Activation Date: 4th November 2018
I had never visited this mountain before. I agree to go there and activate together with Luis, an old friend of mine. He had an amateur radio licence long time ago (only active on VHF FM these days…) but he had make a break on the hobby since years.
I decided to go with him so that he could see about HF features and how easy is to enjoy with QRP. Perhaps he will get back to the hobby in the future? He still owns the call EA2DPZ.
- Exit Pamplona towards France (road N-121-A)
- Before the tunnel take deviation right towards Belate / Ultzama benta (road NA-1210)
- Drive 5 kilometers to reach the highest point (mountain pass).
- Exit the road left, next the closed building of Venta Quemada.
After, you can continue for about 2 kilometers driving on a gravel road until a local TV repeater on a hill. There you can park and start the climb.
- Trail from the telephone / TV repeater is about 3,5 kilometer long (one way).
- Height gain is 170 meters.
This is an easy climb, following most of the time a clear path on a forest track.
Weather was good, and hopefully we found little mud in the track. The bad point was there was a lot of hunting huts along the track, hidden behind vegetation and they shoot every now and then, and the big noise near us frightened a lot!
We crossed our fingers praying not to be hurted by accident and kept on walking.
The views down the valley were great:
As we approached we saw the last part of the climb; the summit is in a huge promontory:
In front of his basement there is a big menhir:
We arrived on top; the summit is small with a trig point and mountain mailbox, and all around very steep slopes in all directions.
We faced the problem of extremely high winds and gust up there. There was no way to deploy the antenna up there and decided to descend a few meters towards north, trying to find a suitable place with less wind.
There I settled my EFHW on the 5 meter fishpole. My friend helped me deploying the antenna and I explained him what all the gadgets were for.
- Equipment: TRX LNR LD-5 + Lipo 3S + EFHW + Headset + CW Paddle (touch keyer).
I tried cq first on my VHF handheld but I was hidden towards Pamplona where they waiting for me. Only EA2LU heard me briefly with a huge wind noise on my microphone.
Soon after I fired my HF radio and found a contest in progress on SSB. I switched to 14 MHz CW and started cqing. The pile up soon arrived and I started logging while explaining my friend where all the incoming calls were from.
After 20m I qsyed to 30m and did some more contacts. After logging 24 contacts I went QRT.
I only logged one S2S: thanks 9A6CW/P for calling me.
All in all a good walk and activation, despite the uncomfortable wind.
DMR HAM repeater
After the activation we got back to the park place. As we approached we saw a number of people up in one of the towers. Once we got there I recognized a ham friend of mine. They were repairing a UHF DMR repeater up there, installing a solar pannel up there to provide with energy to the repeater for winter time.
They were also fighting against the strong wind to hold the pannel and fix it. Thanks to their efforts the repeater is ready for operation, providing a good ham coverage in this mountaneous area. Thanks dear friends for your service!
VY 73 de Ignacio