Since I reached over 900 activator points with my Friedrichshafen trip ... I couldn't resist to throw in another short trip to the place where SOTA began for me : the Sauerland region in North Rhine-Westphalia.
More info about the area : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauerland
So I did a 5 day trip from 6 - 10 September, keeping the motto : one summit a day keeps the doctor away ... and it would bring me another 34 points closer to Mountain Goat fame and glory ...
These are the summits I activated
Day 1 : DM/NW-194 (Heidkopf)
I started in Ostend at 05:30 to avoid traffic jams around the big cities .. and I was quite lucky, I arrived more or less on time at the parking space for Heidkopf.
I chose to ascend this summit from the Hasley Hütte, just south of Olsberg. Parking spot 51.343405, 8.490161.
The track is fairly easy to follow, still I made a few navigation errors, hi.
After removing my errors, I uploaded the track on the SMP site.
It has a couple of steep places, but all in all it is a nice walk of around 1 hour, at the end you will find a lookout tower near the summit. The tower is in the AZ, so I set up my station on the lookout platform. The lookout cabin was locked, it would have been a nice shack ...
Since it was midday by then, I first had a snack ... and then started calling CQ ... 15 QSO's later it started raining :-(
So I had to pack and run ... and the rain really started pouring !
This time I made no navigation errors, but one hour later I was soaking wet when I arrived at my car ... so far for day one. I hoped that I didn't catch a cold, or I would need a doctor after all ... hi.
I rushed to my hotel in Willingen, and the nice pool and sauna there made me quickly forget the bad weather outside.
Day 2 : DM/NW-187 (Hoher Eimberg)
More bad weather was predicted for most of the day, so I did a visit of the Willingen Brewery first, and got a nice beer mug and tokens for two free beers .. to be enjoyed after my activation of course ;-)
My WETTER.COM app said it would clear up in late afternoon ... so around 15:00 local time, I drove to the parking spot at the end of the road with the appropriate name "Zum Hoher Eimberg", GPS position : 51.303752, 8.603395. Just around the corner to the right has a few more parking spots.
It's only a 20 minute walk to the summit, and you won't need a GPS to find it.
But I posted my track on the SMP for those that want it :
The activation went well, but there was a cold wind, and at the end it started raining again ... so after only 17 QSO's I had to pack up my stuff and go back ... and have a beer !
Day 3 : DM/HE-046 (Hohes Gras)
I wanted to do a visit to the city of Kassel, so I chose this easy drive-up summit for the morning.
Parking is at the "Kletterwald Kassel" at 51.306301, 9.354249, and nearby is the "Waldgaststätte Hohes Gras", where you can get food and drinks for a fair price.
No track needed here, just walk past the restaurant, and find a nice place to set up. If you walk far enough you will find a bench where you have a nice view over the valley, but it is exposed to the sun. I chose a spot near the ski lift under the trees.
Since it was announced that this Saturday was the OE5 SOTA DAY, I was hoping to catch a couple of S2S with OE, but as it turned out I worked ... NONE !
Still had a blast, with 36 QSO's in the log, and 13 of those were S2S !
Day 4 : DM/NW-263 (Langenberg)
This was another new unique for me. I ascended this summit from the city of Willingen, 2 km from my hotel. I parked here : 51.288782, 8.583374 , in the street named Am Rodeland.
This is a very enjoyable walk along part of the famous Rothaarsteig (https://www.rothaarsteig.de/).
It took me 1 hour to reach the summit, the track is available here :
Along the way, and on the summit, are several benches. If you set up on the summit itself, expect to have some curious looks from passing walkers and mountain bikers.
This is a very popular place, since it is the highest point in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Also some of these people make more noise than my radio or voice combined ... make sure you have good headphones which cover your ears, hi.
Propagation was very bad this day, and despite calling CQ for long stretches, I only managed 16 QSO's in total. But 3 of those were S2S, so not bad after all.
Day 5 : DM/NW-192 (Stüppel)
It was time to drive back to Ostend (a 450 km ride ...) , so I did one more summit along the road, with a short walk to the top.
You can park at the St.-Antonius Kapelle in Wasserfall, pos. 51.303273, 8.434778
It took me just 25 minutes to reach the summit, this is the track
With 13 QSO's in the log, of which 1 S2S with another Belgian (F/ON7QR/P) , I went back to the car and started driving ... to arrive safely back in Ostend at 17:15 local time ... mission accomplished !
See you on another SOTA adventure soon ... Cheers !
Luc - ON7DQ