After leaving Kudertberg and heading along the A4, I arrived at Berghotel Mummelsee at around 9pm. This hotel is located on Mummelsee, which is right next to DM/BW-019 Hornisgrinde, which of course had NO impact whatsoever in my choice to stay there. It was an excellent hotel, even if the manager was most apologetic that just about everything was closing at 9pm – the kitchen, the sauna, etc, etc. I told him I didn’t mind, and placed the battery on charge, while heading off to sleep.
My plan was to climb Hornisgrinde prior to breakfast, taking advantage of the opportunities for LP greyline contacts back into VK. I awoke at the allotted time, grabbed all my equipment, and started up the access road to the summit. The road is not available for general traffic, but there is a bus that will shuttle people to the top (I assume the elderly are its intended audience).
Dawn light near the hotel
The walk up, in soft pre-dawn light, was easy enough; the road is not too steep, and there are contours marked on it, so you know just how high you’ve managed to reach. After about fifteen minutes, I reached the Hornisgrindeturm (Hornisgrinde Tower) and started to look around the summit plateau. Over to one side was a wind turbine and the TV transmitter tower for the local area. I walked around, catching the sunrise to the east, before heading back to a point about midway between the turbine and the Turm, and set up. There would be plenty of room to stretch out a large antenna, but there are not so many trees to tie off against, so I kept myself limited to 20m and above.
Sunrise on Hornisgrinde
Summit turbine and transmitter
I started on SSB first, getting Sergei RA3PCI and Vlad R4FCJ in the log before a long period calling CQ. After about ten minutes, I pulled out the key and switched to CW. Coverage on the summit was fairly spotty, so I wasn’t able to spot my frequency, but after a short period of calling, Gerard VK2IO came up on frequency, and I guessed that RBNHole had done its trick. Whoever wrote that piece of software deserves a medal. Shortly afterwards, I got F6HKA in the log to claim the 10 points on offer.
The travel pole. Vertical is nice, but any way it gets in the air is OK
France from the heights of the Black Forest
Ron VK3AFW was next in the log, proving the path to VK was open, followed by LZ2RS for my first Bulgaria contact, and a scratchy QSO with Andrew VK2UH. Very tough copy, with lots of QSB, but we managed to complete it.
After a little while calling CQ again, and with the path to VK open, I decided I’d give SSB another go. I tuned around looking for a clear spot, and found a strong VK voice calling CQ, and discovered it was Paul VK5PAS, who got in the log. Hornisgrinde is also in DLFF-0111, so he was happy to get another reference from me. He alerted me to Peter VK3TKK in VKFF-0757 Enfield State Park, and Adam VK2YK. I could not hear Adam, but Peter popped out of the noise enough to complete the contact, 3/1 signals both ways.
Two SV2 stations, Ron again, and Allen VK3ARH got into the log, before wrapping up with Russia and the Ukraine. At this point, I’d been on the mountain for over an hour, and my stomach was getting rumbly. I headed down via the Westweg (West route) and think I took the right option in heading up via the road. Nice walk, but a lot steeper.
Down the Westweg
Memorial for crash of French Air Force transport
I had planned to do another DM summit, but after breakfast, I decided I’d head instead to the airport, and in the end I was grateful that I did, as with traffic on the autobahn, and a missing wing mirror reducing my ability to pass cars, I took a bit longer than anticipated to get there. After sorting out the hire car, I headed back to Heathrow, and from Heathrow, I headed back to Australia.
I can recommend the Berghotel Mummelsee as a nice place to stay – there are cheaper options in the surrounding towns, but none are as convenient to a 10 pointer as this one is.
View from my window.
Mummelsee and Hornisgrindeturm