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Naafkopf activation from HB9 and OE

Hello SOTA chasers.

First tnx for those who managed to work my vy weak signal from the Naafkopf as
OE/PC5A/P SOTA ref OE/VB-123, FIRST time activation
HB9/PC5A/P SOTA ref HB9/GR-338, FIRST time activation

To summarize it was a very tough job to get you into the log, considering the

  • wind
  • 2 degrees celsius
  • shivering body

My appologies if the CW sounded like a newbie at times… I could hardly feel my fingertips…

The story
We (PA3FGA-Rens, ClaUdia, PA5MW-Mark and myself) were ready to leave the house in Malbun (1600m asl) at 08:00 hours, but…
it started to rain. We then decided to wait a little bit. I took a very early nap and woke up after about two hours
with a smile… it had stopped raining and I decided to head towards the Naafkopf and see how far I would get.
Rens soon decided to accompany me while the other two prefered a ‘relaxing’ day in the Rhein Valley where usually
the weather is much nicer.

After an intens climb we reached the Augstenberg (HB0/LI-004, 2359m asl) at 12:53 local. We were there before 9 days ago
with up to 50cm of snow. It sure looks different without snow! We found the geocache we didn’t find before because of the snow.

We figured we could make it to the Naafkopf so off we went into the deep, in this case the Pfaelzer Huette (2110m asl), a descent
of about 30 minutes. There we picked up another geocache. Only two people were having lunch, no other visitors, a very quiet
day. It was still almost totally overcast and rather cool…

From the Pfaelzer Huette we could see the Naafkopf. A sign nearby said it would take 1h15m to reach the summit. It was already
13:21h when we stared the climb. We passed some patches with snow and arrived at the summit in total solitude at 14:21h,
15m ahead of a normal climbingrate :-). After changing our wet clothes we setup the Elecraft K1, Schurr paddle and long wire
which we threw over the new cross. Ouch! We mistakingly packed the wrong power supply cable (one with two banana connectors).
The K1 needs another power plug. Being a HAM this is just a minor setback. We cut the banana plugs, stripped the wires and
sort of connected them to the power plug. Meanwhile the sun was long gone and we had just a few meters visibility. It turned
really cold.

I started to call CQ on 7032 as OE/PC5A/P since I was sitting at the OE side of the cross and G3WPF was the first to make
it into the log at 12:52UTC (congrats!). I was getting really cold and by the time I worked station nr. 19 I was fully
shivering and decided to switch sides.

At 13:22UTC the first station to make it into the log of HB9/PC5A/P was OK1ZE (congrats!). After the 14th station I was
feeling extremely cold and said to Rens, let’s wrapped it up and run down the mountain to get some hot coco at the
Pfaelzer Huette. Sorry for those who expected to get two new ones and didn’t make it into the log. It was simply
too cold to stay up there.

Around 16:00h local we started the descent and looked for a geocache… without spoiler photo we were unsuccessfull of finding
it… bummer. Oh well, we did get to activate two SOTA references for the first time.

The hot Chocolate milk at Pfaelzer Huette was delicous, as was the apple pie! On the way back to Malbun we had go up to the
Augstenberg again… we managed however without too much pain. From there it was all down hill. First intermediate stop was the
"Spits" where another geocache was located. I took us just some minutes to find it (nicely hidden).
The last stop was near the cross on the Sareiser Joch. After reading some geocache logs we found that one also (total
of 4 on this memorable day). Mark and Claudia had already returned and were preparing dinner. We sort of rushed down the
mountain since we were quite hungry and sat down for the starter (Kaese-suppe, cheese soup) just before 20:00 L.

That was a long day but worth it every minute.

Tomorrow (september 11) I’ll try to activate the Ochsenkopf (OE/VB-253, 2286m asl) as
OE/PC5A/P, so from the OE side. I activated it already in 2008 from the HB0 side and after that possibly the
Galinakopf (OE/VB-287, 2198m asl)

Hope to work you all.

Aurelio, PC5A

ps. I will upload the logs when I’m back home.

In reply to PC5A:

Dear Aurelio,

thanks for your very interesting report from HB0!
On August 8 I was planning to activate the Naafkopf in the BBT contest on 2m and SOTA 40m. Unfortunately weather conditions were so bad (wind and rain/snow) that I left my equipment at 2500m and just climbed with the antennas to the snow covered summit. But the weather was not suitable for the 2.5 hours contest operation. So I walked back to the Pfälzer Hütte for lunch and since the weather improved a bid I went to the Augstenberg to do some final BBT operation and 30 QSOs on 40m CW in the rain…

I have seen in Sotawatch that you were on the air from Naafkopf, but there was no skip from here in JN39VW to HB0, distance to short…
Hope to catch you from the “Ochsenkopf”.

73 and enjoy your stay in this beautiful part of the world.