top of that. Eyeballing the map, it’s about 1.7km each way to the peak, with a rise of about 180m.

Trees up there are high enough to support wire antennas.

While operating, I saw a few of these large (5 inch/12 cm) millipedes scooting around in fallen leaves.

I did hang the 2m/70cm roll-up J-pole, but had no replies. I did good business on 20 and 40m CW, though.

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