Of all the SOTA-summits near Trondheim, LA/ST-009 Gråkallen persists to be the most accessible. We decided to activate it Sunday 8. January, the day before the official semester start date. Now that everyone were back for a new semester, what would be a better time and place to start the 2023 SOTA season?

The view from halfway up to Gråkallen from Skistua.
From left: LB5DH and Irini.
Photo: LB1DJ

One of the unique things about Gråkallen is that it is possible and feasible to reach the top both with skis and on foot. To accommodate all preferences, we split the party into two groups. One group would go by ski from Ferista and meet up with the other group at Skistua. After some last-minute changes, the group starting from Ferista consisted of LB5DH and the Skistua-group was LB1DJ and Irini.

Approximately the route we took to the top. The red was from Ferista, and the green was after the two groups had met.
Photo: Courtesy of sotamaps.org

The weather forecast predicted warm, but windy, weather. We mounted the mast, a 6m fishing rod, simply by supporting it in a nearby snow heap. We used our tried and trusted quarter wave vertical built around an old heathkit tuner. The radio was the popular FT-891, running 100W.

The antenna we usually use for SOTA-trips. This time without guy wires since the deep snow was sufficient to support it.
Photo: Irini

Due to the wind, we dug a hole and a windscreen for our shack. It kept the wind away from the operators, and could almost fit 3 hams side by side.

LB5DH and Irini setting up the shack in the wind-protecting hole.
Photo: LB1DJ

The conditions were favorable, with the QSOs pouring in quickly. The two licensed operators got the necessary 4 quickly and Irini filled a mini logbook page as LA1K (under supervision).

LB5DH and LB1DJ operating and logging SOTA-chasers.
Photo: Irini

All things considered, the trip was a great success! Thank you LB1DJ, LB5DH and Irini!

Irini operating as LA1K under the supervision of LB1DJ.
Photo: LB5DH