many thanks to all chasers who called in on Rüfispitze OE/VB-101 and Rüfikopf OE/VB-216 yesterday. WX forecasts announced a hot afternoon, so I gave it an early start at 0315z at the car park in Zürs, still dark when I set off. Illuminated by the moon the clouds were moving fast against the sky, an unmistakable evidence for strong winds up there.
Rüfispitze, VB-101 was the first one on the schedule. When I ascended the final 300m I found that the trail had been furbished up, presumeably earlier this year. A lot of shiny new markings and two spots additionally fitted with a fixed steel rope.
As foreseen there was a strong and cold wind blowing on the summit, repeatedly driving along heavy clouds. For a very short time it looked as if it might start to rain, but to my pleasure it kept dry all day. I put on all of my clothing and did a short rest to enjoy the scene before I set up the rig. The signals mostly were loud that morning, but also had to cope with severe qsb. At the end of the activation my log showed 52 QSO. I took some pictures, packed in and descended into direction Rüfikopf, VB-216, the second summit for the day.
Rüfikopf is the highest of several peaks on top of a karst plateau, the direct neighbour of VB-101 and a simple walk-on. I set up the rig and first went on 40m, later on 30m as always, filling my log step by step, mostly with regulars. At time noone else came back I decided to give it a try on 20m before going qrt.
Due to the RDA contest finding a clear frequency on that band wasn’t easy at all. I finally managed to hook into a gap on 14066kHz and quickly self spotted by SMS. I got rewarded with 5 additional QSO before a contest station suddenly appeared from nowhere, occupied my QRG “out of the void” and started to call “cq test”. What a shameless knock off! Even more disappointing because I had worked VE2JCW just 1 minute before and was looking forward to maybe more DX. BTW that was my first ever SOTA QSO across the pond (4 watts and the usual whip antenna). Since the contest station didn’t bother at all I decided to call it a day…
It was awfully hot during descent and I was glad to finally having returned to the car at 1430z.
Some pictures on flickr as usual - many thanks again to all callers, see you from the next summit!
73 Bernhard DL4CW