The sun was shining,and the weather predictions looked good for my third day ... so full of confidence I drove to my first summit, DM/BW-018, Blauen. This should have been an easy drive-up summit but ... as I arrived at the start of the road to the summit, the L140 ... it was completely blocked, no local "Umleiting" ... it was just "Gesperrt" !
Looking on the map, I saw a detour, but this would take another hour one way, and so I would certainly have to cancel another summit.
Also, I wasn't sure if the road from the east wasn't blocked as well ... so I went on to my second summit.
Belchen is a very popular summit, the cable car being an attraction in itself (return ticket was €7.80 in July 2017).
I felt pretty sure that the cable could carry my weight .. hi.
After the ride, it takes only a short walk to the cross on the summit.
There was still some fog but at times there was also some sunshine , and almost no wind. So all was ok for a good activation.
There is only one bench on the summit, with seating on both sides. I was lucky, there was just one place left and I quickly put my backpack on it.
There was a lady sitting next to my spot who was of course intrigued by what I was about to do ... seeing me unpack wires, coax and a fishing pole.
Attack being the best defence, I said in German "you must be curious what I am doing, no ?"
Of course she was curious , hi, so I explained about being a "Bergfunker" etc ... and then set up my endfed antenna in the usual way, one end to the fishing pole, the other tied to the bench.
By then, the people at the other side of the bench had turned around and were also very curious how I would make a contact with just this piece of thin wire ...
And that lady asked "how do you find these other people to talk to ?".
So I showed her my "cheating device" that we also call a smartphone.
But of course, Mr. Murphy was also there, and I got no connection on my phone ... damn !
I started calling CQ on 7.095 anyway, and proudly showed off the use of a voice keyer to spare my vocal chords ... but NO replies whatsoever. Not much of a demonstration ...
Finally I started tuning the 40m band to find at least one station I could talk to ... and boy did I find one !
It was HB9OME/P who was calling CQ SOTA on 7.115 .. so my demonstration was a nice S2S QSO at the same time !
Without means to selfspot, I then turned to CW and that was also the end of my demonstration, the sound of CW clearly didn't sound pleasing to the lady and the other people around me, so I took my headphones and after being spotted via the RBN, I easily got 16 more QSO's in the log.
No problems to get to this summit, it is an easy drive-up, although the road through the forest is quite a long drive. Parking is easy at the Berggasthaus Hochfirst, at pos 47.901074, 8.185303.
A short walk behind the transmitting tower takes you to a magnificent view over the slope used for paragliding, and the lake Titisee in the distance.
Benches are available for your activation, while enjoying the view ... just perfect !
I made 19 QSO's, all on 20m SSB, including a nice S2S QSO with good friend Michael, DB7MM/P who was on DM/BW-156, only 38 km away.
Sadly I had to leave this lovely place, and head for my last summit for the day.
Another easy drive-up summit, with ample parking space at 47.888629, 8.577234.
After admiring the enormous transmitting tower, I set up my own humble piece of wire and operated from a nice "desk" at the BBQ area. I made a couple more S2S QSO's with some SOTA friends I got to know at the SOTA dinner last year : John, DK9JC on 20m, and then again Michael DB7MM and Erich, DF9IR , who were on the Lupfenturm (DM/BW-057), and were on 2m FM. For those 2m QSO's, I had to stand on the desk to get a reliable signal, which was very strange as the line-of-sight distance between us was only 16 km ... there must have been another ... well, summit in the way , hi.
The large field at the summit is used by a ski club in winter, but it would make a nice testing ground for all kinds of antennas. Anyone want to activate on 160m ? This is your spot !
So far for day 3, I had still a long drive to my BnB in Deggenhausertal, very close to the Gehrenberg (DM/BW-348), where we would have a group activation, and the SOTA Dinner on Saturday evening.
More about that later , because first I went to the Ham Radio of course.
(to be continued ...)
Luc - ON7DQ