barnard mountain SOTA

Compton Gap, Virginia

Compton Gap (W4V/SH-016) is a short hike with a few options for a SOTA activation. Limited parking is available at the Compton Gap parking lot. The trail head is across the street.

Summit Information:

Summit Name: Compton Gap, (W4V/SH-027)

Location: Front Royal, Va

Latitude/Longitude: 38.8192,-78.1754

Date: January 4th, 2021

Parking: Free

Points: 6 + 3 (Winter Bonus Points)

County: Warren County

Grid: FM08vt

Weather: Partly cloudy, 32 degrees

Permit: Yes, $20 Entrance fee

Robertson Mountain Map

Sugarloaf Mountain




On a Scale of 1 to 5

Compton Gap is kind of a forgettable summit. After parking across the street you hike a short trail to the summit where you are presented with two trails. One leads to the summit and the other a viewpoint.

Once I had arrived in the activation zone I found a spot to set up and got on the air. A tip for quick setup is to just hang the antenna on whatever is present which in my was case a small tree branch. No need to dig out my fishing pole antenna mast for this one, saving time.

One issue I have been experiencing lately is my coax. Using the proper coiling technique I have never had any issues with it before. However today it keeps getting tangled up. The wire might have taken a memory to being abused for so many activations or it could be just the cold.

Something else I figured on this trip on the way to the parking lot was using the GaiaGPS app on my car navigation system allows you to create a guide me line that lets the driver when they are nearing the destination. When there is no cell reception this is an excellent driving aid. Obviously if I had cell reception I would just use Apple maps navigation.

Barnard SOTA log

On the Air:

DX Contacts




Power (Watts)


Radio Logs



2, 14 meters

Radio Mode



Sign up for my free newsletter

All the latest information on portable operating in the amateur radio world.