The skiing season might be over – but the SOTA season goes on all year! Since it looked like we would have great weather we decided to plan this summer’s first SOTA-foot hike on the First of May, a holiday. In Trøndelag you’re never sure what the weather will actually bring, but we were very lucky with temperatures around 15º and a lot of sun. A group of around 12 ARK members met up on the bus towards Skistua, and then hiked the ~5 km up to Storheia.

Top reached! From left to right: LB5GJ, LB0ZI, LB2BI. Picture by LB5DH.

There was still a lot of snow out there, but the hiking conditions were very good and we were far from the only ones out celebrating the impeding downfall of our capitalist society by enjoying a nice hike in the woods. We brought a similar setup like on earlier tours, with our FT-891 and FT-857D radios and two antennas. Most of it went onto Emil’s back, as he felt the urge to stress test his new backpack.

Erecting our antennas went very quickly. Here our finished setup. Pic: LB0ZI.

LA/ST-010 a.k.a. Storheia hadn’t been activated since February last year, and as soon as we we had the first antenna up the QSOs started coming in. The top was activated by among others LB5DH, LB0ZI, LB9JJ, and by LB0CJ and LB0DJ who got to use their new callsigns for the first time. By the way, the last activation of this summit by someone outside of ARK is almost ten years ago… 

Emil writing in the log while LB9JJ tries to grind through the pile-up. Pic: LB0ZI.

Of course the real QSOs are the friends we made along the way – for a student group like ours, SOTA trips are a nice way to include new and (so far) unlicensed members in our radio activities, and gain some experience building a portable rig in a location without electricity and other facilities. They’re also popular with our members who just really like going on hikes – and here in Norway there are many of those.

ARK members in the wild: eating, drinking, and getting QSOs. Pic: LB5DH.

A nice bonus was our contact with DL1HZM who was taking part in a COTA activation. The German Castles on the Air scheme is similar to SOTA, but with, you know, castles. Thanks for the contact, Herdis!

View of Kvistingen on the way up. Pic: LB0ZI.

After spending some hours at Storheia we hiked back to the bus stop at Skistua, and some of us followed the trails all the way back to town. We’re looking back on a day well spent. May in Norway means there’s some sort of holiday every week or so, and then the exam weeks start, so we hope for many more SOTA trips in the sun during the coming months! Thanks to everyone who joined, and especially to those who organized the trip and carried the equipment.

Strava seems to think we took a very direct route on the way back (we didn’t).