First Winter Activations of 2018/2019

There was a short weather window this weekend, and I was glad to get out of the house after a bout of flu and laryngitis. I went to the Masenberg (OE/ST-267) on Saturday. The carpark is in the activation zone so no real challenge, even in winter. However, as I was setting up outside the chapel, a huge block of ice slid off the roof and hit the ground. I decided to work in the doorway as it had a porch and thus some protection from falling ice. All went well until towards the end, when two people went into the chapel (which I had assumed was closed for winter like the hut nearby). Luckily I was just about finished, so I packed up quickly, made a quick donation in the chapel to atone for my sins, and went on my way.
I needed some exercise after so long cooped up at home, so I went for the Roßeck (OE/ST-197) today to get the legs moving and collect a winter bonus for my trouble. My efforts were well rewarded:

The snow was about a foot deep at the top of the mountain. With a chilly breeze blowing, this definitely felt like a winter activation and I began to regret not bringing a warm drink in a flask along. Luckily, my down jacket kept me toasty:

I include a link because between Christmas and New Year they will be reduced considerably in price. If you’re thinking of improving your insulation for the coming season, these offer about the best value you will find. I managed to get my mast tied up to the summit cross:

My antenna was in something of an inverted L configuration, but it still functioned perfectly without any need to retune. The furniture made life easier:

The only thing to not work as planned was the PicoAPRS; for some reason my messages didn’t get through. Thank you to the chasers who picked me up and spotted me, I got the usual 30 odd contacts on CW. If anyone else has an activation report they would like to add, please feel free, I don’t consider this ‘my thread’ by any means. Enjoy the coming winter season!
73 de OE6FEG / M0FEU


Hello Matt,

Thanks for the report. Myself also struggling with a bronchitis that kept me from activating during the past weeks. Hopefully next weekend I will be fit enough. Your pictures definitly raise the appetite for getting the snow shoes out there.

73 de Joe

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WX has been horrible and it’s raining very hard now and has been since 1400Z and so no activation for me. I’ve had a nasty cold all week and could do with the exercise too.

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Hi Matt,

Thanks for the activation + QSO yesterday and…

Thanks for the activation + QSO today. It wasn’t easy for me to copy you on 40m due to severe QSB, but we finally made another good QSO.

Nice pics btw!

I wonder who cleaned up the snow from that very convenient bench at the summit.



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Nice pictures Matt.
I also managed to get out on Saturday, wx was quite good but then cloud dropped and snow in the afternoon. I did a circular route over GM/CS-041 (Meall a’Choire Leith) then GM/CS-010 (Meall Corranaich) with about 30 qso’s on each summit. Used KX2 with 9m Inverted L on 6m pole. Also worked Robin GM7PKT/P on 2m, he was on GM/CS-107 (Drumcroy Hill) about 30Km to the north. Just a couple of pictures taken from GM/CS-041 with phone.
73 Gavin GM0GAV

GM/CS-004 (Meall Garbh) in the middle, from GM/CS-041 (Meall a’Choire Leith)

Summit of GM/CS-041 (Meall a’Choire Leith), no trees / cross or seat here!


Sorry to hear you’ve both been ill as well. Working in a primary school (like me) means you are first to get ill, but also first to get better. I hope you’re both both back in activating condition soon. I feel great after a good walk like that, just hope I don’t come down with pneumonia tomorrow!

Yes, that’s a place for groundhogs and decent sized rock to bash them in with!

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I got as far as an alert for G/NP-015, but shortly after charging up the batteries up on Saturday double checked the weather and the promised weather window disappeared… so rather disappointingly removed the alert and discharged the cells back to the storage voltage… :frowning: It has been raining here all day so probably the right choice.

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Oh dear!: :cry: Well, the weather is going a bit unstable here for the next few days, so a good opportunity to work on the QCX.

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… haven’t entirely mastered wet and windy activations. I did try a bothy bag but the noise of the bag made communication impossible. Hiding the 817 in the rucksack also seems to meet with limited sucess. Any suggestions for keeping kit dry-ish on a wet and windy summit? ( I could have gone 2m only with the FT270 but must admit to enjoying HF!)


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Hello Matt,
Just back afer OK/JC activations, not haevy but is is winter there.
Strange on a few summits I have rain and temperatore minus 4, my umbrella was frozen :wink:




For the furniture I am fully agree :wink:

I think in that area real winter has not came yet :wink:

73, Jarek SP9MA


Constant drizzle in the Lake District literally all weekend with cloud base of around 250m - despite the best laid plans I went car hunting instead (and that was a waste of time too!)

I was also glad to get out on Saturday after too long with no SOTA. I went to Mont Caribou, a long drive to the trail head, but a new one for me.

There was lots of snow on the trail, but it wasn’t too cold.

There was a table on the summit, but it was quite exposed so I opted to set up in a gully out of the wind.

Propagation was excellent with many contacts into the western US and two DX. I even had time for some close in contacts on 60m.

I’ll be back out next weekend, wx permitting.
Malcolm VE2DDZ


Jarek, thanks for the contacts the last days.

73 Tonnie, de PA9CW.



thanks for the contact from OE/ST-197. I was testing my KX-1, when I heared a cq with SOTA. After working you, I made a spot for you.

73 Tonnie, de PA9CW.

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Thanks for spotting! Your KX1 is doing FB.

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Great, I got inspired from your winter adventure and plan to go on one myself between X-mas and New Year. Today we have +4C and drizzle here but really hope for dry and cooler air and also some snow.
Nice to read and see pictures from your activation.

73’s Jaan


Wintertime in Austria can be very delightful and challenging: OE5AKM off-shack — Schneeberg

73, Alfred, OE5AKM


I managed to sneak out again today, this time to Wildwiesen OE/ST-268. The weather was really nice this morning with plenty of sunshine and light winds. I would have gone for a six pointer, but my Paramo trousers are in the wash prior to some overdue repair work. The activation zone is huge and well furnished:

I set up away from the church door this time:

There was some really bad QRM today and as a result I was not able to get Bill G4WSB in the log. Someone DQRMd his RST twice in row. Perhaps we should be greateful that someone sees our activities as being important enough to need QRMing.
On a more positive note: there is a huge 34m tower at Wildwiesen. When the weather improves next year I may well try a full sized end fed for 80m from the top. 160m would work as well; the KX3 could use a day out for a change.
73 de OE6FEG / M0FEU


Hello everyone,

Managed my first 2018/2019 winter season activation on Wasserklotz OE/OO-248, 1505m.
Most of the snow from early December is gone but near the summit a little bit was there for the feeling.

Happy to have QSOs with the great OE5 SOTA community again :smile:
S2S with Ovi OE3ATB, Antonio @EC2AG and Lorenzo EA6KB

Here my video and pictures:


On the way back the sun peaked thru

73 de Joe


Glad to see you’re out activating again Joe. I have come down with bronchitis now and have had to stay in this weekend😭. Hopefully I will be fighting fit for Tenerife from the 26/12 to 05/01. Maybe we will S2S in the New Year. If the weather in England is ok on either the 23rd or 24th of December then I may try Buckden Pike G/NP-009.
73 de OE6FEG / M0FEU

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