After the last, rather lazy, weekend, with its not quite enjoyable onset of winter, I monitored all weekdays long the weather forecast for the forthcoming weekend. While most of the week the forecast wasn’t nice, at least on Friday it became apparent that Saturday will be an acceptable day for doing a SOTA activation.
On Friday evening I studied the maps in order to find some not yet (by me) activated summit. Soon I stumbled upon the summit Hochgern (DL/CG-018) in the Chiemgauer mountains near the “Bavarian Sea” Chiemsee, i.e. the largest lake in Bavaria covering nearly 80km2.
I started my hiking tour in the small village Unterwössen at a completely empty car park. The first part of the hiking tour runs along a dry and snow-free forest-road up to the nice hut “Hochgernhaus”.
Along my hiking tour I met 2 sportly looking young men. Their answer to my question, how the conditions up to the summit would be, was rather disappointing: Both quit their attempt hiking up to the summit because it would be too icy and there would lie up to 1/2 meter snow. And I understood from their answer that they advised me not to go up further than to the hut.
After this smalltalk I had already the picture in my head that I’m going to have an extended coffee break on the sunny terrace of the hut and enjoying the view up to the summit while many chasers were already waiting to hear me calling CQ
Nevertheless I proceeded with my walk up to the hut. As announced by the 2 “sportys” abt. 100 hm after the hut the trail became snowy and a little bit icy but I soon arrived at the point were the two others returned.
This image shows the remaining way up to the summit:
Fortunately a young lady was just descending down from the summit and arrived here at the same time. I didn’t hesitate to ask her for the conditions of the remaining walk especially with the expected snow height. Her response was a big smile and she told me that there is indeed lots of snow but the trail is “just cute”, whatever she meant by this wording
Encouraged by her description of the trail I proceeded up to the summit, in order to not disappoint the waiting chasers. And indeed the way was really nice, far away from being challenging.
On top of the summit even a splendid panorama compensated for the wet shoes.
Since the summit area was rather small, I decided to set up my SOTA equipment in a distance to the summit cross, in order to stay away from the other mountain walkers.
But it turned out that the fixation of the antenna pole wasn’t that easy because of the frozen ground. Finally I managed to stick the three pegs somewhere in the ground on a grassy area nearby the summit. On the other hand, this grassy area seemed to be very attractive to the other mountain walkers as soon more and more of them walked over to my site and snuggled against the antenna pole
The following SOTA activation was also a nice one. I expected that the conditions will not be overwhelming but at least 22 contacts on 20m and 30m got finally into my log. Two of them summit-to-summits with Guru EA2IF/P on EA2/NV-119 and with M/PA1IJF/P on G/NP-010. The contact with Guru was rather a lucky one, because I already finished my activation and just listened a little bit on the band while enjoying the panorama . Suddenly I heard Ignacio EA2BD calling with a very loud signal. As he was not using a suffix /P I assumed he was not activating a summit himself but was chasing another SOTA activator. Soon I heard Guru responding to his call, so I tried also and after just two attempts the QSO was valid.
There was also a nice tiny chapel nearby the activation area, but unfortunately I didn’t look into it so I cannot tell you what’s the reason for placing this chapel on top of the summit.
All in all a very pleasant SOTA activation on a spring day with fine weather that makes the following dreary Sunday more sufferable.
Again many thanks to all chasers for calling me and especially to the two other SOTA activators for the S2S.
73 Stephan, DM1LE