OE/TI: Tyrol For Beginners
When comparing all the recommendations we got it soon turned out that a three kilometres hike with 400 m vertically are quite different from what we’re experienced. Hikr.org was another helpful source of tour reports but most of them either do not cross a SOTA summit or require a Klettersteig set (basic climbing gear) and skills. In addition, when arriving at the holiday home we were surprised to find free tickets for certain cable-cabs. Taking all this into consideration, we focused on four summits. Here we go!
I started with one of Tom’s easy recommendations and parked the car in Seefeld at the Gschwandtkopf ski lift. A sign read ‘for ski lift passengers only’ which was good as I intended to go down by ski lift after the activation. But when I got to the summit I recognised two mechanics working on the summit station. All the way up I wondered why the lift stood still all the time and obviously maintenance was the reason. So I got free parking and saved 10 Euros for the ride. The mechanics had their radio on playing Johnny Cash, a good sound track for an activation. The weather was grey and cloudy but there were only two short and light showers. OE7FMH was my first chaser and in the qso it turned out that he had followed me on APRS and had waited for me to show up on the band, however he expected me on 2m.
40 m SSB: 16 QSOs, no s2s
Or first hike in alpine terrain. Saile is a summit in Axamer Lizum, a popular skiing area. We took the Birgitzköpfl ski lift (free ride, yeah!) and already at the base station my set-up turned out not to perfectly fit to the Alps. With the FT-857D, the DX-wire ‘mini’ pole, antenna, battery, rain jacket, DSLR, water, milk, tea and a gas boiler, my rucksack was quite heavy and big. I didn’t had a clue how to get into the lift with it. The operator didn’t hesitate a second, took my rucksack, placed it in the gondola and told me to sit in the next one. First time I saw my radio station travelling ahead of me. When unloading my gear, the mountain station operator asked what was in the rucksack. A radio station, I said and he just shook his head.
From the mountain station we took the northwestern route via Zwölferspitze. At first the trail was nice and easy but soon turned challenging and steep with a loose gravel surface. Several times I had to use my hands to climb.
The summit has lots of space for a linked dipole and I built my shack some metres off the summit cross. Again, I used 40 m and after the first SOTA pile up I felt hungry and had a slice of bread before I wanted to change bands. I left the receiver on the the frequency and just before I finished my bread Mirko, DJ1AA called me. What a surprise! At home I often natter with Mirko on the local repeater. Seems, somehow the news spread that I was QRV. After some minutes of rag-chewing another familiar station from home showed up, Tom, DL9OBD/m. During the QSO with Tom the second round SOTA chasers gathered on the frequency and I ended the natters to work the chasers.
The weather was perfect with only a light and warm breeze and so we didn’t recognise that we spent much more time on the summit than planned. Initially, we wanted to hike past the Schneiderspitze to Hoadl and then to take the cable cab back to the valley. But we were a bit late and catching the last cab would have been quite a challenge. Instead we decided to take the short route back and had Apfelstrudel with cream at the Birgitzköpflhaus.
Ampferstein (left) and Hoadl (middle)
Again, radio ahead!
40m SSB: 25 QSOs
s2s: EA2DNO/p on EA1/CT-042, DL/IN3ADF/p on DL/MF-039
To be continued.