January 10, 2021 09:35 – 10:55 UTC
My fifth activation of Gespaltener Fels, but first real winter activation.
Wx: Sunny, approx. -6°C moderate but cold wind, 20 cm of snow
Walking time: 25 min. up, 20 min. down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 120 vertical metres
Condx on the higher bands were average with QSB. 60 metres was very strong. Many QSOs on 10m groundwave. k = 1, SFI = 74
3 QSOs on 10m CW
13 QSOs on 10m SSB, 1 x S2S
6 QSOs on 20m CW
7 QSOs on 30m CW
28 QSOs on 60m CW, 2 x S2S
Weight per QSO: 46.4g
– A perfect winter activation with lots of QSOs, sun and snow.
– Due to the poor behaviour of some individuals, the operating process on 60 metres was really slow at times
How to get there?
For the last day of the vacations I wanted to take the chance and do another winter activation. The choice fell on the nearby „Gespaltener Fels“.
The DARC 10-meter-contest taking place at the same time, promised some QSOs on this rather rarely used band as a bonus.
At 10:00 local time, my trip started from the parking lot at Lochenpass. I hiked towards the summit in bright sunshine through the snow-covered scenery. At the top I set up the station under a solitary tree.
HB9EKO was the first station to be found on 60 metres, calling CQ SOTA from HB/SZ-021 all alone. After our S2S QSO, I started my activation on the same band. The beginning was relaxed and the QSOs ran briskly, about 2 per minute. But soon the pileup became quite messy.
Continuous callers made it difficult to maintain the usual rhythm. In addition, there were out-of-turn callers who simply called over existing QSOs and other lids who tuned up their amp on the frequency. This was especially annoying when I tried to make an S2S QSO with DM3FAM. For at least 15 minutes it was really hard to keep the hordes under control. The QSO rate dropped significantly.
When the pileup dried up a bit, things went better again. The fun returned, but during the last QSOs another phenomenon occurred: A strong station in SSB sat directly on the frequency and started a rag chew. After a few unanswered CQ calls I decided not to get upset and QSYed.
On 40 metres a contest took place, which left little space for own CQ calls. So I went on to 30 metres. Here only few and very weak signals were to be heard. Nevertheless, it went quite well which indicated the very good discipline of the chasers.
After a brief stopover on 20 metres and a second fruitless attempt on 40 metres, I moved on to 10 metres, where the DARC 10-metre-contest was running. On CW the activity was rather low, but on SSB I could create a small pile-up despite my low output power and temporary antenna. At the end 16 contest QSOs were in the log. Among them again a S2S contact with Marcel on DM/BW-851.
Towards the end of the contest I had become cold despite the sunshine, so I decided to pack up. On the descent through the light forest I quickly warmed up again and soon I was standing at the now well-filled parking lot.
- Super winter day with snow and sunshine
- Contest spoiled my activation on on 40m
- DARC 10-Meter-Contest was real fun 🙂