How it all started…

On January 29th 2011 – I had just rediscovered amateur radio after almost a decade – I was setting up an X50 vertical antenna on the balcony railing.  Back then we were living in an appartment on the fifth floor and there wasn’t much room for antennas.
My old FT290R scanned the 2m simplex channels when „CQ SOTA, CQ SOTA from OE9CSH/p“ came out of the speaker. The signal was very loud, above S9 on the tiny S- meter. Who could that be? Judging by the signal strength, that station could not be far away. Since I did not know what SOTA meant, I listened. OE9CSH/p came back for a station I couldn’t hear:  He was on a ski tour on Diedamskopf in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg, 150 km away! (see map below)