No SOTA: Grathüttl / Äußere Höllentalspitze / Vollkarspitze / Grieskarscharte
Hochblassen, DL/WS-020 - Hochblassen, 10 Pte
Alpspitze, DL/WS-022 - Alpspitze, 10 Pte
We will be starting around 8:00 CEST (6:00 UTC), it is a long hike (8+ hours or so), I am in a group of people, and we hope to catch the last cable-car at the end of the ridge, so it is hard to predict
how many of the summits I will actually be able to activate
how long I will be able to be QRV on each summit.
I will pass the summits in exactly the order given above. On SOTAwatch, I will post an alert for DL/WS-001 and a ??-alert for the rest of the day. When on the air, I will inject the current REF a few times.
The activation will be CW-only with my SOTA GoBox and my SOTA Superlight Vertical with an Elecraft T1 tuner for quick fine-tuning. This has proven to be the fastest setup for multi-summit activations under time-constraints.
If conditions on 40m allow, I will use 40m only, aiming for 7.031± or 7.002±. If 40m is unusable, I might try 30m and 20m.
My callsign will be DK3IT/P.
In order to make this attempt a success, I kindly ask for your support:
please QRS 12 WPM (I will call CQ and reply a bit faster, this has shown to work well in the past)
please spot me with the current REF if you hear the REF (or correct the REF if you see incorrect spots)
please give your call once until I ask for you to repeat it.
Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
If you intend to start from Zugspitze that early I presume you are planning to take the new cable car? Please make sure it’s running! It had a major accident during some out of normal operating hours evacuation tests putting one of the cars out of service a few days ago, there was talk of it taking weeks to get the car repaired and back in service and it wasn’t clear if they could run a one-car service or not.
If you’re heading up in the Austrian cable car, that ones fine as far as I know.
One more thing: Contrary to my normal CW-only style, I might take my VX7 FM with me, because from the ridge, you will likely have great reach into both directions, given that the Zugspitze station covers a huge area from Lake Constance to West of Munich. But I will decide when I pack my backpack. Weight is important ;-).
When I traversed the Jubilaumsgrat some 15 or so years ago, I also went in the same direction towards the Zugspitze, but I hiked up to the Grießkarscharte on the route from the Höllentalhütte. When I finally got to the summit after the traverse, it was late afternoon and the only options I had to get back to Garmisch (where I had left my car) was to take the last train, or overnight in the small DAV-Hütte at the summit and then descend the next morning via the glacier route. I chose the train, mostly because a small group of DAV members who were waiting to use the hut had precedence in using it (I was not a DAV member back then). So, the train is another possible option for you.
Good luck with the activation if you manage to get good weather.
am back safe and sound! sorry for the short time on the air, this was a very challenging tour. because of the defect cablecar on the way up, I was already 1 hr behind schedule at the start. eventually, I missed the last run of the cablecar at the end of the route and had to hike down another 1200m height difference. total trip time was 13 hrs without any breaks except for the two activations.
thanks to all chasers!
73 de martin, dk3it
In lieu of a full activation report, I simply post a few pictures below.
There is little I have to add to the excellent report written by @DM1LE, who is the first activator of both DL/WS-016 and DL/WS-017:
Just a few bullet points:
I do quite a bit of mountaineering, but this long ridge passage was among the longest and mentally most challenging climbs I have done. Over a length of probably 8 km, you are constantly in I-II climbing terrain with a few parts rated III (I actually think the topo downplays the difficulties). There is a very modest bit of via ferrata equipment, but probably not more than a few 100m of these 8km.
The rock is not super-solid and wayfinding is a problem. Due to SOTA , I left my fellow climbers after the first summit and did the rest in perfect solitude. If you go astray, the terrain gets quickly more difficult. There is no way out if weather changes unexpectedly. Because I was alone and did not carry a rope, I had to climb even the more challenging (short) passages that offer a belay point without any support. I once lost the route and ended up in -IV terrain and had to go back and take another turn.
Take plenty of water. I took 4l (which I thought was too much and only meant for an unexpected biwak) and needed it all, despite that it was not very hot.
With the new cable-car out of service, you can only take the old cog-weel car or the Austrian cable-car. The first run is at 8:45, we missed that (stupidly) and had to take the 9:00 run. This is too late to catch the cable-car at the end of the ridge, with the last run at 17:00 in summer an 16:30 in autumn and winter. We thus (expectedly) missed that one and had to descent the further 1200 m in altitude down into the valley. We arrived when the moon was already up in the sky… Take a strong headlight and extra batteries with you.
Including SOTA (ca. 45 - 60 minutes all in all), I was underway for almost 13:00 hours. The total climbing was ca. 3000m in height difference downhill and 800m uphill, and something between 12 and 15 km distance.
In a nutshell, it was a great tour! But challenging, mentally and physically.
If you chased me in vain or were annoyed by my grab-and-go activation, please accept my apologies. I knew there were another 7 hours of climbing ahead of me after the last QSO on the second summit (DL/WS-017).