Imagine the thrill of reaching a mountain top and experiencing the view of the countryside all around. You find a spot to set up camp and open your backpack. There are some sandwiches and a drink, but first you pull out your VHF hand held transceiver and turn it on. You tune it to 146.5MHz, the National calling channel and call "CQ SOTA". There is an instant reply: You give your call sign, name and the SOTA summit reference number. You just manage to exchange signal strength reports when there is another call and another. You grab your smart phone and start making log entries. The calls are coming in thick and fast now and, no wonder, you have just been spotted on the SOTAwatch web site: The SOTA app on you're phone gives a bleat like a mountain goat and a banner appears showing everyone your location and frequency. All of a sudden you hear a "Summit To Summit" call and the channel goes quite as everyone gives the two activators priority. You get the other summit, it was over 150kms away, and you keep working through the pile up. It is an hour before the calls subside and you have forty new entries in your log book. You are well on the way to your first SOTA award and you are getting to know all the regular chasers out there. SOTA folk are starting to seem like an extended family. "Wow, that was amazing". Now you really need that sandwich and drink!
The cover of the December 2014 Amateur Radio magazine shows a newly-licensed Reuben Giles-Clark VK7FREU activating his first SOTA summit (SOTA # VK7/SC-006 - Collins Cap in Tasmania). Reuben reports "A steep climb around the back of the Cap takes you up onto the top and the rock cairn. If the air is clear then the 360 degree views are spectacular". Here is the SOTAwatch entry:
Nathan and Toby activating Flinders Peak VK3/VC-030. The peak is 346m above sea level in the You Yangs Regional Park VKFF-0982, Victoria. The summit is an easy climb up 450 steps. Nathan and Toby are keen SOTA enthusiasts and always willing to lend a hand on the air for parents Andrew VK3BQ and Christine VK3FCEK.