DX from the Frozen Pemi

What a relief to hike again. It warmed up to 45F today and I hit the trail. Down to the Pemigewasset River where I worked Spain, Poland, Norway, Germany and Greece.

I walked about a mile on the access road to the river along the snowmobile trail. Weeks Brook is still frozen. Soon it will be rushing with the spring melt.


Right in front of Shaw Cove is a sharp curve in the road. There’s a row of tall pine trees directly exposed to the southern sun. Even though two feet of snow covers the ground in most places, there is a bare patch at the base of these trees. I set up the KX3 at 5 watts with a 33 foot wire up to one of the pine branches. I spread a plastic bag on the ground to sit on.


I started out on 17 meters and heard Christian, LI8OM in Norway. He gave me a 449 and he was 599. This is not an ideal spot for propagation because there is a steep hill directly to the east… toward Europe. So I never expect strong reports here… but it was 55F in the sun and one of the few spots available to operate at this time of year.

Next, I exchanged reports with Serge DL1DGS in Germany. He gave me a 559 and I was pleased to work him again after a long time.


Shaw Cove is directly across from where I sat… and farther… the main flow of the Pemi. Both are frozen and probably won’t break up for a few weeks.

Now I switched to 12 meters and made three quick contacts with SZ7SER, a radio club in Greece followed by DL5LYM in Germany and SP7ASZ, Andy in Poland.

For a final contact I went to 10 meters and worked Oscar, EA1DR in Spain. I’d only operated for 15 minutes, but made six nice contacts. I packed up for the return hike up the hill.


This has been one of the coldest, snowiest and longest winters for several decades. One warm day is all it takes to raise my hopes for spring and summer adventures to come.

Jim Cluett, W1PID, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Hampshire, USA. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “DX from the Frozen Pemi”

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Jim, looks like it was a very nice day and nice to read that it was 55 in the sun!! The spring is on it’s way for sure very nice contacts and the picks of the outing are very nice as well. Look forward to reading more about your adventures.

  • Thanks for the note Mike… been a looong winter. Still a bit more to come, I’m afraid. vy best, Jim W1PID

  • Eric Bailey wl7cmt:

    Hi Jim,

    Here’s a suggestion in the spirit of friendship. Can you put into your posts whether you use SSB or are working CW? I know from reading your web site that you work both ways. For people like me who are still green, it helps to understand what is possible with 5 watts. CW goes a lot farther than SSB, but my love is for the human voice, so SSB is my principal focus. it’s really exciting to be able to see what might be possible with small watts out with SSB. Alaska is hard to get out of without a lot of power I’ve been told again and again. its disheartening with a small budget, and being basically forced to work portable if at all and not have a car. Knowing what mode you were in when you talked to Europe makes it a lot more exciting for those of us that for the time being have to dream a lot and not work much.

    Thanks for thinking about this. I really enjoy your web site!



  • Hi Eric – thanks so much for your note. Very sorry to have omitted the mode. In case I forget again, assume it’s CW… it’s pretty rare for me to operate SSB. Also, you can look for a clue in the RST. If it has 3 places, i.e. 559, you know it’s CW. If it has 2 places, i.e., 59, you know is voice. Very best and good luck from the frozen North! 73 Jim W1PID

  • Matt W1MST:

    I don’t know, Jim. When you wish Eric good luck, can you really call New Hampshire “the frozen North” compared to his home QTH (Juneau, AK)? 🙂

  • Matt – funny I saw that after I posted it. I REALLY meant IN the frozen North.
    Jim W1PID

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