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Winter activation of EA2/NV-095, crawling on snow


#1

Hello dear Sota friends,

During the last week we have had huge snowfalls in the northern part of Spain.

Weather forecast announced no more snowfalls during the weekend and I agreed with my friend Santi EA2BSB to do a joint activation on Saturday morning.
The summit selected was Esparatz, an easy hike with no risk of avalanche.

We drove to the small village of Argiñariz and parked. The path starts in the old church where passing a gate leads to the countryside.

We started the ascent following a wide path, that was covered with a massive amount of snow, but due to the low temperatures snow was thick and we could walk without troubles.

As we gained height we found more and more pine trees bent due to the weight of the snow on them.

After 50 minutes walk we headed the last part of the ascent.
It had the biggest amount of snow and every step took an effort as our feet digged down.

We finally arrived on the summit and we were very happy that there was very litle wind. It looked like a swimming pool in white powder.

EA2BSB started the activation immediately by using his VHF FT-290 rig, with his built-in telescopic vertical antenna.

I installed the HF wire and the fishpole and soon was calling CQ on 20ssb. A lot of chasers called in and were logged. My rucksuck was the only thing adding colour to the summit…

Santi was struggling to qualify and needed one more qso to reach the required 4; then he settled his VHF yagi. His last qso was a S2S with EA1IEH/P.

I moved to 20m CW. At first I called in 14.062,5 as I heard someone in 14.062, but no one replied for some minutes. I thought that maybe the RBN didn’t pick my call and I qsyed to 14.062 and after checking QRL I called there and got some more qso.

After my return home I saw I was spotted in 14.062,5 only and it seems the system didn’t updated me on 062,0. Perhaps there were some chasers who didn’t find me because of that. Sorry about it.

Santi had already dismantled his rig and I didn’t want to keep him waiting for long -it was cold already- and after a couple of calls without a reply I announced QRT.

All in all a 42 minutes activation with 70 qso logged in my side, including 3 S2S.

Tip of the day: to avoid bottom congelation, I use a small square cut out from a cheap sleeping mat, the one with an aluminum side up: confortable and warm!

I must say there is some kind of luck (say enchantment?) because everytime Santi and me agree on doing a joint activation, we frequently end with the feeling that “we choose the right day to do it because of the weather!”.

Thanks all chasers and hope to hear you soon, take care on summits
VY 73 de Ignacio


#2

Thank you for the interesting report and great photos, Ignacio

vy 73
Adrian
G4AZS


#3

2nd that one

Karl


#4

Fine report, Ignacio!
Keep dry that part! You’ll need it again :wink:


#5

Thanks very much Ignacio for the summit - well done both of you :sunglasses:
Good report and photos.
Best wishes
Mike