Last Thursday, my daughter Neva (K4TLI) and I hiked from our house to Lane Pinnacle (W4C/CM-018) where I completed my first SOTA activation. It’s a bit silly, but I waited months for my schedule, the weather, and my ankle to all cooperate for this particular summit to be my first.
Both of my 13 y/o daughters are licensed, but one in particular has been bitten by the radio bug. Neva is currently 85% on her General ticket exam prep. She’s accompanied me on numerous POTA/WWFF activations, but this was our first SOTA activation. She did make one VHF contact, but told me she wants her first valid activation to be on HF. That could be quite soon as we just need to line up a test!
The hike to Lane Pinnacle from our house was challenging, for me at least! I’ve been allowing my right ankle to heal over the past three months after a nasty twist in early December. This hike isn’t long–maybe 2-2.5 miles one way–but it is pretty steep the last 1/4 mile of the trail to the summit is 45 degrees at times. A good 1/2 mile of the hike is bushwhacking. Total elevation gain of 2,000 feet.
On the summit, I paired my Elecraft KX2 with the Chameleon MPAS Lite and racked up 30 contact in 30 minutes on CW (20 and 40 meters). All with 5 watts. It was amazing fun!
I wish I could have taken more time on the air, but I knew our descent would be tricky and slippery so I allowed a lot of extra time.
Our total hiking time was about 5.5 hours with one hour of lunch and radio play on the summit.
We both had a blast! I included a very short video in my field report. Neva couldn’t have been more happy and neither could her dad. We really value father/daughter activities. She may seem dismissive in the video, but that’s only because she doesn’t like being on camera.
While it might have been a bit silly to save this as a first SOTA activation, I’m glad I did. It was memorable and, frankly, now I’ve a LOT of pent up SOTA energy so you’ll hopefully see me in the spots soon!
Cheers & 73,