After COVID. R9U/SO-094

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.


Hi Vlad and Marat

It’s good to see you again and in good health :+1:

73 Éric


Thanks for sharing such a great story. I guess looking forward to such an adventure was keeping you motivated during the hospital time.

And of course I hope there are no longterm effects on your lungs or other organs. We all want to hear more winter adventures with floating campfires.

All the best 73, Joe


Eric and Joe, thanks!
I am very glad to be here again. Daily breathing exercises made it possible to preserve the lungs. X-rays did not notice much difference. But the blow came later and unexpectedly. I was driving at that moment, and I was afraid that I would not get home …
But I was lucky. I thought about the mountains every moment and it helped me. Probably as always before.

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Hi Vlad,

Nice to see you.
Great report as always.
Chapeau bas !
For COVID you have similar experience to my wife ones.
It is terrible !
But after some time and exercises like you had in park she started to hike along with me.
Keep strong and hope to see you soon on S2S :wink:

73, Jarek


Hello Vlad.

Thanks for the nice report and pictures. You had a great time. All the best and stay healthy.

73 Marcel DM3FAM


Hi Vlad and Marat. Great report and photos. A fantastic effort, well done.

73 de Geoff vk3sq


Bravo Vlad & Marat,
You are the greatest R9U SOTA team!
Vlad, I’m very glad that your efforts, medication and dedicated training have finally put you up to the necessary level as to accomplish an activation of new SOTA with overnight camping at an amazingly low temp of -30ºC. I really admire your strength and skills to do such thing.
I enjoyed your write up and the beautilul winter pictures and I hope you’ll fully overcome the post Covid-19 problems as to be back activating more summits in the beautiful Ural mountains very soon.
I hope I’ll be able to chase you next time.



Guru, thank you for your good wishes and feedback. We definitely still have to do a lot of S2S. I wish you victory over cancer.
I believe in your victory!


Красотища! Отличный выезд, восхитительная природа, Марат, Володя! Завидую, аж слюни текут! ))) Володю слышал на 30м, правда едва-едва.
Скоро и я к вам присоединюсь. Надеюсь. )))

Fantastic beauty! Great hike, delightful nature, Marat, Volodya! Envy, already saliva flow!))) Volodya heard at 30 m, though very weakly.
I’ll join you soon too. Hope.)))


Great report, beatiful pics, amazing places! Well done, and stay healthy!
73 Fabio


Wonderful. One of my daughters has a love affair with Russia and would love to visit your country.

Congratulations on passing the test for your recovery. Here’s to many more radio adventures!

Regards, Mark. M0NOM

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Thank you, Mark!
As soon as the borders open, come to us, to the Urals. There are many peaks here, but very few activators!

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That would be an excellent post-lockdown plan, when we get back to some sort of normality!

Regards, Mark.

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Video about R9U/SO-094:

Return to winter…


There is one word, but it captures everything: “молодцы”.
I have been dreaming of the Urals for many years.
I also dream of Kaukas and Altai, but these mountains are not in SOTA.
I hope that someday in postcovid times I will have the opportunity to visit these regions.


Hi Jacek, and thank you for feedback.
Welcome to R9U!

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Great write up and nice photos. Glad you have recovered! 73


Hamzah, I am very glad that you liked my “winter story”. I really hope that this season the winter activations will be interesting and numerous. I wish you good health!
P.S.: Now I’m editing a film about R9U/SO-089 activation. It was November 4-5. There was already snow in the mountains.

Thanks Vlad and Marat,
For an outstanding and inspirational report!

All Best, Ken K6HPX