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A day keeping calm


#1

In response to my last activation report of the summit “Schafreuter” in the Tyrolian mountains, Ignacio @EA2BD gave me the friendly advice to keep calm during my next activations

In this sense, last Monday I did choose a calm destination for another winter SOTA activation.

The Bavarian summit “Herzogstand”, DL/EW-021, is usually a very frequently visited and therefore vastly overcrowded summit. I would assume this is mainly caused by the following reasons:

  • Its location is very near to the city of Munich, generally it can be reached by car within one hour driving.

  • This summit provides a great view to the Bavarian flat land to the north and also a great mountain panorama to the south. The nearby lakes “Kochelsee”, “Walchensee” and also the more distant “Starnbergersee” contribute nicely to the wonderful view

  • The hut “Herzogstandhütte”, abt. 15-20 minutes below the summit, provides refreshments to the hikers

  • The cable car “Herzogstandbahn” optionally lifts up hikers in just a couple of minutes to the “Herzogstandhütte”

Now you might wonder that I told you about selecting a calm destination for my SOTA activation and now describe an overcrowded summit?
But you can easily draw the conclusion: This summit is only frequently visited as long as the cable car is in operation and the “Herzogstandhütte” is open.

Fortunately between beginning of November and end of December the cable car and the hut is closed and therefore the number of hikers is considerably reduced.

My hiking tour started in the small village “Walchensee” near the lake with the same name. The first part of the route went beneath leafless trees:

There was often a chance for a nice view to the lake “Walchensee” below. The cable at the lower left corner of the photo belongs to the cable car which was not in operation:

After a nice walk the top of the summit “Herzogstand” came into view, with its final zigzag route through the bushes:

From the top of the mountain you have a great view to the north, with the lake “Kochelsee” and the Bavarian flatland:

and to the lake “Walchensee” to the south:

While generally summits in this region are decorated with a summit cross, on this summit instead a pavilion is located:

Of course this pavilion gives a nice shack, where you can layout all the necessary SOTA junk:

Fortunately due to the closed cable car only a couple of hikers came up to the summit and I had enough spare room to layout all my equipment.

In contrast to my beggarly SOTA antenna, in the past, between 1920 and 1946, there was already a giant antenna mounted on the “Herzogstand”. With a length of more than 2,5km and a height of 800m really a very impressive antenna construction:

Image of VLF antenna setup

English article on Wikipedia

German article on Wikipedia

German video on youtube

The SOTA activation of DL/EW-021 concluded with 24 contacts mainly on the 30m band and 20m band in CW and SSB. Especially the SSB conditions on 20m seemed to be very good during this time of day.
Included was also a lucky contact on 10m SSB with Ed OE/VK2JI/P on his Austrian SOTA tour on the summit “Hohe Salve”.

Motivated by the nice SOTA activation, I continued my hiking tour to the nearby summit “Heimgarten” that can be reached by a great hiking path along this nice ridge:

This ridge is not very challenging if you are somewhat sure-footed and do not suffer from vertigo, because all tricky ranges are well secured with steel rope handrails

After a nice walk with a beautiful panoramic view I finally passed this ridge …

… and arrived at the summit of “Heimgarten”, DL/EW-022

At this summit I had to deal with a more rocky shack beneath the summit cross:

On this second summit of the day my SOTA activation ended with 27 contacts, mainly on the 30m band and 20m band also in CW and SSB.
The highlights were summit-to-summit contacts with Manuel CT9/HB9DQM/P activating a summit in Madeira on 20m SSB and Thomas OE9TKH/P andd Herbert OE9HRV/P on 10m SSB. And of course with Phil VE1WT and Rich N4EX who where able to detect my 5 Watt only signal.

During my descent from the second summit, I could enjoy a decent sunset in the mountains:

Thanks to all activators and chasers for all the contacts and for spotting me on SOTAwatch.

73 Stephan, DM1LE


#2

What a great pair of summits, Stephan, right on the mountain front and with a great ridge walk connecting them, I am envious! Unfortunately I was out Monday and missed you!

Brian


#3

Thanks for a very nice report and lovely pictures.
What an amazing blue sky you had!
We’re having thick dark grey clouds and fog all day everyday lately. Well, it’s December…
73 de Guru


#4

Hi Stephan,
thanks for sharing those lovely summits. Glad you enjoyed both of them with calm! :wink:

I didn’t know about early ionosferic investigation and such a looong antenna… It’s a pity we don’t have that antenna available anymore; it would reduce considerably the SOTA pack if you could still use it there, hi.

Take care and CU on your next report, VY 73 de Ignacio


#5

Morning

Good report and the photos of well rather breath taking views captured.

Thanks again

Karl


#6

Tnx Stephan for those very nice photos and explanation.
73 from Gerald F6HBI


#7

Great to have the contact with you on Herzogstand - which is a summit on my “must do” list, I probably won’t take the ridge along to Heimgarten though.

73 Ed DD5LP (aka OE/VK2JI/P)


#8

Stephan, thanks for the photos and the good write-up: great fun as always!

I remember well my activation of these two last year (VHF only). It was June, so I took the cable car up, and stopped off at the Herzogstandhütte hut for a coffee before tackling the two summits. Big mistake!

After consuming the coffee, I set off up the gentle slopes leading to the zigzags visible in the photo above. Within minutes, I began to feel unwell - not wanting to vomit, just suddenly totally lacking in energy, and my heart pounding. Well, I got to the top of the first, did my activation and then went for the ridge - which is really easy, but somehow I just staggered across it, wondering what on earth was wrong with me! Did the second summit activation, and then suffered agonies on the long descent to the carpark, which I reached after what I can only describe as Torture With A Big T - every part of my body hurt. Worst descent of my life, and I’ve done some hair-raising ascents and descents in my time. I put it all down to the milky coffee, which I would normally not bother with, and which might not have been altogether fresh… I was unwell for a couple of days after that.

On a good day, and for a fit person used to hill-walking, a great half-day out on the hill…

Rob