Your Memorable Activation,Chase or SWL for 2013

In reply to G4AZS:

Hi Adrian,

When I tackled GW/NW-007 Aran fawddwy with Dave M0TUB, I found it a real slog with a lot of height gain. The gin clear stream was a welcome sight for me too and I had no hesitation in gulping down the fast flowing ice cold water, as well as taking the opportunity to re-fill my water bottle. Probably not a good idea, however, ice cold water never tasted so good and I’m still here to recount the tale.

When we reached the trig point, I chucked my rucksack on the rocks and it was at this time that Dave tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to turn around to admire the views, which I can only agree are glorious, certainly the best I’ve seen from a summit.

About a third of the way on the descent, I managed to put my boot into a rabbit hole and my leg sank all the way up to my knee, causing me to go base over apex. How lucky I was not to have turned an ankle or worse.

Last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to make some great contacts. My contact with Rick as 5Z4/M0LEP on the 12m band in December (our third 5Z4/G contact in two years) was a great contact. The only time I’ve ever heard Kenya on a SOTA activation is thanks to Rick. Cheers for the contacts, Rick.

To be the first to achieve an award in the Summit to Summit Roll of Honour on 23 February, by way of reaching 250 s2s points will always be very special.

Last but not least, working Barry MW0IML/P activating GW/NW-055 Foel Offrwm and Russ MW6RGF/P activating GW/NW-061 Y-Golfa on 20th July, to finally finish chasing all 76 GW/NW summits as S2S contacts, must surely go down as my most challenging milestone.

73 Mike

In reply to 2E0YYY:
Happy New Year one and all. When it stops raining I’ll restart activating!

18 Feb - our Tom M6GGZ’s first activation was on Freeholds Top G/SP-011 with his new shiny licence. Deaf handheld made it hard but the 817 was fine.
20 April - GW/NW-063 (Ffridd Cocyn - Mynydd Ricky)is where I met Barry MW0IML and Karen 2E0XYL and we had a ball! Lots of laughter.

13/Jul/2013 G/LD-009 (Grasmoor) with Dad on a hot sunny day in the Lake District was a tough walk because of the heat but great views and a nice trot down the Wainwrights to end at Bannerdale crags. 18 more summits are left to do together in G/LD so should complete in 2015 when Dad is 80.

Best of the year was climbing Tryfan GW/NW-006 via the south ridge in company with a mountaineering instructor Paul. I was previously frightened of this scrambling mountain but on dry rock it was just great. I got stuck at the top and had to go back and try the very exposed final approach. Then to cap it all there were people on the summit more nutty than a SOTA activator - extreme ironing enthusiasts! I was delighted to have conquered my fears and Karen and i compared notes about Tryfan on air. I still smile about it now.

73 and stop raining
David M0YDH

In reply to M0VFR:
Merle and I have fond memories of all our chasing contacts in 2013 as well as the support and camaraderie experienced on our first attempts into activating. But one chase stands out. In the shack last october we heard a young voice calling CQ from Mt. Martha in NH on 2m fm. It was KC1AKU, Willie, doing a very steady and professional job on his first activation. He was with his dad Bill, NG1P. 10 years of age and licensed the previous month, Willie said he was doing fine but for the legs which were tired from the climb. We were his first two contacts on his first summit, and it turns out, ours were then his first QSL cards. We can still remember the thrill of receiving his return card. It is satisfying to imagine the father/son bonding that led to this activation and all the experiences they have yet to share because of radio and SOTA. Meet Willie on his QRZ listing.
Herm and Merle
KB1RJC and D
Madison, NH

As a chaser and activator plenty of great moments in 2013 not least:

Achieving Mountain Goat in Ireland on EI/IE-022 Great Sugar Loaf in January Catterblog: January 2013

Just qualifying the summit on Shillhope Law G/SB-006 in a blizzard in February Catterblog: G4OBK SOTA Shillhope Law G/SB-006 and being frightened by the loudest bang I ever heard…

The Cheviot G/SB-001 with Nick in June

Solo SOTA Cycling weekend also June in the Scottish Borders - what a great idea Ric

An evening activation of Fairsnape Fell in July Catterblog: July 2013

One of several summit bagging road trips with M6PYG / 2E0NON in Wales and its borders

Completing Wainwrights Pennine Journey with M6PYG / 2E0NON - a 265 mile walk with a handful of North Pennine Summits activated along the way over two years!

I could go on and on. It’s been a fantastic year for SOTA - thanks to the MT for making it happen and keeping the show on the road. I’ll keep organising my holidays around SOTA for the foreseeable future.

Phil G4OBK

It was in 2013 that I first became interested in SOTA; that alone would be enough to make the year memorable to me. But wait, there’s still more.

My first activation was special in a way that I didn’t even realize until days afterward. A fellow club member, Grover KG70, had invited me to join him and “a few other hams” on an easy one-point summit in Oregon. It was great fun, and I managed four qualifying contacts. I enjoyed the company of the other ops, and learned from them about minimal gear, light-weight batteries, easy-to-deploy antennas, and the value of SOTAwatch.

In the following days, I uploaded my log and spent some more time browsing the SOTA web site. In the honor rolls - to my surprise - I found that my companions on Bald Peak had included a small gathering of North American SOTA notables. My thanks to Grover KG7O, Phil NS7P, Rich N4EX, Etienne K7ATN, and Rachel K7NIT, for the kind forbearance they each afforded this SOTA newbie.

Gary, K9ZMD
Ridgefield, Washington

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Happy New Year to all, may 2014 be a successful and safe year for SOTA.

Not difficult to find my favourite activation for 2013 - Cairn Daimh GM/ES-052 which is, coincidentally the first SOTA summit I ever activated in January 2003. Why is this little hill the favourite: because it was the only hill I activated in 2013 after 2 years of being unable to walk very far so was a significant milestone for me.

Worst (scariest?)GM/ES-041 when on descent, accompanied by a reindeer (really), I heard the whistle of a supersonic firearms round passing by my head followed by the report - the Police report took longer than the whole activation.

Plan for 2014 - get back driving and back into serious activation (I still have 7 GM/ES summits to complete the set) and loose the lard that has built up round my middle over two years of forced inactivity!

All the best for the coming year


Barry GM4TOE

2013 was a very memorable year for me on the SOTA activation front:

In January on a beautiful day I had Skiddaw to myself for about 10 minutes!

Lots of joint activations, some LD’s and /or WOTAs with Geoff M6PYG, Heather M6UXH and Derek 2E0MIX. Meeting up with Colin G4UXH and Heather M6UXH who kindly gave me a life saving mars bar on the Langdale Pikes.

Great fun in Wales sliding down the Pyg Track from Snowdon with Geoff M6PYG in horrendous conditions! Then some nice easy summits in the Clywdian Hills where we met Darius M0KCB also activating.

A couple of SBs, including The Cheviot with Phil G4OBK and his dog Treacle.

The 9 Wainwright round including SOTAs Helvellyn, Seat Sandal, Fairfield and St Sunday Crag, I slept well that night.

The IOM trip again with Geoff completing the 5 SOTA summits in a mixture of weather conditions.

The best of all was meeting so many SOTA enthusiasts at the Blackpool Rally. As they say in Ireland - great craic!

Hope to see lots of you again there this year.

73 & Happy New Year to one and all.

Nick, G4OOE

In reply to G4OOE:

My memorable activation. Well, I joined to SOTA community in July 2013. I had thought this possibility almost one year but had never time before. In autumn 2012 I had bought 10 meter long heavy duty telescope mast and had made inverted V antenna earlier in summer.

Finnish Ham Magazine “Radioamatoori” published a story end of May 2013 where Tony OH3T told about the summit which he had made with his hammates to Jyranvuori (OH/JS-066) at first May 2013. This story encourages to me to do own summit. At least July 20th when I was in summer vacation I made it. Because I had not working user id and password to SOTA webpages, Jaakko F5VGL/OH7BF helped me to open own spot via email. All the rest was in my own hands.

Saturday afternoon I was sitting in Jyranvuori, I tuned my antenna and tested my rig (self-assembled Juma TRX2) and waited the correct time. That time I did not understood that it is possible to start whenever. And at least come my turn. I started to key on air “CQ CQ CQ DE OH2NOS OH2NOS OH2NOS PSE K” (first time I did not remember to send “/p”). And what happened? Full catastrophe! A huge pile up started and I could not catch any call! It took roughly five minutes which time I only shake my head and could not breathe. What a hell, I thought! But at least I could identify the first call, which was ON4FI. This was my rescue! After the first I got 30 other qsos, 31 together during 2,5 hours. I was more than delighted.

Second time it was easier and now I have operated eight summits during last half of year.

73, Saku OH2NOS

Ps. After three summits to Jyranvuori I published a short story (Finnish only - sorry) with statistics. I will update it quite soon with all the seven summits. Stats has been updated scroll down! Elisa Sähköpostipalvelun kotisivutila - Elisa ja Saunalahti asiakaspalvelu

There were lots of 2013 activations (142 actually) and thus many lovely hikes and mountaintops to describe - along with good company, both in person and on the air. Going to new places has been one of the chief benefits of SOTA for me - to find beautiful places I never would have considered.

The two activations in 2013 that stand out most in my mind were in Finland and Belgium this summer. On Kanavuori (OH/JS-057) I met up with Jaakko-OH6FQI. He had alerted his club about our joint activation, and they turned out for us - I easily qualified the peak using only 2m FM. It was a treat to hear local voices on the air after my CW-only expedition in OH-land.

In Belgium, Peter-ON4UP and Thierry-ON4TH showed me the proper way to take it easy before and after activating Signal de Botrange (ON/ON-001). It turned out most convenient to have a restaurant right there on Belgium’s highest peak - wish we had even one like that here in W7O!

The fellowship and camaraderie of SOTA extends around the world, in person or on the air - it’s a wonderful RadioSport program - thanks to the MT!

(See K7ATN - Callsign Lookup by QRZ Ham Radio for a few photos of these two activations)