On my 3rd SOTA birthday I planned to do some activations abroad. The Principality of Liechtenstein, or short Liechtenstein, appeared to be a nice destination for some beautiful hiking tours and SOTA activations.
HB0 contains a total of 11 SOTA summits, all of them already activated. Surprisingly some of them have been activated quite often, like e.g. Augstenberg (36 times), while others had only 1 or 2 activations.
For my first day in Liechtenstein I selected one of the less frequently activated summits. It should be either Falknis (HBO/LI-003) with 2 activations or Vorder Grauspitz (HB0/LI-001) with only one activation back in the year 2011. In the end, the latter won the competition
My trip began with a 4 hours car trip to Malans during the night. Typically I stay away from cable cars, but this time it was a “must” to use the Älplibahn. A “must” because this “urige” cable car is held by a cooperative and it is very well organised almost only by retired persons. It is very well and strict organized: You have to book your place in the cabins in advance a couple of days before and then you get an exact time when to ascend and when to descend. My times were 08:15 in the morning for ascending by cable car and 16:15 in the afternoon for descending. Of course this dictated me a tight time schedule for my activation.
From the cable car it was still a long way up to the Vorder Grauspitz. I planned for about 4 hours to hike. It was a delightful trail with splendid weather in a very beautiful scenery.
After a couple of kilometers I got a first view of my todays destination: The Vorder Grauspitz (HB0/LI-001).
But it was still a long way to get there. While most of the tour it was blue sky and the sun was shining, just in time when the trail began to become difficult, dense fog complicated the orientation. And prompt I missed the trail and hiked up quite some unnecessary height meters
By the way, for those who wonders how I look like, I’ve taken a selfie of me in the next picture. That’s me, wearing my colorful halo, in order to celebrate my first activation in HB0
After finding again the correct trail I ascended the rest of the summit with some intermediate scrambling. Especially the ridge up to the top of the summit was a little bit challenging.
When I finally arrived at the top I was twofold surprised: First, someone else had just left a flag of my homeland, i.e. the kingdom of Bavaria, on the pile of stones that marked the summit.
The next surprise was the summit logbook. It dates back to the year 1992. After being nearly a quarter of a century on top of this summit, only half of its pages have been filled. Very few people are climbing up this summit. This explains the little number of recent activations of this summit.
So, lets add another SOTA activation of this summit. I had only about 1 hour left for my activation after the long ascent. Originally, I planned to do part of the activation on the 30m band in CW and the rest on 20m in SSB. But the calls on the 30m band seemed not come to an end. After about 40 contacts my time limit has been reached and therefore I just asked one or two times more CQ on the 30m band until nobody else called in and then I had to skip the SSB part in order to get back in time for my booked cable car cabin. Sorry to all SSB chasers who waited for my activation.
On my 3.5 hour long descent down to the cable car I could take a picture of my SOTA destination for the next day. The Naafkopf from a point of view, from which only few activators before have watched this summit.
73 Stephan, HB0/DM1LE
The second part of my trip can be found here: Second part of my trip to HB0 in Oct. 2014