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57th birthday celebration at Mt. Sarastarri EA2/SS-057 by EA2IF/P on 16/01/2022

The widely and well in advance announced activation to celebrate my 57th birthday took finaly place on Sunday 16th of January.
As I explained in the preplanning original post,

given the lack of a SOTA with reference number 57 in my region Navarra, I decided to activate the 57 in my neighbouring region EA2/SS.
This is the location of this chosen summit:


The drive from my home QTH to the hike start point was 48 Km mostly driven on Highway and very good National roads. It took me under 45 minutes to get there.

As you can see by reading the (Part 1) thread after my original pre-planning activation announcement and the 2 following threads (Part 2 and Part 3) created automatically by the system after they reached the limit of 100 posts, there was an absolutely amazing and overwhelming warm and fantastic, kind response from the great SOTA community or I’d better say SOTA family, which materialised in a very nice plan for a joint activation as well as many other friends announcing their intention to activate other summits around the World aiming to provide a Summit to Summit contact, as well as many others ready to chase me from their respective base locations.

So it finally was a joint activation with Ignacio @EA2BD from Pamplona, André @F5UKL from near Dax and Alain @F5ODQ from Bayonne:


The hike was about 5 Km one way and a bit less than 400 vertical meters.

We agreed to meet at the parking place by 10h45 local (09h45 utc) and we were all right o’clock. Perfect synchronisation!
The hike started like this:

Following through places like these:

During the ascent, Alain F5ODQ and Ignacio EA2BD were trying to identify some other visible mountains around:

We were not far from the summit here:

And finally, the summit at 993m a.s.l.

These were some of the views from the top:

There was quite an impressive drop to the North:

Setting up took me a while, as I had to re-position my fishing rod from an initial more inconvenient tree, to another one, but I finally got my sloper OCF 9.1m long wire set up and I got ready to start my activation:

With Ignacio EA2BD’s handheld and VHF flower pot antenna, I started with some S2S contacts on 2m FM. It was very nice and emotive for me chatting with Iratxe EA2DNO, Alberto EA2DCA, Gotzon EA2CSC, Roberto EA2DXY, Javier EB2FDT, who were on other summits waiting for me to show up and also with Pedro EA2CKX and Salvador EA2OX. It was hard for me to keep talking on voice and I had to pause some times because the emotion and the tears in my eyes didn’t let me speak, so I QSYed to CW…

I initially started CQing on 60m CW but I had not a single call back. It’s clear that the short antenna I had today wasn’t performing well on a long wave band as 60m is. I knew there were many friends waiting for me, so I just spent a few minutes CQing on 60m and I soon QSYed to 30m CW, where I had a good run of 11 QSOs in 20 minutes, which included 3 great S2S contacts with friends Tom M1EYP, Mark M0NOM and Armin DL6GCA.
I knew Jimmy M0HGY was with his dad at the same summit and wanted to make S2S QSO with me on SSB, so I decided to QSY to 20m SSB looking for that contact, as I knew they had been long time waiting for me. Unfortunately this S2S contact didn’t finally happen, but I had 11 QSOs in 15 minutes, including S2S with Stavros SV2RUJ, Csaba YO6PIB and Lukasz SQ9JTR. The contact with Victor GI4ONL was fun when he mentionned he was giving me a 57 signal report on the 57 birthday celebration at the summit reference 57. It was a nice 57 TRIO!
Then I QSYed to CW on that same 20m band and there I logged 41 QSOs in 57 minutes, including S2S with Marcial EA2WX and Heinz OE5EEP, as well as 2 DX contacts with the USA chasers Rich N4EX and Scott WB8ICQ.
Towards the end of my 20m CW activity, I received a request from Heinz HB9BCB to try 30m, as he wasn’t copying me on 20m and I wanted to QSO with the father of the antenna I was using today. This second pass over 30m didn’t make the QSO with Heinz HB9BCB possible, but I could log 7 more QSOs, including José EA7GV and Éric F5JKK, which gave me a lot of joy.
I would have worked 40m, but André F5UKL was having knee problems and he needed to descend slowly and it was getting late if we wanted to finish descent in daylight. Time to QRT though and a few final pictures of the group before descent:

Descent was fortunately uneventful and we got to the parking in time for the three of us you’ll see in the picture to have a drink at the bar there after having left all our mountain and radio gear in the car. Ignacio had some work to do at home and left us shortly before getting into the bar.

The activation finally produced 77 QSOs, 13 of which were S2S and 2 were DX with the USA, which is not a bad result at all given the not very good propagation conditions we had after a recent CME had hitted us and the 5W output I used.
You can see following the map showing the location of all the contacts made. The yellow, blue or green triangles represent the summit to summit contacts:

Dear friends Ignacio, André and Alain: you really gave me a very nice gift with your company in an unforgettable SOTA birthday celebration at a beautiful part of the Basque Country.

Thanks dear chasers and activators for your efforts and all the very nice QSOs.
I’ll be looking forward to celebrating my 58th birthday with you all again at Mt. Ireber EA2/NV-058.

73,

Guru

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Hello Guru
We had a great day on summit SS-057 where we shared activation.
We will continue to share activations together and I hope the next one will be in the Basque Country on the French side in PO-XXX.
See you very soon Guru, and hello to André and Ignacio.

Alain F5ODQ

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Hello Guru,
first belated congratulations on your birthday. I wish you all the best, especially the best possible health.
Thank you for the great report and many beautiful pictures.
Unfortunately I couldn’t be qrv yesterday, but we’ll see each other again.
All the best,
Paul DL6FBK

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Hi Guru
I’m sorry I was unable to join you on your birthday celebration as I was at a covid delayed family get together. I am sure we will QSO again and I hope we will manage an S2S soon.
73 and Happy Birthday again
Richard

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Hello Guru,

thanks for your detailed report. Looking at the many pictures I could feel a little bit the mood on your hike and activation. All looks good. Hope to meet you on the bands soon.

73, Ludwig

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Dear Guru and Ignacio.
It was a great pleasure to meet you and activate this Birthday SOTA.
It was a great day and I hope that we’ll meet again soon.
Best 73 and take care.
André f5ukl

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Guru, it was a pleasure to celebrate your anniversary and had a great time up there with André and Alain. A real pleasure to walk and chat on the way up and down.
Weather was just perfect, with gentle breeze and blue sky.

I was very happy looking at you running peacefully in CW, greeting you friends on air.

Meanwhile I had a good chat with many EA2 hams on VHF, and I thank specially they waited for us to had the S2S and sing for Guru a happy birthday qso.
Later, Alain was gentle and let me use his radio to do a bit more in 40m SSB.

Thanks all for being a warm companion yesterday. I’m sure we’ll keep this special event in our memory, and looking forward the #58, with other intermediate activation.

All the best, 73 Ignacio

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I was really hoping to take part in your SOTA S2S birthday party Guru, but as you know, I unfortunately tested positive for C19 on Friday.

I’m glad to see that you had such a good time!

All the best, and I hope to work you again soon, once I’m free from covid jail!

VY 73 Colin

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Guru,
Very glad to know that the weather was good for your birthday hike. Sorry I was not able to work you from NY. Looking forward to many more SOTA QSOs.
73!
Mike, WB2FUV

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Dear Mike,
I received perfectly your call on 20m CW, but it was me who didn’t manage to make my signals get through to you. I got back to you with your callsign and signal report several times, but you never seemed to copy me. I finally kept going and crossed your callsign out on my log. Very sorry that propagation conditions were not great yesterday.
There will be future chances for sure.
Take care. 73,

Guru

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Hi Guru,

Great activation report and I am pleased that the SOTA activation went well for you. Both myself and my dad Tom @M1EYP did not realise that you’d QSY’d to 20m SSB so that you could try and work me summit to summit. I know that you managed to work my dad summit to summit on 20m CW though. When we were activating Shining Tor G/SP-004 which was the summit that my dad worked you summit to summit on, I had a big pile up on 2m FM which is the reason why I did not realise that you’d QSY’d onto 20m SSB to try and work me summit to summit, I was too busy with my pile up that I was paying no attention to the spots on SOTAwatch and wanted to try to make sure that I worked everyone who called me in the pile up also.

Jimmy M0HGY

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That’s the reality of us activators during an activation. We usually are so busy dealing with our pileup and QSOs during our activations, that we don’t have many more neurons to take care of much more. At least that’s what happens to me, I often loose conscience of the time passing by…
I hope we’ll have another chance for S2S QSO soon.
Take care, Jimmy, and keep having fun with SOTA.
73,

Guru

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Thanks Guru, hopefully we’ll work each other summit to summit at some-point.

Jimmy M0HGY

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Dear Guru

As you know I am every weekend with Simone in Freiburg. Unfortunately, I had left my devices in Lörrach. So I took Sunday off (love from Simone by the way) and went back to Lörrach after breakfast to be able to be active on the Blauen DM/BW-018.

Many colleagues of SOTA BW lay in wait. In the Signal group was already asked for you. All were relieved when your spot for 60m came… and disappointed because no one heard you.
Also on 30m you were hardly to be heard. But the condx became a little better and I was happy about the S2S with you. The wait was worth it.
It was my 16th that day… and afterwards I could make QRT contentedly.

We will have many more S2S together - but this one was very important to me!

Many greetings - Armin

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Hello Guru, glad you had a wonderful day activation on your birthday. :partying_face: :beers:

Look forward to the next B/D in 12 months time. :+1: :grinning:

Take care Guru, and hope your treatment gives a positive outcome. :+1:

Cheers: Geoff vk3sq

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My best wishes for you, dear Colin, on a soft, mild CV19 and a speedy recovery.
My daughter and son have fully recovered and they even went to school yesterday.
My 85 years old mom is much better but not yet feeling fully recovered. Doctor told her that everything should be 100% OK by the 20th, which is 10 days after her positive, so I guess it’s just a matter of 2-3 more days.
I’m still feeling Covid free. Pfew! :sweat_smile:
73,

Guru

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Fantastic activation report Guru and super photos. I’m pleased you were joined by your friends for your birthday celebration. I was delighted to work you S2S on 30m CW. As Jimmy says, we didn’t notice you had QSYd to 20m SSB. I had taken an antenna for 20m SSB but didn’t deploy it. I was pretty cold and wet by the time I’d packed up the 30m antenna, and like you say, insufficient neurons in that situation to think to recheck the spots and maybe decide to set up for 20m!

I’m glad to hear about the recovery from Covid of your family members.

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Sorry I missed you on Sunday, it seems I was QRV too early to work you S2S. I’m glad to see you had a great day nonetheless.
73 de Matt

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Happy Birthday Guru!
73 Attila

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