Article by W3AAX on Aug 10 2014 at 00:08

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W3AAX's commentary on Piney Mountain


For further information/pictures, please see my qrz.com page... Here are a few things to know before trying to attack College Mountain: 1. Doug (W1DMH) was instrumental in providing guidance on this trip. You MUST depend heavily on a map/compass or a GPS. This is also known as bushwhacking, but you don't necessarily need a machete (though sometimes a hiking staff of some type or trekking poles are very handy). Most activators go by the "LEAVE NO TRACE" rule, and I find that it's the best rule of thumb. 2. There are no roads near the summit at all. I was just lucky enough to find a electric company's "right-of-way" to the top near Sabillasville Road. Now in hindsight, I wish I took a picture of it, because not only is it the only decent view you'll get in the summer because of the tree cover, it is also the easiest route. 3. Emmitsburg and Thurmont are nearby towns of Maryland to use for facilities before you head into the forests. Once you are in, count on walking for at least 2 hours one way in, and another 2 hours back out. 4. Definitely plan on attempting to do College Mountain in the day before lunch early (I headed out at 430AM EDT), and doing Piney Mountain, which is a few miles down the road, after lunch in the afternoon. 5. You will not have much cellular coverage AT ALL on this trip, so make sure you do not depend at all on those types of services. 6. Camp David is on a ridge of the Catoctin Mountains nearby. Beware that certain security activity can dictate road closures. Try and contact the visitor center nearby if you need to go through the area for any reason.