Ascent of Mount Pisgah on 2018-10-18

Climber: Ariel Jacala

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Thursday, October 18, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Mount Pisgah
    Location:USA-North Carolina
    Elevation:5721 ft / 1743 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was October 18, 2018 and the time came for my first activation. Several weeks back, on September 24, I had a mild heart attack that became evident after a bike ride. I was still in the recovery stage – and going through cardiac rehabilitation. Some might have considered it foolhardy to start strenuous hikes so soon after my heart attack but rest assured that everything was done with the consent of my cardiac rehab doctor.

Summits-On-The-Air (SOTA) was introduced to me by Scott Carter KW4JM a few years ago but I was only mildly interested back then. My interest bloomed when I fully realized that long hours on a chair pursuing DX or contesting no longer fits my pursuit of cardio-vascular fitness. I gave Scott a call and told him I was going on my first SOTA activation. He said – “Great! I will go on Mt. Mitchell and we can have a summit-to-summit QSO”. I was totally new to SOTA and did not know how to use well the many tools available to me as an activator.
I relied on a Google Maps on my phone to get me to Mt. Pisgah W4C/CM-011. It took me on a route which would scale Mt. Pisgah from the north (or its backside) on Cruso Road. I had previously camped on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt. Pisgah and this route (on Cruso Road) was unfamiliar and incredibly twisty. I did not know then that this is normal when driving in the mountains of North Carolina. I called Scott via cell phone and asked him about the road I was on and whether I was on a track to take me to the Blue Ridge Parkway. He checked his maps and said that I was – “Keep on going!” Still having my doubts, I back tracked to the nearest gas station to ascertain whether I was headed for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The gas station lady said I was on the right track and that the Parkway is just 4 miles down the road.

After having made many stops along the way to orient myself, I eventually made it to the parking area for Mt. Pisgah and the trail head. I was already behind schedule. The trail started out pretty easy – and relatively flat. Then it became hard, with large rocks and much steeper - as it ascended over 300 meters in 1 km (a little over a half mile). It took me slightly over one hour to ascend. Carrying a much heavier than needed pack – did not help.

Upon reaching the top, I found a wooden observation deck. It had a convenient rail to which I fastened my 10m long fiberglass mast and to the mast I fastened my end fed wire antenna into an inverted V configuration. The other side of the inverted V was fastened via a guy string to a place about 50 feet away. The views from the observation deck were fantastic.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1167 ft / 355 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.4 mi / 3.9 km
    Route:Main trail
    Trailhead:35.41858, -82.748  4554 ft / 1388 m
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Cool, Breezy, Clear
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 

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