Activation of Monte Rosa (Dufourspitze)HB/VS-001 and Mont Blanc F/AB-001 July1-10 2017

Hello, I am planning an activation of Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc July 1-10 2017.
Never done this before and plan only to bring a 2m FM HT since I was unsuccessful in securing any other equipment from manufactures.
I will try to post daily progress and at least a day in advance of reaching the summits.
Operation will be likely around 145.000 MHz and 145.500 MHz.
Wild guess is that HB/VS-001 will be activated July 3 or 4 and F/AB-001 July 8 or 9.

Any help in locating FM repeaters or hams in the HB9, I or F areas is appreciated.
Will be leaving the States for Verona, IT June 27 2017 and will be in Milan June 30.

Hope to hear you on the air.
73 Relu NJ9R


Good luck with your undertaking, Relu! I’ll certainly try to be on a summit in VHF range for a very special S2S. Getting the required 4 QSOs for a SOTA activation with a 2m HT in a short time on weekdays can sometimes be difficult here (and repeater QSOs don’t count), so it’s good to have a few people listening for you. The huge coverage from up there will definitely help too.

I’m pretty sure we could find someone in the area to lend you a small HF rig and antenna, although I suspect you may not want (or have time to) set up HF and work a pile-up on these summits :wink:

vy 73,

Manuel HB9DQM

What is the 70cm calling frequency in IARU region 1, 433.500?
Everyone seems to agree on the 2m frequency but unsure about 70cm.
Also is there a list of repeaters on the HB9 side I can access before the ascent?

Yes, 433.500, but it is rare to find someone there without prior arrangements.
HB9 repeater list:

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Best of luck with the weather. You are much less likely to find people listening on 70cms calling frequency than on 2m unless you have made arrangements. Don’t forget that contacts made through a repeater do not count for SOTA.

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I will be monitoring the Monte Rosa repeater 430.3250 +5 MHz 82.5 RU13 Monte Rosa (VB) IT, during the ascent and switch to the 2m simplex calling frequency once up there.
Hope to hear you on the air.

I’ve also programmed all these repeaters within 40km in my radio, just hope the info is up to date.`state_id`%2C+`loc`%2C+`call`+ASC.

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Thank you. Very Helpful.

Hello Relu,

Welcome to France !

The updated list of all transponders and repeaters (VHF, UHF, D-star …) in France is here: (click on repeater for more informations)
(site web : rubrique : Relais VHF/UHF France)

On VHF, the simplex calling frequency is 145.500 (FM) (channels simplex : 145.500 to 145.550 with space of 12.5kHz)
on UHF : simplex calling frequency is 433,500 (FM) (simplex : 433.400 to 433.575 with space of 25kHz).

But beware ! There are not many OMs on these bands especially very early in the morning! So a VHF / UHF activation may not to be possible.
Instead, a transceiver like the KX2, lightweight, with little current required, can be provided for activation on HF bands.

Don’t forget to post alert on Sotawatch right now.

Also beware of cold and wind, even if the weather is sunny, even in summer, temperatures are usually below 0 ° C.
Keep the battery warm under the jacket +++ to avoid freezing.

Also don’t forget about booking the shelter because there are many and many alpinists who climb the Mt Blanc.
The day before, it is necessary to leave very early to have a good place in the shelter and avoid the falls of stone in “Le Grand Couloir” (under l’Aiguille du Gouter).
Be careful when crossing it, it’s the most dangerous part of the ascent. The beginning and the end are protected, and it is necessary to check +++ that there is no fall of stone before crossing (duration of crossing : 30 seconds approximately).

Don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.

Enjoy your stay in French Alps, it’s a very beautiful country :wink:

Bruno, F6HHK
F/AB manager

Very good information especially for the Mont Blanc area both repeater wise and safety wise (Le Grand Couloir) Bruno, merci.
I see some transponders but not sure if they require PL tones for input.
Here is one that is very high so it should cover a lot of the area but besides the input and output frequencies no CTCSS tones are listed.

Indicatif : F5ZGT Type : Transpondeur
Freq. entrée : 145.4500 Freq. sortie : 431.5125
Ville : Val Thorens QTH : Cime Caron DĂ©partement : 73
Altitude : 3164 m Responsable : F2JD DĂ©clenchement : DMR
Remarques : bi-mode FM

It’s a DMR transponder.

It needs registration (like D Star) and a compatible transceiver ( Motorola, Hytera …)

I missed that, thank you.

I see your alert on Sotawatch.
Beware : 18:00z = 20:00 local time in France (08:00p.m.) , the same for Suisse
It seems to late for the top of summit ? rather 06:00z ?

Thanks Bruno, it was meant to be a placeholder only and was going to be updated once I have more information but I will chamge it to reflect a more appropriate time.

Hi Relu,
Your activations were published today in YO by YO7CKP and hope that a lot of hams here will try to listen turning their antennas in your direction. Not impossible but not easy… will see.
Anyway, good luck on your attempt!
And maybe on your next trip to YO we could activate together.
Succes si vreme buna!

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a couple of years ago, the rough schedule for a summer ascent to Mt. Blanc was:

  • arrival on Refuge du Gouter in the afternoon of Day 1, either hike from the valley or (as most do) take train to Nid d’Aigle (2380m), and then climb up to the refuge. The couloir is really dangerous and also the following climb to the refuge is long and while not difficult, does not allow for a mistake. I actually witnessed the death of a Czech climber there some ten years ago; he slipped from the wet rock and fell 200 m.
  • try to sleep in the refuge (only with reservation, I have heard they send you back if you do not have one, seriously!), get up at 1 or 2 am and try to be on the summit between 7 and 9 am.
  • short stay on the summit and a very, very long way home.

The summit itself is boring and the ascent and everything is overcrowded. You will meet a lot of people with too little experience for this type of summit.

Summits on the Air shows that so far 6 QSOs on 2 m have been managed. Btw, there are four separate activations by F8UFT on the same day in the database, I guess that is a mistake.

Good luck!

I changed the time to 08:00 UTC for both peaks but will keep updating it as needed. The day before the ascent I should have a better idea on the exact time.
As far as all preparations they have been taken care of so that will not be an issue, acclimatization of the group may play a bigger role here but we’ll see.
Thanks for the excellent advice.

Hi Relu,
An italian reapeter with great coverege in north Italy is R2 145.650 -0.600 156.7Hz.
A list of italian reapeters
In Italy there isn’t much traffic on 2 meter FM simplex. Good luck!!
I live 50km north of Milan, I will try to contact you from my QTH or by S2S.


Yes, it’s essential ++++ to book for the Refuge du Gouter (3863m) : bivouac is forbidden +++
If there is no place available, it is possible to book at the Refuge de Tête Rousse (3187m) but then, there is 700m additional climb the next day …


Hello Martin,
No it is not a mistake; it is because we were 4 operators on summit and the database manages it like that.
GĂ©rald F6HBI (F/AB-001 30m cw operator 2016)

Hi GĂ©rald,
ah - thanks for the clarification, and congratulations to your achievement in 2016!
73 de Martin, DK3IT

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