Mini-Activation Report DL/AL-132 / Bleeding Fingers CW

Hi all,
this is just a quick activation report for my operation from DL/AL-132 Hochgrat yesterday - mainly a bit of background for the many callers whom I could not handle.

The Hochgrat is a famous summit in summer and winter; this time, I did it on skis, with an ascent of roughly 1000m. Snow was better than feared for the ascent, challenging on the way down.

I took the standard path from the “Hochgratbahn” parking at 856 m asl (parking fee 4 EUR, don’t hope to get away without paying :wink: along the summer trail. A good description is at Skitour auf den Hochgrat –

Tiny SOTA Station with MTR3B inside, @HB9BCB EFHW with traps (and links for 17 and 15m, not used), 6m CF mast

Once I reached the open summit, it was very windy - I had hoped for a relaxed activation because I had been there before, and propagation was good. But it’s never too late to learn - the wind chill effect was so strong that within minutes, my fingers froze terribly - I had to take ‘glove’ breaks when setting up the antenna, and again before calling CQ simply because my fingers were almost dead. There was also no way to operate from a more protected place within the AZ, because it’s all on the ridge.

When I had managed to be QRV, my fingers were dead; I had difficulties getting the earphones into my ears. At 1321Z I was finally calling CQ (after 16 minutes, where I usually need just 5). And then I noticed I had forgotten to set the keyer message for CQ properly, it was still set to OE/DK3IT/P. So I tried to call CQ manually, knowing the RBN and thus RBNhole would maybe not spot me.

On top, I forgot to switch the power from 3W to 5W.

To the rescue, @EA2DT called, followed by @DK7DC, @F5JKK, @OK2PDT and @SP9MA.

There were many more chasers, but my fingers were dead, the earphones were falling out of my ears again and again, and so I had to pack up and leave. I am really sorry I could not get back to all other chasers, but when the fingers hurt when warming up, you know it was a close call ;-).

All the best!

73 de Martin, DK3IT