SOTA: Hermannskogel (OE/WI-001)

I think it is due to a reshuffle of Austrian SOTA summits, but according to the current database, there is only one summit in the Vienna (Wien) region, WI-001, Hermannskogel. I guess that made the choice of which peak to activate easy.

The Hermannskogel is the highest point near Vienna, and up to World War I, served as the cartographic zero point for Austria-Hungary. The Habsburgwarte, pictured here, is a rebuilt stone tower that sits on top of the hill and sports a variety of antennas and radomes.

I was somewhat familiar with the trip out to Hermannskogel, as I had previously operated a couple hills away at Cobenzl. From downtown, I took the U4 light rail to Heiligenstadt station, and from there caught the 38A bus to Cobenzl Parkplatz. The 38A is frequent and it’s a nice drive through Grinzing, which is both a wine and the town that produces it. The end of the line for the 38A is the parking lot of Cobenzl Parkplatz, and the stop for the 43A bus is only a few meters away. I took that bus one stop to Höhenstrasse/Rohrerwiese and got off.

Although my online map showed a path around to the west, when I got off the bus, I noticed a few concrete stairs leading upward towards a field in the direction of the peak. I decided to go with dead reckoning, and walked through the field until I came to a path that also went in the right direction. Eventually, I came to a gravel road and decided to follow it to the right (east). It turned slighty northward after a while and I noticed a yellow sign pointing towards the summit.

It wouldn’t be hard to miss this sign.

The path upwards was a little slippery, perhaps from rain the previous day, but not too long. It leads to a ridge that I followed west towards the tower.

I passed an occasional hiker or two on the way to the peak, and when I arrived, there were a few people hanging out at the picnic tables near the Habsburgwarte. I wasn’t keen on setting up an antenna near the building, nor did I want to disturb people, so I walked along trails both to the east and west of the tower. Finally, I decided that the best tree to serve as an antenna support was on the east side, so I tossed a rope up and hauled up the end-fed antenna.

The operating position, with FT817.

I parked myself on a convenient tree stump and got replies 40, 20, and 10m CW. The battery was doing well, so I also ran about seven stations on 40m SSB. I listened for a while and tried some calls on 2m, but had no reply.

Interference wasn’t too bad considering the proximity of the Habsburgwarte and its many antennas.

On the way back, I continued to the east, which is a more developed road than the trail that approaches the tower from the west, and got back to the 43A bus stop.

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