I am planning an attempt to activate both Brocken (DM/SA-001) and Wurmberg (DM/NS-001) next Tuesday January 16th. I can only spare one day for this stunt.
The plan is to hike up Brocken from Torfhaus in the morning (est. 2.5hrs to summit depending on what my body has to offer on that day - hi). Back down after the activation. I would then drive to the “Hexenritt” parking lot at Wurmberg and hike up the rest (abt. 30 mins to summit). I hope I can get that done and make time for plenty of contacts. Duration of activations pending WX. We shall see.
Modes: CW, SSB, FM (hoping the sotabeams filter arrives in time).
Would be awesome to meet some of you on the air that day!
vy 73 de Leo DL2COM
Tough schedule, but I am sure you are going to make it happen, Leo. I will listen for you than… vy73/55, Tom
Cool I will listen for your call sign. My rough plan (local time which it UTC+1):
08:00-08:30 good breakfast (hotel only offers breakfast from 8 o’clock)
If all SOTA stars align…
I have done both on 2m FM and do not recall any serious issues. Therefore, I guess you should be fine even if the filter does not arrive in time. However, I would be a bit concerned about the wind on the Brocken which is projected to be around 60 to 80 km/h and with a bit of bad luck accompanied by snow. Stay safe and all the best for your expedition.
Thanks for this info! I fully agree the weather could and probably will get nasty up there. I will have to see what I can get done and for how long. I will bring a small emergency shelter but I have never used it before. It will certainly be another day full of learnings
after your Zugspitze-adventure two more summits for the TOP 16 DL Challenge.
I took the cable car to Wurmberg, and Brocken Bahn to the the other summit.
to make it short: The plan worked out and I had an absolute blast .
I woke up on Tuesday morning after having arrived at around 11pm at the hotel. The kind folks had hidden the key for me so I could let myself in. After a savory breakfast I started my ascent to the summit of “Brocken”. It had snowed during the night but only about ankle-high and transforming the landscape into a truly romantic winter wonder land. I made it to the summit in 1:58h via the Torfhaus route (abt. 8,5km and 385m ascent).
WX at the summit: -7° C and 70 km/h wind.
Luckily there is a nice little restaurant up there mainly for the tourists who arrive by “Brockenbahn” the heritage train and for workers. I quickly changed my clothes and had a cup of tea before I set up in my simple emergency shelter.
I was able to make 30 CW QSOs (40m and 20m) before I had to call it QRT. The reason was a furious national park ranger who told me I had set up my antenna (17’ vertical wire on Sotabeams Carbon6 mast to 1:9 unun and 2x16’ wire CP) about 1 meter inside the restricted grass field and should have stayed in front of the wooded barriers (abt. 20cm high) where my shelter was.
Well I told him I was sorry and that I didn’t realize it and I’d be gone in a few minutes. He pointed at the sign which “has all information needed and asked why I hadn’t read it”. The sign:
I had to suppress a laugh…but I was getting super cold so I wouldn’t have endured much longer anyways…
And yup: No joy on 2m again. The local QRM was massive on the FT5D (which appears to be “open” like a barn door. My BPF had not arrived in time.).
A quick soup warmed me up after the activation and I was off back down in Torfhaus in abt. 1:30h. I then drove over to the parking lot at “Wurmberg” and started to hike up. I didn’t realize it would be another 240m of ascent and 2km but I was able to push through it. The piece of cherry cheesecake I had packed might have helped with that.
After having climbed a final 373 steps stairway to the summit I felt I didn’t have much time left before it got dark. I could bag one quick 2m QSO and then quickly built one of the rather ugly-yet-effective antenna setups (Inclined Carbon 6 mast strapped to a ski rack with 29’ of wire sloping to the ground to 1:9 unun and 17’ wire CP). The MUF was already at abt. 8Mhz so I went for 40m and got 33 QSOs done inspite of some (we believe) DQRM at the end. But the power of SOTA was stronger so about 5 last stations pierced through it and we got the QSOs done before I had to make my way back down. I arrived safely at the empty parking lot and drove back to Berlin an exhausted but very happy activator.
Thanks to all chasers and all members of the SOTA-BW group who motivated me during the activation!
vy 73 de Leo DL2COM
Leo, what a ride, you have my complete respect. Thanks for the S2S.
Thanks for the report and the great photos, Leo. What an adventure
And thanks for the two QSOs! I listened to your activation of Wurmberg (DM/NS-001) for a while and could hear the DQRMer as well. The RTTY signal popped up about fifteen minutes after your activation had started and thanks to the strong signals of some chasers it must have been obvious that the frequency is occupied. Such things happen - sad but true! But you did very well by not leaving the frequency and sticking with your chasers
73 and cu soon,
Chapeau and congratulation to your successful doble activation!
Congratulations to your tenacity. When I wanted to do this (in Feb’22), the gondola to the Wurmberg was closed due to storm (they didn’t tell me until I had paid to park the car , but a lucky family got 4 hours free parking ). This should have been a warning to me, as the storm on the Brocken was still unabated; down in the valley no sign of any bad weather, but on top it took me ~10 min to cross a completely iced-up patch from the restaurant back to the trail during pauses in the wind gusts.
The consolation prize was the Eilumer Horn DM/NS-165, beautiful spring weather (on the same day!) and a nice little walk.
I did the Brocken later that year, the weather was somewhat better (no snow, still very windy), but time was running short and I had to put the Wurmberg back in the bucket list.
73 de Martin / HB9GVW
Exactly the same here. Calm weather in the valley but once you get to the top of Brocken and Wurmberg the wind starts blowing heavily. The Wurmberg-Seilbahn was also closed when I arrived but the hike from the Hexenritt Parking Lot is not too bad, however a little steep plus a long stairway if you approach the summit from the east side so walking slowly helps
Now you guys know why people from Hannover tend to spent their weekends in the Harz once temperatures exeed 28 °C.
It’s typically 10 K cooler than in the plains and there’s always a fresh breeze.