F/AB-336 – Chamechaude – 2082m

Abstract:

August 26, 2018; 08:35 – 09:20 UTC
My first activation of Chamechaude – the highest summit in Chartreuse.

Wx: sunny with occasional clouds, 7C at the car park, windy and cold at the top.
Walking time up: 1:45 h, down: 1:00 h (approx. 750m)

31 CW QSOs on 40m, 5 CW QSOs on 30m, 5 CW QSOs on 20m
Conditions on 40m were fair, 30m was also ok but little activity. 20m was really poor with deep QSB and almost no spots on RBN. Later I learned that a CME hit earth’s magnetic field and caused a k- index of 7 (!)

k-Index_2018-08-25

Rig: KX3 / 10W, 2200mAh LiPo, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: EFHW Dipole  (40m, 30m, 20m) as inverted L on a 6m squid pole

How to get there?

Start from the big car park at Col de Porte (1325m) and just follow the sign posts „Tour de Chamechaude“.

Activation report:

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One can’t believe there’s an easy path to the top.

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After a very cold night at the camping site I started from Col de Porte (1325m) at 8:30 LT and immediately discovered that a major mountain race took place that day (UT4M.fr).

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More than hundred people were running up Chamechaude and some already came running downhill with their headlamps. First it was fun being “part” of the race but after a while it became annoying to step aside every few metres. Only when I reached about 2000 metres altitude the race course turned downhill and left the way to the summit almost deserted. From here it was fun again. Soon I reached the only difficulty on the way: a step of about 5 metres height, secured with a cable.

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The view from the top was spectacular: Mont Blanc was visible in the distance.

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After the usual photo shooting I started setting up a couple metres away from the summit cross.

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Against the usual procedure I began on 40m (where a contest took place) and was surprised how well it went. After about 20 QSOs the pile up abated and I QSY’ed to 30m. Conditions seemed to be okay but activity was low as often. 20m was a real disaster. Signals were very weak and had deep QSB. So I went back to 40m. After another 10 QSOs I finally went QRT. It was cold and time was running. I packed in and turned back to The Valley meeting the last participants of the race going at a much slower pace. :wink:

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As always it was lots of fun. Thanks for the QSOs and cu from the next one!

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