After work yesterday I set off for my first night tenting in the new year. My destination was LA/HL-026 Høgeåsen, which is about 3 hours drive from where I live. My initial plan was to activate both this and the LAFF-0433 Hisdalen area adjacent to the summit.
Days are still short here in Norway, and it had been dark for a while when I got to the parking around 1900 local time. From what I had read the area had a well developed network of trails that lead to the various summits, as it is a popular hiking destination with a nice viewpoint over the nearest big city, Bergen.
View towards Bergen from Fanafjellet, near the summit
Sadly the trails were of a much poorer quality than I expected, with several parts being very hard to make out, which actually made me loose the trail at some times. The high temperatures had left lots of water in it’s annoying liquid state, which meant that when I reached the summit my boots were completely soaked. This generally isn’t a problem if you’re just doing a short activation, but can be an issue when you are planning a multi-day trip in sub-zero temperatures. I therefore decided to skip the Flora Fauna-activation (SOTA is most important after all).
I was lucky to find a very nice site for my tent on a viewpoint near the summit. The ground here was covered in about 5 centimeters of snow, so there were no issues pitching it. My tent is a Bergans Trysil 3 man tent, which I prefer for shorter hikes. For longer trips I use a smaller variant to save weight.
A lonely tent in the dark night
I made my first QSO on VHF in the tent that night. I had talked to many local HAM’s via repeater on the way up, and one of them was listening on the local calling frequency. I managed to have a nice QSO on 0.5w with my Yaesu FT-2DE.
The next morning I woke to a beautiful moonrise, followed by a just as beautiful sunrise over the fjords.
My campsite at sunrise, parts of the SOTAbeams antenna visible on the left
When I had enoguh light I started the work on erecting my SOTAbeams Linked Dipole and my telescopic mast. Due to the temperatures I decided to do a relatively short activation. I started calling on 80 meters and got 6 replies, one from UK and the rest Norwegian. I then participated in a local net on 80 meters (that of course wasn’t logged as SOTA), before I packed my gear and returned to the car.
Radio and sleeping bag with a nice sunset-colored sky
This summit would be a very nice destination in summer, as I think the trails would be more suitable then. The hike up took me around 1 hour 15 minutes, and the return trip around 45 minutes.