All my plans for this winter were canceled out by COVID. In November, I recovered relatively easily. When I recovered, I started training. And even bought some winter equipment. And then, after 3 weeks, problems arose with the cardiovascular system. What mountains are there? I felt terrible. Mountains of pills and injections became my occupation. And the peaks with white caps remained somewhere infinitely far away … My destiny was the city park, where pensioners walk around the lake and practice “Scandinavian walking”. And yet I got off easy. My wife, a doctor at Covid Hospital, won’t let me lie. Perhaps these daily kilometers around the lake helped me more than medicine. When I felt a slight improvement, I decided to go out of town for 2-3 hours, with skis. Pine trees, snow and a fire helped me to gain confidence that the mountains lying far beyond the horizon are still my home. Of course, it was not easy for me to decide to go to the winter activation in the style to which I am so accustomed - skiing, tent, fire smoke and complete freedom. There is one simple condition here - you must be strong and healthy. Only when I left the house early in the morning with skis and a backpack did all my worries disappear … Marat, made me a company for this weekend trip.
And the summit was chosen so that one could come to it by train. So we went to R9U/SO-094.
There was a lot of snow this year, the last snowfalls continued their work in March. Therefore, our ski trail, sometimes more like a trench, began immediately from a small railway station in the Ural mountains.
When Marat asked me about the appointed activation time, I answered - 12.00 GMT. Marat was surprised, because it is only 6 kilometers to the summit, and there is a whole day ahead. It turned out that I was also wrong in my calculations. We were at the top, completely tired only after 13:00 GMT.
Deep snow, difficult terrain and dense forest turned our hike into a continuation of the obstacle course. Yes, and the forces have gone somewhere …
Of course, I really wanted to immediately climb the antenna up a tree, turn on the transceiver and “jump” into the air. But the daylight was coming to an end, and the frost was gaining strength - in order to avoid major troubles, we set about arranging the camp without wasting a minute. Winter does not beg for carelessness. Only when the firewood was prepared, the tent was set up, we were able to install the antenna with the last bit of strength. Taking a battery out of a warm pocket, I turned on the transceiver. What a fortune that everything worked and our efforts were not lost. The honor to activate the summit for the first time fell to Marat. He climbed into the tent, wrapped himself in a warm downy sleeping bag and picked up a microphone …
And I, putting on my thick down jacket, went to make a fire and cook the long-awaited dinner. It was about minus 30 degrees Celsius, fortunately the wind sometimes swooped down on our small camp. never got strong. While I held a small flame with frozen fingers and protected it from the wind with myself, the sounds of the radio came from the tent. Marat made a QSO. The activation took place. It was happiness!
Already in the dark we ate dinner and raised toasts to the mountains, radio and of course to health. And the frost didn’t “bite” so much when we ate for the first time that day. Of course, health passed a specific test on this trip! Ahead was a frosty night …
I didn’t even think about any radio after dinner. I climbed into my sleeping bag and fell asleep, under the knocking of the frozen tent awning in the wind. I woke up early in the morning, it was still dark. The nose began to freeze.
Sunday morning was great.
The sun rose from behind the mountains and filled everything with light. His warmth melted us too)) In principle, we were in no hurry, since the descent in its tracks was several times faster than the ascent. After breakfast, I had the opportunity to put on my headphones and pick up the CW key. It is a pity that the European enthusiasts were still asleep, it was too early. But at 10 MHz it was quite interesting.
Then we packed up the camp, turned off the camping antenna and went on skis down.
The way home.