1st SOTA: W6/CT-216 (Unnamed)

updated 2021-01-01

Activated: 2016-08-06

For most of us, one’s first peak activation for Summits on the Air is a bit like the first time having sex:

  • You obsess over when it will happen
  • You play out the event in your mind
  • Your plan goes to $#!t the moment you start
  • Everything is over (very) quickly
  • And you can’t wait to do it again!

At least, that’s how my first SOTA activation went. I was a new ham and was getting dreadfully bored with checking in on the weekly club net. I had been hiking for years though, and somewhere I stumbled across SOTA. A quick search of the rules and a realized I could do it. A quick search of the maps revealed that there was an easy peak right next to me. It was on!

SOTA peak and hiking with dog
Foggy view of the peak at the start of the trip
Trail up a mountain for SOTA
Better view of the final approach to the peak
VHF dipole antenna for SOTA
A simple vertical dipole is an often-overlooked antenna for SOTA.
Amateur radio operator portable
Back at the base of the hill after the fog cleared
Ham radio handheld and log
Logging at the peak with a kneeboard (it’s a pilot thing) and my Kenwood Ht.