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A no space activation, EA3/GI-037

Motivation

I spent part of my holidays this year in Girona, by the Mediterranean sea, and looked for a SOTA summit near our rental apartment. I choose mt. Puig de les Cadiretes EA3/GI-037, as this one would be a complete summit for me.

Activation date: July 12th 2021

Driving directions

The nearest road to approach to the start of the trail is GIP-6821. This road runs between Llagostera and Tossa de Mar, and you can park at a high point in the kilometer number 9, where there is a panel with information.

Climb

As you see, a wide sand path at the parking place is the start of the route that later leads to a small path, passing by a forest all the time. All these trees provide a nice shade and it’s helpful to follow the way up in summer time.

  • Track length:2,2 km
  • Summit elevation: 513 m
  • Height gain: about 55 m (straight, not cummulative).

This is the profile, going up and down:

Summit

I arrived in the summit without difficulties, following my GPS track. I usually check how a new summit looks like by looking at pictures that help me to plan how I will deploy my antenna, but this time I prepared the hike without looking at Internet.

To my surprise I found the very summit is a geodetic vertex that is a tip over a dense forest around it:

You need to scramble a bit with precaution to get to the very summit and this is the view then:

In front of the trig point there is an elevated fire observation tower and from there you can see the summit is well covered by trees. The view from the observation tower is this:

How could I extend my End Fed antenna today having a short fishpole at hand and no flat surface next the trig point?

Activation

With such a situation, I decided not to put my multiband trapped end fed wire (14 meters long) at the basement , surrounded by all these fresh trees that would absorb my radiation and produce a reduced signal out.

Instead, I climbed and put the fishpole near the top part, but not at the very top to avoid disturbing any mountaineer that could visit the summit and had a trouble with my antenna.
Notice the mountain mailbox next the pole:

It took me some time to install the pole and the antenna doing some sort of inverted L, passing by some branches, with a long section of wire going down vertical where I could operate.
See how the wire hangs down from top, and notice my “shack” at the basement:

Here my compact preconnected light gear:

I used my LNR MTR-3B and 3x18650 LiIon batt, running on 7-10-14 MHz, all CW, for about 1h 30 mins.

Contrary to what I expected I logged 59 qso, including S2S with HB9DST, HB9AFI, DL4FDM, F6GLZ, OE/DL2HWI, HB9BCB and HB9CBR (the Swiss army is always up there!!)

Archeology tip of the day

After the activation I decided to take a short deviation on my way back to pay a visit to a megalithic tomb.

This one is called “Pedra sobre altra” (stone over another one), and is not a regular dolmen built by humans. It seem nature was in charge of forming a high column with these stones (8 meters high) and man used it as a cave and for burial.

The excavation of the chamber revealed the presence of some small container and flint knife, along the corridor, dated in the Neolithic – Calcolithic ages (2500/1800 B.C.).

It was a nice visit and activation in a forest very different to what I find in my QTH back in EA2/NV land.

Thanks all for the qso and 73 de Ignacio

26 Likes

I’d have used elastic tensioners around the pole. I carry about 4 of them in my backpack.
Alternatively, couldn’t you have set up the pole on the tower? On high (<50m) towers I let a rope down (both ends), then go down and hoist my end-fed antenna up. This way, I can activate from safe ground below :slight_smile: , don’t use up valuable space or disturb visitors and still have the antenna mounted high. At the end of the activation, I don’t have to go up again, but can just withdraw the rope from below.

73 de Martin / HB9GVW

PS: sorry, forgot to add: good report, nice pictures, nice hill :slight_smile:

Congrats for the SOTA complete, Ignacio, and thanks for the activation and interesting report with nice pictures. Pity that I couldn’t chase you that day…
If I were to setup in that summit, I think I’d also try to use the fire watch tower and given that there is a vertical pole like an antenna or similar, this is what I’d like to try:


I’d just tie my telescopic fishing rod to the existing vertical pole and I would hang my endfed wire as an inverted vee. The inverted vee ends would be tied to the wooden fence around the tower platform and the operation would be comfortably possible from the platform while enjoying the views over the coast line and the Mediterranean.
73,

Guru

1 Like

Nice report, Ignacio!
All Best, Ken K6HPX

Great report! I enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures. It looks like a pretty interesting place.

73, Fraser

Hi Ignacio, thanks for great activation report with photos. Very interesting.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Hello Ignacio

Thanks for the report and the photos

This is exactly the combination I love:

Beautiful landscape
Attractive hiking trails
Solved technical challenges
Successful activation / (complete!)
Interesting sights

…this summit is a treasure

73 Armin

1 Like

Nice pictures of a fascinating summit, Ignacio. I guess old habits never go away, I spent some time looking at that final picture working out a climbing route up that spire of rock!

1 Like

Hello,
Thanks all for your nice words and comments.

Regarding a better antenna system, if had had known about that place in advance I would rather had used a vertical antenna (perhaps a short random vertical with a tuner), but unfortunatelly I didn’t have that with me.

I am afraid that using the observation tower was not a good alternative as it was forbidden to go up the tower, but for officers only!! This is quite common for such towers here in Spain.


Don’t tell anybody I went up there to make the picture, I was lucky the fire officer wasn’t there…

73 de Ignacio

3 Likes

I like the way that warning signs tells you only authorised people and the main danger is falling and hazards of landslides etc. before finally warning you there may be people in BDSM gear and no clothes. Well that’s what the last picture looks like!

2 Likes

:joy: :joy:

Last icon refers to EPI (in Spanish) that translates as PPE (Personal protective equipment), mandatory, as you may guess.

Thanks for the funny side interpretation, you made my day
73

2 Likes

Hi Ignacio,

From the comfort of home, one can easily find a simple solution…

I remember these watch towers in EA3 that were still in the AZ and mostly built with a lot of steel, but I didn’t want to mess with Guardia Civil, even like your taken picture, it was written in Catalan.

Looking at the last pictogram again, I agree with @MM0FMF, so funny indeed :rofl:

73 Stephan

1 Like