Very good collection developing here (apart from some off topics ).
A wiki like page for each association would make sense to have this infos easy accessible:
- General infos
- Ham licences info for guests
- SOTA common practice (like typical SOTA frequencies on UHF/VHF)
Sources for Austria OE
bergfex.at or .com (for english version)
Top right hit the button “Show map”. There is the an 1:50000 topo hiking map (Bergfex OEK) available.
In the map you can activate known hikingroutes and get pictures and time estimates.
or try outdooractive.com with routing, height profile and time estimate (calculated).
Hint: switch map layer to topo
Long-distant hikes and trekking tours:
Alpine hut finder (Austrian Alpine Association):
Regarding mountainhuts: It is common to bring a so called “hut sleeping bag” (Hüttenschlafsack) if you stay overnight. It is basically an inliner-sleepingbag that replaces the bed linen.
And always call the hut for bookings and maybe in addition a day before to confirm. Answer via email might take longer.
- Regarding time estimates that you find at signpost. A general rule: The higher the mountain the “optimistic” the forecast is. So depending on your training level expect a bit more time needed. 400 - 450 m ascent/ hour could be seen as standard in some alpine regions.
- Some maps might not show that a path is actually a via ferrata (German: Klettersteig) that requires extra gear and strength/endurance.
- Phone coverage is good in Austria but in some valleys or alpine regions coverage can fade away.
- It is good practice to self log at the hut and summit logbooks. This will allow mountain rescue to track your way. If you use APRS adding your APRS callsign to the book too.
- Getting rescued by helicopter can be expensive. Make sure to plan your trips carefully (overconfidence) and have an insurance that covers mountaineering activities. This is of course only for real emergency situations.
Bands and SOTA operation - VHF
- 145.500 FM is always a good start.
- Expect in some regions that no one will answer
- Chances on a Saturday or Sunday are increased
- OE/ST region has 145.550 as preferred SOTA QRG
- Most ham operators will speak English well enoung for a short QSO
Will update if I have more comes to my mind.