Today promised some excellent spring weather – in the 60’s, so I headed out with the K2 and gear. Using the maps on the SOTA Mapping project site gave me the coordinates and topographical information that I needed to make sure that these two summits were possible in an afternoon.

With my GPS loaded with the way points, I headed into the Edinburg Gap, Virginia. Two 6 point summits just waiting to be had.

I was not the first activator on either summit, but that didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to get out there and take advantage of the nice day.

The First Summit – W4V/HB-030 Short Mountain.

Summits On The Air Portable Ham Radio QRP

Pretty Steep Terrain

This was anything but short. Although I was able to drive to within 3/10 of a mile to the summit, because of the steepness of the mountain, it took almost an hour to get to the summit.

Climbing from tree to tree and boulder to boulder, I made my way up. Hot, tired, and winded, I finally reached the summit realizing that the lazy winter months had taken their toll on my once young body.

Time to set up, guess what? I forgot a BNC adapter for the coax to the radio. A HUGE mistake that would keep me from activating the summit.

Determined to get on the air, I stripped my coax and inserted the center conductor directly into the BNC input and connected the coax shield directly to the grounding stud on the back of the K2. Worked perfectly, and I was able to get on the air within minutes. Thank goodness for multi-tools, too bad for the coax -LOL

SOTA Summits on the Air

My first operating position.. Not too bad!

I had a great place to operate from, nice big rocks all around with a fantastic view of the valleys below as I worked 15 SOTA chasers on both 40m and 20m CW..

On to the next SOTA Summit. After a tough climb off the summit, I headed over to SOTA Summit W4V/HB-036.

This was a much easier climb, and I actually found a trail that led me to within 1/10 of a mile from the summit.

Again, I set up but this time I spent some more time and ran 40, 30, 20, and 17 meters CW since I knew the hike down the mountain would be easier and I still had about an hour of daylight left. 18 contacts including W3DX on 3 bands.. Thanks Rob!

Summits on the Air

Second summit, I found myself resting on a log.

All in all, I had such a great time, and can’t wait to get out there again… I’m planning to attempt to activate all SOTA summits in the W4V/HB area before moving to another area.

I’ll also be running 2 meters from the summits soon with a super lightweight 7 element Yagi antenna that I’m building for SOTA activations. Can’t wait to hit some 2 meter openings!

For more about Summits On The Air, please visit www.sota.org.uk/