Just a short report on my first activity from a summit reference in France (I’m not keen on writing reports, it’s like writing manuals …)
Since VO52 is a good 15min drive from my home place, I decided to go for that one. Initially, I planned to do VO57 the same day but changed my mind during the way up to VO52.
Family commitments wanted me to be back for lunch and since I knew from my topographical map that the ascent to VO57 would not be an easy one, I decided to leave home pretty early. VO52 was supposed to be an easy one = not much time to loose.
I managed to leave home around 0520z and arrived at the summit “entrance” around 0535z. The road sign “Autorisés uniquement” (authorized only) and the fact that the “road” was pretty muddy from the previous day’s/night rain, I decided to park somewhere on the side. The GPS showed some 1,2km to go and looking uphill. Ok, I said to myself, let’s go for a walk. With about a 12kg load, I started the “ascent”. My current fitness is pretty low, so I needed several short breaks to get my breath back. Finally, I arrived at the top and with a very light rise, I walked towards that nice red balloon that made it over the horizon. It’s still been foggy around, especially down in the valley.
I set up the station (inverted V for 40m and the proofed IC-706MKII) and started with some first CQs at 0605z. No replies at the beginnig. Somewhat frustrating (compared to my previous activities) but it’s been quite early, I admit. Then, at 0609z, UU9JR was to first one to reply. Nothing again for the next 2 minutes, then OH3GRB, then K2TT. I was bewildered. Could it be true or did I overhear a D in the prefix? No, he confirmed K2TT, and he made my day First time I managed to work someone from that continent during a SOTA activity. Then, finally, calls started to fill the log.
Meanwhile, I was thinking about the effort I had to make to get up on this rather easy to reach summit. Thinking about the next one and the abscence of any road did not make me feel comfortable, especially since I would run out of time. So, I decided to stay longer on this one, hopping that the propagation would change with the rising of the sun. So far, most stations with good signals were within a 1000 to 2000km radius. Still no short distance calls. With the sun rising more and more, the closer ones managed to get into the log as well. Goal achieved. One strange thing nevertheless, I never heard a single HB station. There’s once been a weak “9R”, was it HB9RE? No idea, I never got an answer despite multiples calls.
A funny situation occured when someone insisted one getting my IOTA number. Well, life is not easy, sometimes…
Finally, at 0731z, I decided to call it the end of the activity, after 78 QSOs and 20 DXCCs.
Wind speed increased and all of a sudden 4 cars appeared on site. I found out that they were paragliders and quite happy about the weather situation. Well, after all, they did not care about the road signs. Maybe next time, I shouldn’t either… I walked down to my car and got myself two pieces of the best bread on earth: baguette (or French stick) at a nearby Bakery.
That’s all folks, see (hear) you from some other places, some other time.
There are two pictures of the summit at http://lx1no.homeip.net/ham/activities_data/f_lx1no_2007.htm
One more thing: SOTA DB shows VO52 to be called Kudertberg. My topographical map calls it Hetschenberg, at 425m. Kudertberg is shown some 500m further south, at 340m. The coordinates fit the place called Hetschenberg. Which one is correct? The topographical map is from Garmin.