19-Nov-2006 -- This visit completes a series of 23 confluence visits on the 50°N line. We have driven West visiting all confluences up to 2°E and a year later we found all confluences up to 24°E. Only this pretty confluence in the Fichtelgebirge close to our home had been left out so far. High time to go!
Starting in our hometown Erlangen, we took a train to Marktredwitz on that Sunday early morning. The sleepy 18’000 inhabitants where not awake yet, so we had a peaceful start while leaving the town on foot. It took us about 3 hours to hike the 6km beeline distance between Marktredwitz train station and the confluence point – thereby visiting the village museum in Kleinwendern. In the museum you can see artefacts from three centuries; mostly farmer’s tools and household equipment. The entry fee is 1 Euro.
At a distance of 800 m from the confluence, Elionora and I had a disagreement on which way to go. So each of us took one GPS receiver and followed a preferred route. As a matter of fact, we met again at the confluence 10 minutes later. But the reception of satellites was extremely bad in the confluence area. Actually, both receivers fooled us by sending us up to 150m back and forth, thereby showing accuracy of 20m. This is GPS integrity! May be there was an unreported faulty satellite or the spruce trees sent some multipath signals – both receivers disagreed and constantly changed their opinion on the exact location by 50m, sometimes, as I said before, up to 150m! Interestingly, two of the previous visitors also reported problems while locating the spot.
Finally, after the receivers had tranquilised, we found a monument at the spot – which has not been reported yet. It is a small cairn with a plastic tupperware style food container beneath. Inside, there is a simple summit register. We placed our names in the list as entries four and five.
On the hike back we followed a similar route. Local people were celebrating Remembrance Sunday in the villages. Bands were playing and a service was held in open air. At 3pm we were back in Marktredwitz and at 6pm back home.
CP visit details:
- Time at the CP: 11:56 a.m.
- Time to reach the CP from home: 5.5 hours
- Distance to a track: 5 m
- Distance to a road: 1200 m
- Distance to houses: 1200 m
- Topography: hilly, on a steep grade
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 2 m
- Position accuracy at the CP: 11 m
- GPS height: 782 m
- Vegetation: Deep spruce forest. On the ground grass, ferns and moss.
- Weather: bright and mostly sunny, 14° C (felt temperature) – far too warm for November, see visit no. 3
- Description of the CP: On the Eastern Slope of the Burgstein Mountain.
- Given Name: The Misleading GPS Confluence