Hot spring in the southern Urals

Hot spring. R9U/SO-080 and R9U/SO-037 activation.
This is really so - for our Urals, where in May there is still snow in the mountains and fills the stormy rivers with water.

Sometimes, traveling by kayak, even in the middle of May, I had to break the ice on the river, as an icebreaker does.

But now it’s hot in May - more than 30 degrees Celsius. And this weather has been going on for almost a month. When choosing equipment for traveling in the mountains, now you have to worry more about protection from the sun burning everything, and not about winter sleeping bags. With Sergey, R8WB - a travel and radio enthusiast

, we went on a trip to the East of the South Urals. Visit the most beautiful places and activate summits, including new ones. Our plan was simple - 3 days and two summits. And another 700 km by car, through the mountains. And quite a bit walking with backpacks. Of course, we understood that in such hot weather it is not worth trying to set records. Yes, weekends are for relaxation.

Day 1. R9U/SO-080

It was not possible to activate this summit last year in the summer, although I and my companions were standing at the foot of this mountain.

The way to the top is very picturesque and not difficult.
There is no trail as it is a rarely visited peak. It’s even more interesting for us. In this part of the Urals, there is no such deep taiga as in the central part, where the highest peaks stand.

Here are birches, larch trees and mountain meadows.

We climbed the mountain hiding in the shade of trees.

Fortunately, there was such an opportunity. But at the top, choosing between the saving shadow of the forest and the free space so necessary for the operation of vertical antennas, we chose an open place.

We installed two antennas - full-size GPs for 30 and 20 meters.

Unfortunately, we did not manage to be QRV at the same time - there was not enough antenna spacing, and the noise characteristics of our field TRXs are not the best. For the future, I will definitely make bandpass filters - well, almost like in the most serious contest positions. Hearing each other across the entire band was unbearable, and we start to work in order.

Sergey was QRV at 10MHz, and I filmed his CW on video and a little on a photo. Later RX9WT was QRV on 14 MHz.

The sun has been burning us all this time. Without stops. 40 minutes was enough for me. As soon as I felt that the exposed areas of my body became a source of slight discomfort, I turned off the radio and offered to disassemble the antennas. My partner agreed without hesitation. We quickly reeled up the wires and folded our fiberglass masts. And we ran to the car that was waiting for us at the pass, on a small flat area.

We were waiting for a transfer to the Krykty ridge and a “new” peak – summit R9U/SO- 037. The way there lay along a mountain road, more like a goat path, going up a steep slope. I really wanted to find a place for a camp, protected from the rays of the sun. And such a place was found, to our joy. It was already evening and I wanted to eat and relax in the cool shade.

Nevertheless, after dinner, we had the strength and desire to stretch the dipole by 10 MHz between the birches and operate the RDA BA-28, which is quite in demand.

Day 2. R9U/SO-037
In the morning - ascent along the beautiful rocky ledges to summit R9U/SO-037.

Mindful of yesterday’s sun, which roasted us at the summit, like on a huge frying pan, we took our outerwear. So of course it’s terribly hot, but there is no risk of sunburn.

We installed only one antenna - GP for 10 MHz.

There is simply no place for another antenna on the rock.
At 20m it matches perfectly with the tuner built into my transceiver.

Some of the guy lines and radials were attached simply by tying stones to them …
Sergey was the QRV first

, and I admired the amazing views and talked for a portable VHF station through repeaters hundreds of kilometers away.

Then we changed.


And again there was a pileup at 14 MHz, but the split was not required, as it was on the SO-080. QSO with ZL1TM again became the “icing on the cake” of this activation. Andrey’s signal managed to break through the wall of European enthusiasts SOTA and RDA. Despite the state close to heatstroke, I had the determination to complete half an hour of CW, and work the SSB for another 25 minutes. True, I had to let the transceiver cool down before that. His chassis was literally hot. I must say, I got a certain pleasure remembering spoken English … While I was QRV on HF, R8WB spoke on VHF.

We decided to go down without waiting for the unpleasant consequences of high temperatures. We quickly turned off the antenna and radio. I completely forgot - on this trip Sergey used his new radio - the Discovery TX-500 transceiver. I also listened a little - it’s amazing! I have rarely met such a quality of work of the receiver. Even my “home” TS-590SG, as it seemed to me, does not sound so clear on weak signals …
I hope R8WB will tell about his work on this trip and his impressions by himself .

Descending by car from the pass, we thought about a quick transfer to a river or lake, where we could spend the night, relax and cool down before the long journey home. Carefully, in the lowest gear we drove through rocks and holes, along which we crawled upward with the roar of the engine yesterday. Downstairs, on the asphalt, I decided to check the gasoline level. To do this, it was necessary to stop on flat place - the level gauge needle “got stuck” at «0» due to the large slope of the car on the descent. Suddenly, braking stopped, the brake pedal fell to the floor …
Breakage of the brake hose - this was the result of the inspection when I climbed under the car. It’s good that the hose burst on a flat road, where it was possible to stop simply by removing your foot from the accelerator pedal. On the mountainside, I would have had to brake against a tree. What if there was no tree in the way?
Of course, my friends brought me a new hose and a special wrench - these parts were not in the large set of tools and spare parts that I take to the mountains with me. Here I was lucky again - literally 10 meters from the car there was a place where a cell phone was connected to the network. Step aside and - NIL. Of course, it all took almost a whole day. And there was no need to think about camping on the lake. We drove to our friends, to a village beyond the Krykty ridge. Relax.
In the morning, as a driver, I was quite ready to drive. And Serge had a headache … Why it happened - I don’t know. Maybe this is again the result of a coincidence?



Thank you, an epic trip to some remote mountains. :slight_smile:


Stunning scenery and what a marathon. Bad luck about the brake hose, these things always happen at the worst time.

73’s Wal VK2WP


Thanks for this great and interesting report.

You were very lucky!

My bet is he had a bit of an insolation.

Take care and 73,



Guru, I think the sun has nothing to do with it. All the same, the second bottle of Vodka was superfluous. But we could not refuse the amazing care of my friends. In the East, guests are highly respected :grinning:
P.S. Many thanks to everyone for the good feedback!

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Vlad is right - my headache is the result of the wide Ural hospitality! :rofl: :rofl:


A great story! Thanks! :grinning:

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All clear now :+1: :laughing:

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Greetings, thanks for the great actvation report and photos.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

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