Members of the Kingsport Amateur Radio Club had a combined SOTA/POTA outing on August 13th to Mount Mitchell, North Carolina, the tallest summit east of the Mississippi. After a breakfast meeting at Perkins Restaurant in Kingsport, we departed at 9:00 a.m. The first stop was at the Walmart parking lot in Johnson City for a second meet-up to pick up additional members. From there we headed down the interstate to the mountain.
It took about two hours to get to the summit and we found the weather at the top, while cooler, very agreeable. The temperature was sixty degrees (twenty degrees cooler than the Tri-Cities area), with little wind but a dense fog for much of the time. Visibility was spotty with only occasional views of the nearby mountains.
After a short hike up the tourist trail, Roy, Justin, Joshua, and Ron went off the main trail a short distance to set up on a nearby rock field. Larry, Scott, and Rick chose to set up near the main trail next to some benches. Scott eventually moved to the rock field after a bit to try his luck with CW. After a couple of hours, we accumulated 38 contacts with one DX to France. SSB, CW and FM simplex modes were all used. Of interest were several contacts to by two meter FM to Bays Mountain in Kingsport where other members of the club were doing some repeater work. The distance between Mount Mitchell and Bays Mountain is 55 miles, which made for some impressive communication.
But the most interesting experience of the day came when Justin, Joshua, and Ron made summit to summit contacts on two meter FM simplex with N1RBD on Curahee Mountain in Georgia, a distance of 106 miles. For that they used a five watt HT attached to a three element arrow beam.
After a couple of hours on the mountain, the group packed up and headed home with another good activation in the log.