September 4th, 2021 10:15 – 11:15 UTC
My first activation of Entschenkopf.
Wx: Sunny, approx. 18°C, clouds in the afternoon
Walking time: approx 3:15 hours up, 1:50 hour down
Ascent/ descent: approx. 1170 vertical metres, but along the ridge another 100 vertical metres have probably been accumulated.
Rig: MTR-3B ~ 5W, 1000mAh (3S) LiPo, Palm Pico Paddle
Ant: EFHW dipole with traps as inverted L on a 6m squid pole
Condx seemed to be good with k = 1, SFI = 84
36 QSOs on 40m CW in 29 min.
11 QSO on 30m CW, 1 x S2S, in 9 min.
– Entschenkopf crossing offers spectacular views and an interesting hike.
How to get there?
By car to the large car park near Reichenbach (870m). From there through Gaisalptobel past Gaisalpe and on to the two Gaisalp lakes. Note: Most online sources suggest the direction north -> south for the crossing. In my rather old DAV guide, the other direction is strongly recommended and I consider this the better choice, as the ascent is less steep.
The descent follows a very steep scree passage (which I would not like to go up) and a ravine where it is necessary to scramble a few metres (avoid rock fall in case of oncoming traffic!) The trail continues through mountain pine fields and the forest-covered Panoramaweg back to Gaisalpe and through Gaisalptobel to the car park.
Around 8:30 local I started the ascent from the car park at Reichenbach, which was nearly full at this early hour. Although I was climbing Gaisalptobel slowly (other hikers were passing me), I reached the turn-off to Gaisalpe at 9:00 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than indicated. The path through the ravine was completely in the shade and it had been rather cool.
Less than an hour later I reached Unterer Gaisalpsee, where I took a short break for a snack. There were quite a few hikers here, most of whom continued on to Rubihorn. Only about 30 minutes later I reached Oberer Gaisalpsee. Here it was already much less crowded.
After the second lake, the more interesting section of the hike begins, culminating in some easy scrambling below a prominent rock. Afterwards, the trail leads along the ridge and slowly approaches the summit in a steady up and down.
On this passage, a group of three young ladies had caught up with me since they were faster than me on the climb. When the terrain became more difficult, I caught up again and so it went back and forth several times. Finally, without many words, we agreed that I would let them go first when going uphill and they would let me pass again when descending.
Shortly before noon it was done and I was standing on top of Entschenkopf. 30 minutes later, after the usual photo shooting and some small talk with curious hikers, the activation took off on 40m CW. The pile-up was intense and the log was filling rapidly. I no longer noticed what was going on around me. But finally the pile-up dried up and when there were no more callers, I QSYed to 30m where I put some more stations in the log. I also called CQ briefly on 20m, but didn’t get any response and thus packed up soon, as the long descent was still lying ahead.
The descent led over an unpleasantly steep scree field and through a ravine, where I met other hikers, waiting for the oncoming traffic to pass before continuing. In view of the excellent weather, I took a break at Gaisalpe and enjoyed Kaiserschmarrn and a cool Weissbier. Finally, I tackled the last part of the trail with now tired legs.
- Different IAMBIC-Mode used in MTR-3B caused the usual QSD
- The equipment is now light enough to take it along on demanding hikes.
- Magnificent weather and a great hike