My first full day in Germany, the plan for today was to activate two drive on summits and two I had to climb, before returning for my second night at Landhaus Grafendhron:
DM/RP-158 Erbeskopf (Drive on)
DM/RP-150 Kinheimer Berg (Drive on)
DM/RP-436 Rothenburg 1 (2.3 km 140m ascent one way)
DM/RP-452 Wehlener Wold (2.7 km 220m ascent one way)
As the Landhaus served breakfast from 8am, which was too late a start for me, I had opted for a “breakfast bag” on both days. This consisted of sandwiches, fruit and an energy bar. As I had no dinner the previous night during my journey from the airport to DM/RP-187, most of my breakfast bag was consumed that evening, leaving me little for the next day. Driving between the summits in the countryside meant I did not pass though any towns with supermarkets, so by the middle of the day I was running short on food, and by the time I was walking to Wehlener Wold, energy.
The summit is located on the edge of Hunsruck-Hochwald National Park, and is also a counter for POTA as DA-0026. The hill forms part of a radar station operated by the German Military. I obtained a permit to operate on HF from there on a specific day, 10th May 2023. A car park is provided and I walked 100m to this shelter, which was fortunate, as it was starting to rain:
My first contact was with Nick G4OOE in Scarborough at 06:07 UTC on 40m CW. I was off to an early start and only stayed on the air for 12 minutes, finishing with an SSB contact with QRP Chaser Mariusz, SP9AMH. Leszek OK/SQ9MDF/P was worked as an S2S on OK/OL-018. Condx on 40m at that time in a morning can be variable, and many chasers I assumed were having breakfast or were still in bed. By 0620z on SSB there were no more callers so I moved on. Out of the 27 summits activated on this tour this was the only one where I was unable to bungee my pole to some sort of support - I used a 3 point guying ring.
DM/RP-150 Kinheimer Berg
I tried to find a better place to operate in a field on the edge of the woodland but couldn’t find anywhere suitable, so I returned to the roadside layby on the road that runs over the summit. An uninspiring summit that produced 45 QSOs however, mostly on 40m CW/SSB. There were zero S2S contacts.
DM/RP-436 Rothenburg 1
Vehicles were not permissable on the track leading to Rothenburg 1. I parked just off the main road, which was busy. The Mosel river lies close by, and there is a impressively engineered motorway bridge with an enormous span way above the valley, just north east of the summit:
I left the track after 2.1 km to walk through the woodland to the summit and saw my first ever wild boar! It ran straight across my forward view around 20m away. I must have frightened the beast, and I never saw it again. We don’t have any Wild Boar in the UK so I was pleased to see one in the wild.
I operated within the woodland, at the trig point, tieing off my pole to a tree. I stayed on 40m. The first contact was with Victor GI4ONL and I was active for 20 minutes, before packing up and moving on.
DM/RP-452 Wehlener Wold
For my 4th and final summit today I had to walk further than anticipated. The tarmac road up the hill was restricted to farmer traffic, so I parked in the village of Platten in a residential street and walked up into the forest, passing on the way, this historical wine press:
Continuing on to the summit, the tarmac road melded into a forest track. I left this to join a slightly overgrown path that took me to another forestry track running across what was a non-descript two point summit:
Contacts on 40m CW/SSB dried up again after 20 minutes. I was quite hungry by now and had run out of water. I was back at my car though by 1330 UTC, but decided I had done enough for the day with the four summits, so I went in search of food and drink using the SATNAV POI function to take me to a Lidl supermarket in nearby Wittlich, where I sat on my Decathlon stool in the car park and consumed pastries, cake and coca cola before returning to my room in the Landhaus at Grafendhron.