We are quite fortunate in Graz in that Slovenia (a very beautiful country) is only a few hours away. With the winds forecast very strong for this week, I started to hunt about for possibilities south of the border, and I found the perfect bad weather option: the Kope ski area near Dravograd. From the car park both Črni vrh [S5/PK-001] and Velika Kopa [S5/PK-002] are easily accessible, either walking or on skis, which I chose. I had to set off very early in the morning at 6:15, but it meant getting a good spot in the carpark and getting to the top of the piste before it opened. I got to the summit of Črni vrh in just over an hour. The best thing about this mountain is that there is a shelter open all year round to provide a comfortable activation whatever the weather:
The door can be closed without damaging RG174 running through it, but it would be wise to bring a bit extra coax in order to reach the table inside:
The weather was not the only problem on Tuesday, the K5 geomagnetic storm wiped out any band above 30m for me. Thankfully, the EU regulars were there to provide the necessary contacts:
I took the climbing skins off the skis and whizzed back down to the car where a flask of hot tea and some biscuits were waiting. I had made such good time in the morning, I had to wait over an hour to get a reduced (afternoon) ticket for the ski lift. Eventually I hopped on and was carried up to Velika Kopa [S5/PK-002]. The wind was becoming more intermittent now and I didn’t even need my down jacket on whilst sat in the sun:
There is no hut for walkers on this summit, although the first aid hut has a nice veranda that would be useful in summer (when it is not in use). I set up under a tree:
The log was a bit thicker this time, but not much:
These were also two new summits for me and a really nice day out in what are otherwise, very frustrating conditions.
73 de OE6FEG Matt