The forecast suggested lighter winds on Saturday, so I decided to risk a 10 pointer: the Zirbitzkogel OE/ST-027. There was fog all the way as I drove west, but as I got higher and reached the car park, I finally broke through the cloud and into the blue sky:
It is a steady climb up to the Zirbitzkogel along a well marked trail. At one point I was in shorts and T-shirt, but the wind quickly picked up as I got higher and I was glad I had brought my longjohns. Thankfully, the Zirbitzkogel is one of the few 10 pointers with a hut offering food in the activation zone:
There is also a repeater on the hut, so they are very ham friendly. I had some soup inside to dry off and warm up, and when I asked about operating from the tables outside, the warden said one of my colleagues was in the winter room and I should go talk to him. To my surprise, the repeater owner OE6WVG (Viktor) was there that day carrying out some routine maintenance on the repeater. He was really pleased to see another ham there and started taking lots of photos of me putting up the antenna. There are plenty of areas sheltered from the wind around the hut:
Viktor helped me set up in the winter room, which provides a very comfortable place to activate from:
Unfortunately, when the hut is in service the diesel generator comes on sporadically to supply extra energy, making operating inside impossible. I had to QRX for 10 minutes and move outside:
Notice the high-tech antenna support system which was Viktor’s idea. The railings would provide a superb ground for any antenna system. It wasn’t too windy outside and I quickly got back to business. I even got a contact stateside, although conditions were much weaker than last week. I was able to get back to the car before sunset:
I may well go back to the Zirbitzkogel on skis in the new year if weather allows. With the hut out of service, the winter room should be much quieter. I’m going to have to work on my skiing this year.
73 de OE6FEG