Been lurking here for a while and waiting for the right combination of working gear, decent weather, and completed household projects to make a summit activation. In doing my homework I realized that N4EX was having all the fun in my area! Nearly all of the peaks that have been activated in this area were by him and he had to drive here from NC to do it! That didn’t seem right to me. I mean, I drive by these peaks every time I drive anywhere, why not activate a few myself? Ironically as I had read any details published about some of Rich’s storied exploits leading up to my first activation, he was one of the first calls in the log during my own! If you happen to read this Rich…thanks! You helped more than you know! Thanks for leaving me a few summits here in VA too Hi HI!
I planned to do a very simple test last Monday evening but found the access road to my planned summit was closed due to heavy rain over the last week and a number of downed trees. Unwilling to give up…I located another that was a mile hike from the trail head. After all…the whole idea of my first activation was to make sure my gear would work and that I could actually do this somewhat efficiently…I had my doubts. With my helper for the day (9 yr old daughter Alia) in tow we took off. Weather could not have been better. We made our ascent in well under the expected time and had the HB1B and homebrew end fed antenna strung quickly. I started hearing strong stations immediately. After a quick tune I answered a couple of CQ’s. Once I had a couple in the log and had proved that I could actually do it I made a CQ of my own. I worked the first one and then suddenly remembered I hadn’t posted a spot yet. Once I did, the floodgates opened! I have to say…I have been in ham radio a long time and always appreciated the community, but SOTA chasers/activators are really a special breed within that community. They are courteous as the day is long, forgiving of CW mistakes due to being perched on a rock with a less than ideal key setup and most of all widely enthusiastic to work any SOTA activator whether on a 500 ft rock or high in the Alps. Hams like this in my opinion are what make this hobby so much fun. Thanks to all here and all the chasers! You’ll hear more from me. I can guarantee that!
73 de N2WZP