Second part of my trip to HB0 in Oct. 2014

The first part can be found here: A great tour in a tiny country

The small village Malbun is located in the center of the main skiing area of Liechtenstein. At the moment it looks like a huge, ugly and loud construction area. Fortunately you can easily escape into the surrounding, very beautiful mountain scenery.

It isn’t very surprising that some of the most frequently activated Liechtensteiner summits are located nearby Malbun, because the hiking infrastructure, like trails and signpostings are in best shape. It is nearly impossible that you miss the correct trail to a summit.

This is absolutely in contrast to the tour up to the Vorder Grauspitz, the day before. Up there, orientation was completely in someones own hands, as there was absolutely no trail markers and the more difficult hiking sections were even without any trail.

As already mentioned all of the summits nearby Malbun have been visited quite often by SOTA activators and a very nice activation report can be found at Matts (@K0MOS) site A rare SOTA gem . His report also inspired me to hike along this beautiful trail.

Four SOTA summits can be (more or less) easily reached:

  • Augstenberg (HB0/LI-004)
  • Gorfion (OE/VB-241)
  • Naafkopf (HB0/LI-002, OE/VB-123 & HB/GR-338)
  • Nospitz (HB0/LI-010)

With the long tour up to the Grauspitz, from the day before, still in my legs and with the awareness that in October daylight is already limited, I alerted rather cautiously only the Augstenberg and the Naafkopf as assured SOTA references. Gorfion and Nospitz were only alerted as tentative destinations, depending on the available time.

I arrived at my first destination, the Augstenberg early in the morning and after taking some photos I started my activation on the 20m band in CW.

At this time of day the band wasn’t really busy and after 7 contacts, including a S2S with Klaus DF2GN, nobody wanted to call me anymore. A quick change to SSB and calling CQ for several minutes wasn’t successful, too. A change to the 30m band brought at least another 5 contacts into my log. Unfortunately my second S2S with Barry M0IML/P wasn’t successful. I did copy Barry with a very loud signal but during his reply another station was sending several times its call sign. Even quickly sending QRX from my side didn’t help. After the other station stopped sending its call sign I asked Barry several times to repeat my signal report, but unfortunately without answer. Sorry Barry, hopefully next time a S2s will be more successful.

Never mind, with this rather short stay on the Augstenberg I gained enough time for a visit of the additional summit Gorfion in the Austrian Vorarlberg region.

With its cliffy sides, this summits looks rather like a small castle. And indeed this rather difficult ascents are the reason, that the number of SOTA activations is quite low, with 4 activations up to now.

After a little bit scrambling I arrived at the summit and 19 contacts on 30m CW and 20m SSB soon got into my log.

The next one was the famous Naafkopf. Famous, because it is one of the rare SOTA summits, which might be activated with 3 SOTA references. Activations in the associations HB0, OE and HB might bring you an overall number of 30 points.

Being a modest SOTA activator :wink: I only activated the HB0 reference and generously relinquished the other 20 points. Instead, I couldn’t get enough of the fantastic view to the surrounding mountains. :blush:

The next picture shows the Hinter & Vorder Grauspitz:

With more than 40 contacts, including 3 S2S with Martin DF3MC, HB9DST, S5/OE6WIG, a smalltalk with Holger OE7HPI/7 on his GMA summit and a contact with 4U1ITU, I was more than happy.

And I even had enough time for the activation of my last alerted summit, the Nospitze. A summit with a very tiny activation zone.

I was glad that its activation was already late in the afternoon and nobody else climbed up to this summit. Otherwise I wouldn’t have enough space for setting up my antenna.

The activation of this summit was (in my eyes) rather inglorious. After sending 2 times QRL? on a free frequency on the 30m band without any reply, I started calling CQ SOTA and soon some chasers came back. Then suddenly after two or three minutes an anonymous operator was deliberately jamming my frequency.

I do not get it, what causes another amateurradio operator to jam an inferior SOTA station like me, that is running only 5W with my provisional antenna :frowning:

After 15 minutes I gave finally up and changed to 20m SSB. Sorry for all CW chasers that tried to contact me. Especially Phil G4OBK, who had an excellent signal but was not able to confirm the contact. Sorry Phil!

After changing to 20m SSB another 20 contacts finally got in my log and compensated this bad experience on CW.

All in all, it was a short but very nice trip to this tiny country Liechtenstein . While the activation of the Vorder Grauspitz cannot be called an everyday activation, the other summits around Malbun might be a appealing destination for a SOTA activation.

As always, a big thank you to all chasers and activators for calling me.

73 Stephan, HB0/DM1LE


Looks like you had perfect weather conditions… nice pictures and write-up. Hope to get Gorfion next time :smile:

73, Matt/KØMOS