SOTA in Haut-Rhin (FL/VO)


FL/VO-001. FL/VO-002. FL/VO-007. FL/VO-012. FL/VO-017. FL/VO-021. FL/VO-078. FL/VO-79. FL/VO-080. FL/VO-081. FL/VO-083. FL/VO-084. FL/VO-093. FL/VO-096. FL/VO-101.

Over the course of two brief visits to Alsace, I activated a set of FL/VO summits in early spring 2017. Patches of snow could be found in the shade at the higher elevations still but were no impediment to driving or hiking.

I was based one weekend in Colmar and another in Thann. I traveled by car to the trailheads, indicated below. The roads, though all paved, were often very winding and narrow. The area is developed enough that gasoline, meals, etc. are available as needed. During the second visit, I had a SIM that gave me data coverage. That weekend every summit had coverage. Several times the summits had stronger signals than the TH.

For all activations I operated A1A and QRP with my HB-1B and a linked dipole.

None of these activations were physically too challenging. All the hikes had steep uphill segments. Though a few segments might have come close to T3, mainly T1 and some T2 are what to expect. Trail shoes were adequate for all the hikes. Hike, of course, at your own risk; no promises or guarantees should be assumed in the information provided below.

I tackled the summits in the following groups: 082, 093, 096; 007, 091, 101; 001, 017, 078, 079, 081; 002, 012, 080, 083, 084.

FL/VO-001: Le Grand Ballon de Guebwiller (10)

Parking: N47.90457° E7.10306°

Hiking Time: 20 minutes

Comments: The summit is open field. I was there on a Sunday, and it was quite crowded. That made setting up so as not to disturbe the other visitors very difficult. There are a few options for a meal at the parking lot; this makes for a nice break.

FL/VO-002: Le Hohneck (10)

Parking: N48.03789° E7.01520°

Hiking Time: <5 minutes

Comments: Radio activation is prohibited in the parking lot itself. One needs to walk beyond the hotel/restaurant property to activate.

FL/VO-007: Le Grand Brézouard (10)

Parking: N48.19486° E7.13663°

Hiking Time: 25 minutes up.

Comments: One could probably take the car further down the unpaved road and closer to the activation zone. There’s a clearing at the summit. I activated with a dipole and telescopic mast.

FL/VO-012: L’Altenberg (10)

Parking: N48.00049° E6.94540°

Hiking Time: ?

Comments: Fifth summit of the day. Two weeks later I don’t remember a thing about this one. Sad.

FL/VO-017: Le Molkenrain (10)

Parking: N47.85338° E7.13574°

Hiking Time: 25 minutes

Comments: There are places to eat both at the parking lot and near the summit.

FL/VO-021, Schratzmännele (10)

Parking: N48.07891° E7.14432°

Hiking Time: 15 minutes up.

Comments: The summit has ruins of WWI-era underground fortifications. At the TH is a German military cemetery. A French military cemetery is on the other side of the summit.

FL/VO-078, Le Storkenkopf (10)

Parking: N47.90844° E7.06766° – or – N47.90513° E7.09032°

Hiking Time: 45 minutes

Comments: great view of FL/VO-001.

FL/VO-079, Le Klintzkopf (10)

Parking: N47.95206° E7.03357°

Hiking Time: Parking – Klitzenkopf – Lauchenkopf – Parking < 2 hours

Comments: pairs with FL/VO-081

FL/VO-080, Rothenbachkopf (10)

Parking: N48.00489° E6.97851°

Hiking Time: 20 minutes

Comments: exposed summit, rocky, some fencing.

FL/VO-081, Le Lauchenkopf (10)

Parking: N47.95206° E7.03357°

Hiking Time: Parking – Klitzenkopf – Lauchenkopf – Parking < 2 hours

Comments: pairs with FL/VO-079

FL/VO-082: Petit Ballon (10)

Parking: N47.98500° E7.12121°

Hiking Time: 20 minutes up.

Comments: The summit and hike are mainly through open pasture. A fenced radio tower (a repeater?) is at the top. I activated with a dipole and telescopic mast.SOTA FL/VO-082 Petit Ballon

FL/VO-083, Grand Artimont (10)

Parking: N48.02388° E6.98503°

Hiking Time: 45 minute

Comments: Ski lifts terminate at the summit. I hiked up from the other side. The lifts were not operating at the time of my hike (April). Winter activations may be able to take advantage of the lifts.

FL/VO-084, Rode Tête

Parking: N48.00918° E6.96909°

Hiking Time: 45 minutes

Comments: Confusing start. My GPS didn’t follow the trails that were there. With better maps the hike time might be reduceable.

FL/VO-091: Koenigsstuhl (10)

Parking: N48.18159° E7.25849°

Hiking Time: 40 minutes up.

Comments: The summit is forested. I activated with a dipole and telescopic mast. The paths didn’t correspond all that well to what was proposed by my gps/osm. I ended up bushwacking for a stretch on the way up, but on the way down could stick to the paths.SOTA FL Konigstuhl

FL/VO-093: Le Stauffen (8)

Parking: each of these parking spots allows for a circuit of roughly equal hiking time to include VO-093 and VO-096. Choice can be made on the basis of the activator’s travel plan for the day:

  • (a) N48.04446° E7.25799°
  • (b) N48.03639° E7.20633°
  • (c) N48.04012° E7.27040°
  • (d) N48.01369° E7.24583°

Hiking Time: I hiked —- parking (d) – VO-093 (50 minutes) – VO-096 (40 minutes) – parking (d) (15 minutes)

Comments: one can make a convenient circuit that includes both FL/VO-093 and FL/VO-096. Le Stauffen (093) is tree covered and rocky. I used a dipole with a telescopic mast. I was really pleased to make QRP-QSOs not only with CT but, astonishingly, with VK and ZL, all on 30 meters.SOTA FL/VO-093 Le Stauffen

FL/VO-096: Schlosswald (8)

Parking: see parking suggestions in FL/VO-093.

Hiking Time: I hiked — (d) – VO-093 (50 minutes) – VO-096 (40 minutes) – (d) (15 minutes)

Comments: I hiked a circuit that brought me to VO-093 first and then to VO-096.  The summit of Schlosswald has a logging road straight across it, which makes something of a clearing for the dipole to run along. Otherwise there are plenty of trees to help set up an antenna.

FL/VO-101: Le Grand Faudé (8)

Parking: N48.13780° E7.15781°

Hiking Time: 20 minutes up

Comments: There’s a viewing tower at the top surrounded by a clearing with picnic tables and a shelter. SOTA FL/VO-101


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