June 2, 2021 11:48 – 12:07 UTC
My first activation of Besler.
Wx: Partly cloudy, approx. 15°C, light winds
Walking time: unknown
Ascent/ descent: approx. 500 vertical metres
Condx seem to be poor according to the RBN spots. Not a single spot from NA.
k = 3, SFI = 75
3 QSOs on 20m CW
17 QSOs on 30m CW, 1 x S2S
– Via Ferrata to the top of Besler
How to get there?
Park the car at the road to Balderschwang, half way up to Riedbergpass (parking lot of Wannenkopf-Hütte). Take the trail to Herzbergalpe and further on to Besler. See here.
Allgäu is my favourite mountain range, but it’s too far away for a day trip. One option is to plan a stop over at my father’s.
We started from the car park around 08.30 utc for a two hours hike to the summit. However, due to a stupid mistake, we went the wrong way for about 1 km and had to walk back all the way. When we reached the trail again (Königsweg), we took a break and had breakfast. Then we continued until about 1350 m a.s.l. where we encountered the first patches of snow.
The higher we went, the more snow we found. We stopped several times and my daughter Marie enjoyed countless slide tours. It was obvious that we wouldn’t reach the summit as scheduled, but having fun was the major goal of this day.
The trail then led on with magnificent views on the Allgäuer and Walser summits. Then through the forest, higher and higher, and eventually to a ridge where we had an impressive view of Besler and its north face.
It was tricky to reach the base of the wall because of the snow – we estimated about one meter (!) From there, a short via ferrata is leading directly to the top. The climb is fairly easy. Nevertheless, we used our climbing gear in case we would encounter some wet or even icy passage. But it was easy going and soon we were standing on top of Besler with no other tourists around.
I quickly set up the antenna and station, as I had promised to operate no more than 30 minutes. My estimation was that 30 metres should give many EU-chasers a chance for a QSO and this seemed to be right. 17 QSOs in a bit less than 15 minutes went into the log. QSY to 20 m did only gain 3 more QSOs and unfortunately no DX. On 60 metres, D-layer absorption must have been huge. There was not a single RBN spot despite me calling CQ for about 5 minutes. But time was up and the descent was still lying ahead. So I packed in without activating on 40 metres.
It was fun doing the via ferrata again on our way back. It was pleasantly warm and we didn’t care about the rain that set in on the last 10 or 15 minutes before we reached the car.
A short stop in Fischen, the local town, marked the end of a great day. We enjoyed an ice cream and a last view of the mountains. The decision was made: We’ll be back in July!
- Still lots of snow above 1500 m.
- Station setup and tear down worked quickly and flawlessly.
- Good activity on 30 metres