A Bernese First

SOTA summit: Gurten HB/BE-111

Activation Date: May 16, 2017

Portable operation: Yes

Radio: Elecraft KX2 operating at 10 watts

Antenna: LNR 40/20/10 End Fed
Bands used: 40m/20m
Furthest QSO: ~xxxx
Hike in: Yes
Solo operation: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Cell Coverage: Great
Photos: Copyright Paul Gacek 2017

We love cars in California. So much so we built a legendary network of freeways, figured out how to drill for gas, literally in our backyard and managed to kill of any competing options such as public transport!

So its a treat and a very different experience to ride to your summit via a city tram and then a funicular but this is Switzerland and I really shouldn’t expect anything less.

The hotel concierge has briefed me on all aspects of making this journey. She has assured me that St Bernard dogs (the ones with the cute little barrel under their chin) are ready and waiting to come find me if I fail to navigate her directions.

Its a hot afternoon and I bid farewell to my wife and leave her to shop her way through Bern.

Google has truly revolutionized not getting lost. I sit on my number 9 tram and watch the blue dot march along streets, stop at lights and finally be my cue to hop off and leg it up a hill to a funicular.

The peak is almost downtown!
The peak is almost downtown

It’s big and yellow and very Swiss looking. In a deftly choreographed move its down hill cousin glides off our shared track only to rejoin moments later.

You can see Bern in the distance
My very modern and swank city tram

The Jungfrau and its snow covered neighbors look quite resplendent lying on endless fields and meadows of rich green grass. This is so different from what we see in California and quite intoxicating in its beauty.

A happy activator with Jungfrau in distance

To celebrate my Bernese success I acquire a rather snazzy Swiss Army knife that I get personalized.

My Bernese award


  1. This SOTA peak looks less challenging than Alta Laguna Park, but a whole lot more fun. Congratulations on finding one of the world’s easiest summits to activate. Funicular on…


  2. Paul I am so jealous of this trip, the knife is really a cool trinket as well, some day I too will get one of those! safe travels Scott AK6Q


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