SOTA W4V/SH-028: High Knob

Welcome to High Snob, er, High Knob.

As you might intuit from the picture above, SOTA activators are not at all welcome on High Knob, which is locked down like a state penitentiary.

Here’s the aerial view of the summit, a four-point peak with elevation 728m, near but not in the Shenandoah National Park.

The peak is near the end of one of the side roads within the High Knob gated real estate development. The area near the peak is relatively flat, and the cul-de-sac at the north end of the road looks perfect, but the gates down at the access road certainly make visitors feel unwelcome:

On one hand, I get the sense of posh mansions with reclusive, wealthy residents; on the other hand, they do seem to be concerned about trash fires. A bit of a head scratch.

Presumably the road in is private, or these regulations would not be enforceable, but even if it were legal to drive in and out without invitation, setting up and operating here would likely constitute loitering. With so many other peaks around this area on public park land, I saw little reason to go after this one.

That’s not to say that I didn’t give it some thought, however. In the topo map above, the 700m contour defines a wide area 28m below peak. With an activation zone defined by 25m vertical height, it’s possible that the woods at the north end are within the zone, so I looked into approach from the north by driving completely around the housing complex and approaching from the road see at the top of the map.

However, this isn’t any more promising. While the road towards this side of the peak is not barred at the base, the final mansion on the top of the hill lies behind this electronic gate at the top of the hill, above the power line right of way. In short, his direction is also a no go.

So, as far as I can tell, there is no way to activate this peak short of having some sort of business relationship with a property owner up there or being invited on a social call up there. Sounds like this peak is more a matter of social engineering than electrical.

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