F/AB-435 With Views of Mont Blanc

After struggling to only just qualify FL/VO-001 Le Grand Ballon last week I wasn’t expecting much better today when I tried F/AB-435 the Crêt de Châtillon but perhaps because it was later in the day things turned out better.

We are on a campervan tour in France and like Le Grand Ballon this summit has free parking just below it where we can spend the night. Free overnight parking is a Good Thing!

This is the view from further away. F/VB-435 is the summit with the ski lift.

Visibility wasn’t perfect but we did glimpse Mont Blanc.

This screenshot from the Peakfinder app does a good job of identifying the tops.

The summit towards the left with the big cliffs is the 2338m Le Tournette F/AB-286 which is “only” 8 points and has been activated just 3 times. It makes me feel almost guilty for the 10 points earned after a 15 minute walk to the top of Le Grand Ballon.

But back to today’s activation on the 4 point Crêt de Châtillon. The HF conditions were not good, the K index was up to 4 so I decided to make the best with 40m SSB and use a linked dipole instead of my usual end-fed with tuner.

There was quite a bit of crackling and fizzing but I found a free frequency (mid-week is good!) and after spotting (mobile signal good) called CQ.

S52ON and S57ILF came in very quickly and then it was about a QSO every minute with following contacts made.


Reports were very mixed with a 33 and 42 but also 57, 58 and 59.

Very many thanks to all the chasers. If I sounded a bit deaf it was because I was using the speaker instead of headphones so a young couple who were interested in what I was doing could hear what was going on.

F/VB-435 isn’t the tallest summit in this region but it’s easy to access and a farm beside the parking area sells local cheese, some of which we will sample tonight. :slight_smile: