The "First" SOTA Activation in 1948?

Here’s a great set of pictures from what must be the “first” SOTA Activation from atop Kilmanjaro (6029m/19780 ft) in Tanganyika (now Tanzania in central Africa). Certainly not a backpack nor qrp operation but interesting story about putting a mountain top on the air, especially in 1948!!

From a SOTA perspective, these guys were certainly frontrunners!

HNY! 73, Guy/N7UN

In reply to N7UN:

Happy New Year, John.

In reply to N7UN:
Beautiful QSL and what a great trip that must have been. More snow and ice in 1948 than in 2009. To be QRV from the highest point on the African continent would be awesome and a challenge as well.

In reply to WA2USA:
HB9BXE reports of his activity on shortwave from the summit of Kilimanjaro - Uhuru Peak, at 5896 asl. in 2004. He made 50 QSOs on the 15 m band.[tt_news]=179&cHash=9f2008b7c293ee19aeaaecd5ba36df5a
(in German)

An activation of Mt. Kenya would be an interesting challenge, too. A summit-to-summit between Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya could probably be done with VHF, given you can, on a good day, see one from the other. :wink:

73, Rick M0LEP (just back from a spell in 5Z4)

In reply to N7UN:

Perhaps the heading should have been “The first “SOTA” activation” as it would not have qualified! The history of hill-top portable operation goes back to pre-war days in this country and started again with the re-commencement of amateur radio after the war. I remember being told of the adventures of people climbing Welsh mountains with heavy army surplus rigs such as the 19 set(!), car batteries and dynamotors to get the high voltages needed by hollow-state rigs. It took a well-muscled team to get a station going from a mountain top in those pre-transistor days, sometimes with little reward - I operated from the top of Greenlowther (GM/SS-056) with G3NAQ in the middle 1960’s on 160 and 2 metres and only got a couple of contacts on 160, zilch on 2!


Brian G8ADD



In reply to DF3MC:
Wow. It would be quite a climb with equipment plus provisions. Kili is a huge mountain and takes time to attain the summit without getting sick. I would assume HB9BXE used local porters to help with his adventure.
I would love to operate from Tanzania but not necessarily from the top of Kili. HI. Thanks for sharing this story.