Plankogel OE/ST-227, Handalm OE/ST-348, Moschkogel OE/ST-134

The weather report for Good Friday was initially quite good, so I decided to try a fairly easy double activation in the Fischbacher Alpen; starting with the Plankogel and then the Schweineck in the afternoon. With fresh snow the parking spaces at the Plankogel were barely accessible:


The Plankogel is dead easy, just a short walk from the car. That said, I was very glad I brought the skis and climbing skins. My skis are all mountain skis, and even over a short distance they felt really heavy; mental note: buy the very lightest touring skis and pin bindings possible next year! There was not much to see today at the summit today unfortunately, no sign of spring here:

There was a southern Föhn wind blowing today, so I took shelter on the north side, still just in the AZ:

The snow pack was very wet and slabby, which made it very easy to build pole supports and fashion a nice place to sit:

When it came time to tune the Fuchskreis I found I had forgotten the MCX/SMA adapter for the SARK 110: ****! I had also charged the battery up to 12.1V, so I was very wary of what might happen to the finals on the MTR3b. Luckily, I had left the inductor set for 40m, and with a little fiddling with the capacitor I found I was able to get a very clear peak in the signal that was also quite narrow. I took a chance and can happily report that the MTR3b is non the worse for the experience. The Föhn wind brought plenty of moisture with it and my gear was icing up nicely by the time I came to pack everything away. You can see the antenna wire sagging under the weight of the ice build-up:

Unfortunately it started to rain steadily as I headed back down the valley to the Schweineck, so I decided to call it a day, having just broken through the 200 point barrier. Hopefully I will be able to at least double that this year. I also found out that the Schurr SOTA Wabbler works well even when quite damp.

             de OE6FEG / M0FEU

Ok on your comment re-skis. For the first time today on two of my summits I saw more and more people with snow shoes. Not like the old tennis racket looking ones rather plastic “wide shoe” arrangements. Seemed to work fine when the walking shoe didn’t keep releasing itself from the clip!

At the Bavarian side of the Alps the Foehn conditions brought some nice sunshine but it was still very cold!


Yeah, we’re right on the southeast side down here, it was pretty damp. The ride down was interesting too, I’m rubbish off piste, but it was quicker than the climb up.

Yep damp, deep snow on Wank as well. I managed to twice be up to my knees in snow while carrying the gear to a spot to set up!


I heard you shouldn’t activate that one too often, it could affect your eyesight.

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Yes a very unfortunate name for a summit…

Finally got the double activation I had been hoping for in today. The weather was perfect and I got to Weinebene in good time. I put the skins on and set off up to Handalm. Although it’s a really easy summit, the neve was quite hard in places and I was slipping about a bit amongst the trees. I finally reached the summit and was rewarded with an amazing view:

The wind was blowing a bit, as is common at Weinebene. However, there were plenty of rocks to shelter behind:

The sun is getting quite strong now and I was nice and toasty in my new down jacket. Although the neve was quite hard, once you got below it the snowpack was a bit softer, so still no need for guylines. The activation went well, although I would like to mention here a growing problem. Some stations are starting to send my RST whilst I am sending theirs (I have QSK). When I finish and send BK, I just get TU 73 in return. When I reply with ‘my rst agn plse?’ I get TU E E. When I send ‘SRI NO QSO’ I get nothing. Now I’m wondering, if these stations are sending my RST when I am sending theirs, how do they know what their RST is? Everyone else in the pile-up can hear me send ‘my RST agn plse?’, and they all wait patiently while I send ‘SRI NO QSO’. It seems some folks don’t even have time for call-sign and RST these days. If you are one of these stations (only occasionally thank God) and believe that I will just put 599 in my log, you are quite mistaken: I delete the contact immediately and call CQ again. My rule is simple, no RST, no QSO! If you have searched the database and are wondering why you are not listed as a chaser, even though you are sure you had a QSO, this could be the reason. We can’t slap wrists for every little mistake (I have been known to make the odd one myself), I say this only to advise those who cannot find themselves in my log.

OK, minor rant out of the way. After skiing terribly back down to the carpark, I realised I was a little behind schedule. I barely had time to wolf down a couple of Frankfurters and drink a mug of tea and I was on my way to the Moschkogel; with a little mechanical uplift to speed me on my way. The last 100m was not worth donning skins for, so I just put the skis on the pack and walked it. The Moschkogel was also windy:

But the view was still second to none:

OK, maybe not amazing in that direction. Again, there were plenty of rocks to shelter behind, and I was nice and warm whilst activating. I packed up quickly and skied back to the car to dump my gear. The snowpack was quite hard here and I went skittering back down to the pistes at an alarming rate. I was glad to have the MTR3b in a hard case, a crash would have been spectacular. I had a few runs before the lifts closed then headed back to Graz. It was a shame to miss the winter bonus, but on a day like today, the points are not such a big deal.
73 de OE6FEG / M0FEU

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