September 24, 2011 12:00 – 12:30 UTC
This was my very first SOTA activation and to date the highest summit I activated. That’s why I added this to my blog.
Unfortunately it didn’t qualify with only one QSO. Well, I was pretty new to SOTA back then and just back to amateur radio after almost ten years.
Wx: Sunny, lots of snow
Walking time: unknown
Ascent/ descent: approx. 950 vertical metres from Madlener Haus (1986m)
1 FM QSOs on 2m with a local OE9- Station down in Bludenz.
Rig: Kenwood TH205-E, 5 Watts, 1300mAh 3S LiPo
Ant: J- Pole hanging from the summit cross
How to get there?
From Madlener Haus follow one of the tracks to Hohes Rad
The weather forecast announced perfect conditions for the weekend. So my buddy Onur (SWL) and me headed for the Silvretta range on Friday afternoon. It was already dark when we arrived. But this wasn’t an issue as the alpine hut we chose for the overnight stay is accessible by car from Silvretta-Hochalpenstrasse.
The next morning we had a good breakfast and headed for Hohes Rad. The weather was perfect but there was already lots of snow on the way.
As long as we followed the ridge it was fun and easy to walk. But after a while the track turned into a cirque where snow was lying more than a metre high. Underneath the snow were rocks. We tried to climb from one rock to the next avoiding the deep snow in between. Sometimes we failed and found ourselves in waist high snow. This part was really exhausting. After a while we took a break and decided to follow the ridge again instead of digging ourselves out of the snow over and over again.
Finally we reached the col at 2700m from where the track led to the summit. From this perspective it looked rather steep and I was a bit worried about the descent. We discussed our options and decided to give it a try. As soon as the terrain became difficult we would turn back.
Then, around noon UTC, we were standing on top of Hohes Rad and had a spectacular panoramic view.
After the usual photo shooting I attached the J-pole antenna directly to the summit cross (as it was not to be expected that other hikers would arrive in the next half- hour).
But no one answered my CQ on 145.500 MHz. When I switched to DB0TF which was my local repeater for many years, I soon had a QSO. I should have done some advertising for my activation 😦 Ah, well I was really new to SOTA!
When I returned to 145.500 OE9NFI answered my call. We had a nice chat but no one else called in. So I had to pack in with only one valid QSO.
The descend was easier than expected. Soon we reached the col and from there took a different track to Madlener Haus with less snow.
We reached the car in the afternoon and headed back home. Since the activation of Hohes Rad was not the primary goal of our trip, we were quite happy having done this great hike with spectacular views just before winter finally arrived.