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SOTA HB0 and HB/GR Tour

LI-009

Friday 10 th. July, leaving home at 0400 LT. 3 1/2 hours drive to Malbun, Lichtenstein. Looking for the trail to Schönberg, LI-009. Having parked the Car nearby and starting the 2 hours walk. WX cloudy and cool. No other Hikers encountered. After a Rocky section arriving on the grassy summit. Wire fence made it easy to erect the fibreglass pole with inverted L antenna. 45 minutes of operating on 40m CW with 41 QSOs. Dark clouds appearing and speeding downwards. Light rainshower made the trail slippery. After a drink and sandwich a short nap in the car to recover.
Then an 1 1/2 hours drive to “Fideriser Heuberge”, an alpine restaurant 2000 m asl where I was expected for a group SOTA activation next day. This place was also the QTH of HB9HQ for the IARU HF contest. On arriving I was greeted by Yvonne, HB9ELF and Hansruedi, HB9BHW, (ex VK0IR teammate) and others being busy with antenna installations. Of course I could not deny to give a hand with the antenna work. After the evening meal some strategy discussions , then going for an early sleep.

HB/GR-157

Saturday 11 th. July during breakfast Guido, HB9TNF and Koni our Guide arrived.
At 0730 the 4 of us, HB9BHW, HB9TNF, Koni and me left for Chistenstein, HB/GR-157. This is not excactly a common hiking destination. Without Koni, Hansruedi and me certainly would not have made it. Guido as an experienced high altitude climber would have had no trouble. Koni said it would take us some 3 hours. Weather was mixed of sunny and overcast. The final ascent was rocky and steep and both hands were needed for climbing. After 2 1/2 hours we shook hands on the summit. The summit was surprisingly large and quite flat. We erected 3 operating sites among rocks, each some 30 meters distant from the other. Guido operated 2m, 40 and 80 m Phone, while Hansruedi and me shared 30 and 40 m CW.
Between operating, admiring the views, picture taking and drinking a bottle of wine time went by very fast. At a certain moment dark clouds appeared and even a few snow flakes hitting our heads. Koni said: time to leave. We had spent 21/2 hours on the summit. During all my SOTA activations I never stayed so long on a summit… Koni in the meantime had explored another, sligthly easier way down. Luckily no more snowing going down the steep rocky slope, just a few raindrops nearing the “base camp”. Despite the coolness a few beers were apreciated ! In the meantime the contest had started and HB9HQ was aired with 3 stations. Altough I had not planned to operate I could not deny when I was asked to some operating. On 40 m CW it was fun to work Z35m/p (which I had worked from the summit) and also wellknown SOTA chaser DL6KVA…
After a good evening meal attended by some 20 hams and familys again I needed an early rest.

HB/GR-288

Sunday, 12 July, nice Sunny WX made me get up early and take some pictures. I was “hired” again for while to operate HB9HQ before breakfast.
At 0900 h HB9TNF, HB9BHW , me and two other hams joining us for the hike to Hinteregg, HB/GR-288. This was an easy 2 hours ascent, mostly on a not to well marked trail. Again we set up our 3 operating sites and operated for about 1 1/2 hours. Contest QRM on 40m made it a bit tough.
After retourning and some drinks we were asked to help dismantling some of the antennas (the contest was “over”). Then saying god bye to Guido who had to leave. After dinner discussing next day SOTA action with Hansruedi.

LI-008 and OE/VB-346

Monday, 13 July I left at 0600 once again for Lichtenstein. At 0720 h leaving from “Gaflei” towards Garsellikopf, LI-008. A spectacular, secured trail, called “Fürstensteig” led to a first summit, the Kuhgrat then down to a col before ascending Garsellikopf. Installing the antenna and at 1000 having a sked with HB9BHW/p on the local repeater. Very difficult task as I hit 2 or 3 repeaters at the same time. Hansruedi said that he was late ascending Mattlishorn, GR-158. I feared that we would not make it for a S2S qso on 40m.
Luckily no one else on the narrow summit. After 42 QSOs I quickly dismantled and rushed to the next one, about 1 hour away ,just across the border, Drei Schwestern, OE/VB-346.
This one was a bit tricky, very steep and rocky summit and about 12 people sitting around and not easy to find an anchorage point for the mast. After explaining to the crowd what I was doing I tuned to 7032 kc and there was HB9BHW/p on GR-158. Happyly we made our contact and then moved slightly. Contacting Phil, G4OBK he commented “fast walk”, I jokingly
replied that I had moved by Helicopter, hi… 3 other S2S contacts, F6ENO/p, S53X/p and oh surprise old friend Hugo, HB9AFH/p on HB/GL-032. After 40 QSOs feeling the hot sun and a red nose time to dismantle and rush homewards. 2 1/2 hours later finding a well heated car but a refreshing fountain nearby.
After a 3 1/2 hours drive back home “tired but not unhappy”…

best 73 , cu kurt HB9AFI

Great stories Kurt, and a picture of SOTA that is very different from here in Briatin. I would like to visit those areas sometime.

Well done on the expeditions. You were a FB signal as HE9AFI on 20m a few minutes ago. But now I can’t find you!

73, Tom M1EYP