At the end of August we spent a few days on holidays visiting the region of Leon. Nice villages on a dense mountaineous area, with 236 active summits, being 48 of them higher than 2000 meters.
We stayed last days in the village of Riaño, surrounded by beautiful mountains:
As I usually do when on a touristic visit I agreed with my wife on a short and easy hike to do an activation in a new region for my log. I contacted with my friend Juan Carlos, EA1AER, spanish EA1 Association manager, a resident ham and very active for SOTA in Leon. He was polite to propose a summit and join me. On top of that another two friends living in the neighbor region of Asturias joined us: Javi EA2GM and Jon EA3BV. This would be a 4 ham activation on a very nice summit!
Activation date: August 27th 2022.
The route starts on a parking place (coordinates 43,118908 / ─5,023062. Elevation 983 m) located at kilometer 116,1 of road N-625 that leads to Oseja de Sajambre.
- Trail length (one way) : 1,15 km
- Elevation gain: 240 m.
- Mountain elevation: 1223 m a.s.l.
- Walking time: 45 minutes
This is how the mountain looks from the road:
We arrived to the parking and soon find Juan Carlos, Javi and Jon there. By misfortune it was raining a bit, as a storm had just passed. We had some doubts on what to do, but after some minutes waiting the rain stopped and we got on.
The path is quite clear, it starts on a forest but soon opens and follows very steep. Hopefully the route has been receintly very well equipped with chains and stairs that help a lot to progress safely.
Let me share some pics that describe better than words the way up:
Mari Mar doing well
The summit has a big cross, made with railway tracks, and an panoramic map.
A receintly built lookout platform is located sideways, a few meters under the summit.
The summit is not big enough to separate well but we installed three stations and activated in turns.
EA3BV sat on the very top, near the big cross and was fast to install and start running in 10 MHz with his QCX mini rig.
He was followed by EA1AER sitting comfortably in the lookout platform, using his EFHW antena and the SW-3B CW rig in 14 MHz. He added a coaxial stub on his antena connector to reduce interference with us. He was glad to get a call and log KD1CT.
EA2GM was next. He had his FT-817 and used Jon’s aerial running in 18 MHz.
Jon assisting on spots:
I took my time to install the tiny orange truSDX. I wanted to check how it performs in a multi actvation and I must admit this is not the rig for such a dense radio activity. My rig was overloaded by the CW strong signals coming from my friends, no matter what the band, and I waited for them to end.
Besides, the sunlight made it difficult to see the frequency readout and SWR value in the small oled display. This is the hardest point to use this rig for portable operation. The rig is very light and easy to carry but you can’t use it comfortably on a summit, in my opinión.
Once I had everything under control and a clear QRG I ran on 14 MHz CW. I soon logged three qso but struggled a bit to get my 4th qso after some tense minutes waiting for it. The audio in my receiver wasn’t clean and signals were a bit low.
We closed the activation by working TM2SOTA, Gerald (F6HBI) S2S.
We all qualified despite our activation time was not very long, nevertheless the key point today was the nice climb we shared and the fact this was our first time meeting with some of these “radio friends” in person!
Jon and Javi had a very long trip back to their QTH and decided to dismantle and go down.
We took the last pictures and we got down with calm enjoying the chat.
I really apreciate the effort of all these mates that joined me and made a great day of it. Thanks for coming from so far away, and wishing to have another chance soon.
73 de Ignacio