1st Activation in Eastern WA (1st Contact S2S)

Experience can be a harsh teacher and through my first couple of failed SOTA attempts, I learned a lot. Or at least, enough to find a little success. Attempt One was a part of a 12 mile hike in Arizona; I had my Tech license, a XIEGU X5105 and a 20/10 EFHW but no mast. The activation zone was a giant rock so with no trees (or saguaro) and no mast, I tossed the antenna wire over the edge like a rappel rope, spotted myself and started calling CQ. As you guessed, the rock didn’t call back.

Attempt Two was in central Washington, again with the X5105 but this time I had a mast. Once again I spotted myself on 10m and began calling CQ—but it was terribly windy, awfully cold, and I had four other people with me including a six year old who became less interested in things every minute. No dice.

Fast-forward to this past weekend. I’ve since sold my X5105 and made the commitment by picking up an Icom 705, which followed the other effort of earning my General. Now I have the tools, and I have the talent license.

Rather than planning around a monster hike I tried to keep it simple; W7W/WE-022 is close to home and only about 4.5 miles round-trip. Setting up the 20/10 EFHW I spotted myself and started calling CQ on 20m. Not long after I faintly heard a “summit to summit” call (audio is bumped up for the video) and made the contact with N0DNF who, admittedly, was probably doing all of the work but we sorted it out and I got my first activation and the four points.

Stoked that I finally found success and pleased that my very first SOTA contact was a S2S with a Mountain Goat. Looking forward to my next activation this 4th of July on W7W/CW-013.


Congrats on your first activation!! Always exciting to see new operators in W7W. I just had a buddy hike up Earl Peak a few weeks ago, sounds like it’s a great time of year to do it before it gets super hot and dry.

Btw, if you haven’t discovered it yet, there is a Cascadia Radio discord with a fairly active “portable” channel in case that interests you: Cascadia Radio

Hope to catch you on the air,