But after selling two parcels, he decided that he wanted to keep High Mountain to himself, and he bought out the other owners. The 350-acre survivalist retreat is self-sufficient, with off-the-grid infrastructure that includes a wind turbine, solar panels and several water sources. Although electricity from the grid flows to the entire property, the solar and wind systems provide backup in case the grid goes down.
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The owner of High Mountain engineered and tested off-the-grid designs, looking for the one that would work best in a disruptive national or world event, according to co-listing agent Jason Gentry of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. “This includes both wind and solar energy,” Gentry wrote in an email. “Although this system currently only provides power to one of the cabins, it is designed in a way that could be replicated across the top of the mountain for multiple current and future buildings. . . . Additionally, High Mountain features a multitude of working wells and naturally fed water sources.”
The property can be reached through a gated entry off the main road, but it might be simpler to fly there. A helipad and a grassy landing strip are at the southernmost end of the mountain. There is also a hangar to store a small plane or helicopter.
There are three cabins on the mountain. The first is on a knoll overlooking a pond stocked with fish. A large windmill towers over it. The one-bedroom, one-bathroom timber-frame house has a wraparound porch and a loft that can be used for guests or an office. It also comes with a detached three-bay garage and workshop.
The second cabin has a two-story porch, a stone fireplace with a timber mantel and an attached two-car garage. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The third cabin has two bedrooms, four bathrooms and a loft. The master bedroom has a vaulted, exposed-beam ceiling and a wall of windows with views of the mountains and valley.
“Each [cabin] enjoys amazing sunrise and sunset views to the east and west because the mountain’s ridge runs north to south,” Gentry wrote.
Security was at the forefront of the owner’s mind when he designed the property.
“He did conduct thorough investigations of his neighbors, what few there are, and even hired a nationally recognized security defense company to offer recommendations of further securitization of the property,” Gentry wrote. “What they found was having the National Forest border much of the property, its rural and remote location, and relatively few private neighbors, the property essentially acts as a secure compound as it is. Additionally, the elevation of High Mountain offers additional security as trespassers would have an incredibly tough time making it up the steep cliffs due to the height and dense foliage.”
To help maintain that high level of security, neither the owner nor the real estate agents would reveal publicly the property’s address, though they said it is about a one- to two-hour flight from the D.C. area, depending on the type of aircraft. It backs up to Jefferson National Forest and is close to Grayson Highlands State Park.
“This property would appeal to wealthy families that are looking for a private mountain, family retreat,” co-listing agent Rob Drag of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty wrote in an email. “Also given the current events of the coronavirus, this property would appeal to survivalists that are looking to escape a pandemic or major natural disaster.”
The property is listed at $17 million.
Listing: Appalachian Mountains, Virginia
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