Following with my new target of ticking the box of every SOTA summit within a 35Km radius circle from my QTH, I chose Mt. Larrazpil for today, which you can see in the following picture I took last September 20th from the summit of Mt. Bizkay EA2/NV-142:
It’s pretty much in the limit, as I had to drive 39 Km to get to the small village of Goldaratz, where the start point was.
Here is the track on the map so you can see its location with respect to Pamplona.
I used a GPS track which I had downloaded some months ago when I went to Mt. Alitzako Malkorra as it’s a round trip starting and ending in the village of Goldaratz after bagging a number of summits. The last mentionned and today’s target Mt. Larrazpil among them,
When I went to Alitzako Malkorra I started the round trip towards the North. Today I did it the other way around, towards the South.
This is a closer look to the GPS track I followed:
And these are the 3 summits I visited today on my way to the targetted SOTA although just Larrazpil (1069m a.s.l.) was the activated one (it was the only SOTA summit).
After a while walking up a dirt road I got to this intersection with several indications. It was easy to shoose the right way, as there was just one going up and so it was confirmed by the GPS.
At one point I left the dirt road and got into the bleech trees forest, which had all the sleeves down on ground. It was all time like this without a clear path to follow. Thanks God that I had my very helpful GPS:
After a longer than initially forecasted hike, we arrived to the summit of Mt. Larrazpil, which is, as you can see, in the middle of the forest, so not any distant views at all:
I installed my 7m fishing pole on the trunck of this cut tree and 4 counterpoise wire radials layed on the ground towards the 4 cardinal points:
I started with a S2S QSO with Kurt HB9AFI/P who was activating HB/BE-121, followed by Ignacio EA2BD/P who was activating EA2/NV-099 and it was a complete surprise to me, as I had no idea of his activation today. That was a great start. Thank you!
29 more chasers made their way to my log in the following 20 minutes. It was a nice run. Thank you!
Then I QSYed to 20m SSB where 18 QSOs were logged in 13 minutes, 2 of which were S2S, one with Ignacio EA2BD who kindly called in to say hi again, thank you, and the other with Mike 2E0YYY/P who was activating G/SP-013. It was a nice surprise, Mike!
The 20m pile up dried up suddenly. It looked like there was either QSB and the chasers calling in the pile up stopped copying me at one point or some other activation was spotted and all of them run away to chase that one.
I’m usually short of time in my activations so after a couple of unresponded CQ calls, I QSYed to 12m CW.
The 12m band produced 5 QSOs in 4 minutes. One of them with SM7DIE who had been, unfortunately unable to copy my signal report on 20m due to QSB and QRM despite me copying him very well and repeating it a number of times. Another station, impatient to chase me, did relay my signal report to him but I didn’t consider it valid and didn’t log the QSO. I immediately asked this station not to do so, as the signal report must be directly copied by the 2 stations making QSO without the use of any relaying means.
The 12m band didn’t produce any more calls in the following 2 or 3 CQ calls and I QSYed back to 30m in order to try some more S2S QSOs while looking at the Sotawatch spots on my phone.
There I found Mikel EA2CW/P activating EA2/VI-021 in the company of Marcial EA2WX/P.
I worked Mikel first, then I QSYed a few Kc up to work F5PLR/P who was activating F/PO-201, and then I QSYed back down to work Marcial EA2WX/P.
I finally managed to work Vladimir YU1WC/P who was activating YU/ZS-007 and this was the very last contact as it was getting late for me to descend and drive the 39Km back to be home for lunch with my family.
Before leaving, I took a picture of myself at the operating position, sitting down on the North side of the summit to get rid of the cold South breeze blowing all the time. Unfortunately the sun was right in front and I could only get this very poor picture:
All in all, 58 QSOs in the log, 8 of which were S2S, after having worked on 3 bands and 2 modes.
This is the full activation log:
And this is the S2S log:
On my descent, once I got out of the forest and reached the dirt road, I enjoyed the sunshine I wasn’t quite having in the middle of the bleech forest and also some nice views like these:
This is a view of the village Goldaratz as I approached it on my way back.
This was another very nice time out on the air and the mountains.
I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again soon.
Have a nice week.
Best 73 de Guru