SOTA (Summits on the Air) is a worldwide program that encourages portable amateur radio operation in
mountainous areas. You earn points for being an "activator" (who ascends summits) or a "chaser" (who listens at home). We got interested in SOTA as a way to combine hiking and ham radio, especially once we noticed that
there are many peaks in southern Arizona that have been never been "activated" (no documented ham radio transmissions from the summit).
Our friend Doug offered to "spot" for us by publishing
the frequency and location of our station so chasers could find us.
Doug put out the word that Ash Peak was on the air, and other stations began showing up on 20 and 40 meters. A regular pile-up ensued, and we made a total of 22 contacts to stations as far away as Quebec, including two summit-to-summit contacts.
View from the summit of Taco Grande, far in the distance.