DX: Arctic SOTA expedition (lat. 78.27 N)- Tuesday 30 April

On Tuesday 30 April, we will attempt to activate Ottofjellet SOTLAS in Svalbard (JW). Svalbard is part of the real Arctic and is located midway between Northern Norway and the North Pole.
Currently there are both difficult radio conditions and snow conditions. We therefore recommend that you use HamAlert to find the correct summit and the correct frequency.
You can follow the expedition in real time at this link: https://share.garmin.com/JW9DSAONSOTA

The expedition team consists of three members

All three expedition members have extensive experience of travelling in demanding winter conditions.
Due to the distances in Svalbard, we will use snowmobiles as far up towards the activation zone as we can get. We’ll set up a small tent on top to protect us and our radio equipment from the forces of nature.
We will use 100w transmitters and DX-peak antenna on 15-17-20m and maybe Sotabeams on 30m. If conditions allow, we will run two separate stations in parallel.
FT-8 will only be used in extremely poor radio conditions. We will use both alerts and spots on SOTA-watch. For cw:reverse beacon

There is a significantly higher risk of conducting SOTA activations on Svalbard than on the Norwegian mainland due to rapidly changing weather conditions, whiteout, avalanche risk and polar bears etc.
We prioritise safety and will not activate SOTA if weather/traffic conditions do not allow it, or if the risk of avalanches is significantly increased. Regardless of the avalanche danger warning, expedition participants will use avalanche beacons.

The risk of encountering polar bears is real. In Svalbard, it is a legal requirement to carry a weapon when leaving the settlement in Longyearbyen because of the polar bears. We carry a signal pistol and rifle to protect ourselves from polar bears. One of us will always be the polar bear guard while the other two activate the summit.


There should be extra bonus points for peaks with bears.

Good luck.



Your GPS track shows you got there and (importantly) back again. I hope that the expedition went smoothly, and without any polar bear incidents. Thanks for the activation.


As soon as you’re safe, write about the news… super expedition.

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We’re back. JW/LB5MI Helge will write an article adding pictures from the expedition shortly here on SOTA Reflector


Good… we’ll wait!!
I saw some photos on Instagram, impressive… Respect

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If that were the case we would get a mountain goat more quickly in VE7! :slight_smile:

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Great story and I am glad you have safely returned. I’ll look forward to reading your account of it all!!

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The report is here, written by JW/LB4MI Helge. Helge’s article also has many pictures.