12/07/2017

SOTA FH 2017 : Day 2

The weather prediction for July 12th said : RAIN RAIN RAIN

I didn't want to waste a whole day just driving to my next BnB, and not have one activation in my log ... so I set off to my first summit ...

FL/VO-089 (Haut de la Pierre de Taille)

The drive up to the parking spot was really "féerique" as the French would say.
I parked at the old building at  48.113620, 6.872443. From there it is only a short walk up the forest track into the activation zone.



There was only a slight drizzle at the time, so I took the risk.
I  took my SOTA Umbrella + Fishing Pole Table and this time I really needed it (see my earlier test of this contraption : https://on7dq.blogspot.be/2017/03/on7dq-winter-sota-tour-9-12-march-2017.html  when I just set this up for fun).

Step 1  : prepare the whole thing on the ground.


Step 2 : put it upright, and hold it in place with the link dipole


Step 3 : operate happily in the rain … (notice the bungee cord to keep the KX3 safely on the “table”)


All went well on this summit, as there was almost no wind. I did only 40m CW and made 10 QSO’s, after which it was time to go to the next summit. 

FL/VO-002 (Le Hohneck)

This was something different … strong wind and fog, but it was dry … enjoy the wonderful view from the summit ... nothing to see anywhere ...


From one side of the small summit, one could just barely see the other side, but nothing more.


The wind was terrible, so no way to put up my fishing pole there. But since I drove the whole end up in the fog, I wanted to activate anyway. So I tied my endfed wire to a fence post, about 50cm above ground. The other end was tied to my folding chair (I had to lay the chair on the ground and put my backpack on it while fixing my antenna, or it would have blown off the summit, also no time to take pictures, sorry).
The KX3 did tune up, so I could use this "WAG"-antenna (Wire-Above-Ground).
I checked the spots on my phone, and saw a chance for S2S with F6FTB/P, so I worked him first. With such a low antenna … it must have been “ground wave” communication, hi.

Then as I wanted to start calling CQ myself, rain started pouring, and together with the gale force wind, it was impossible  to stay on that summit. I was dripping wet by the time I got to my car.
So activation OK ? YES … 10 points ? NO … too bad …

Not much improvement after that either. I skipped the third summit on my list (FL/VO-080, Rothenbachkopf) because it included too much walking, and went directly to the regions highest summit.

FL/VO-001, Le Grand Ballon de Guebwiller

It was raining when I arrived, so I waited in the car (lucky that I had a full thermos of coffee …)  … and waited … and waited ... and after 1 hour and 15 minutes it finally stopped raining.



Typical view … everything in the fog. Not visible in the picture : the strong wind !




I grabbed my stuff and did the 10 minute walk to the summit … only to be disappointed, wind too strong, impossible to activate there, not even in the door shelter of the monument.
It was dangerous to get anything out of my backpack .. everything would just blow away into the distance ... so I just gave up and quickly returned to the car.

 

So that was that for my second day … 10 points instead of the 40 I had hoped for … and a lot of wet clothes and towels ...
I’ll keep those summits on my list for next year … and hope for better weather !

I stayed the night in Kingersheim near Mulhouse, and the lady where I stayed was so kind to put all my wet stuff in the dryer ... so by the morning all "wetness" was quickly forgotten, and I was ready for a day of DM/BW summits. Read on to find out how that went ....

(to be continued ... )

Luc - ON7DQ 




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