I spend every year part of my holidays visiting my parents in law in Burgos. While staying there this summer I got an email from Alejandro EA4DON to ask me if we could do a joint activation.
Alejandro and Elena EA4DOS, are doing a huge effort in SOTA. Although they are amateurs since years, they started activating for SOTA receintly, back on 2019.
They activate together and we all have seen their quick progression, doing lots of activation and improving their skills and pile up handling, either SSB or CW.
Two years ago, by chance, we reached our first Mountain goat exactly on the same day. Nowadays they are close to get their 3rd MG now while I have briefly evolved from my 1st. Can you feel the way they do?
I accepted their proposal straight forward very glad to meet them for the first time.
This year, they have spent most of their summer time traveling in a camper van, stopping here and there and going to summits all along the route.
To put it in a proper scale, they started travelling by mid june, and in 2 months and a half they have done 51 activation, in 10 different associations (EA4/GU, EA2/TE, EA1/BU, EA1/LR, EA2/HU, EA2/NV, EA2/SS, EA3/LL, EA3/GI and F/PE), being 26 of them in the range 2000-3000 m elevation!
I can’t imagine the effort to plan all these routes to complete such a tour!
I offered to activate an easy Sota summit near my QTH, and we agree to meet first the day before. They searched and found a Geodetic vertex near my village and proposed to activate it together.
The Geodetic vertex award that runs in Spain and collapses the 7 MHz bands on weekends is very popular here in EA. You perhaps have noticed it when you try to chase any EA portable op who is activating both for SOTA and for this other award simultaneously; the kind of crowded band and mess reaches unimaginable levels, with dozens of hams calling and blocking the band…
Collecting these concrete cylinders attract a multitude!
I visited them while they were running the activation. Their setup was nice and the comfort of activating the Vertex from the vehicle has nothing to do with SOTA.
After the activation they joined to meet my family and had a nice chat.
The SOTA activation
On the next day (August 17th 2021) we met again at the start of the trail towards Mt. Pan Perdido EA1/BU-046.
The walk was nice, we had time to chat and know a bit more of each other.
I felt envy they started hiking some 50 years back and they are still in excellent shape to do it without limitation. They care about their food and do exercise regularly.
The trail today is 3,5 km one way and has a gain of 380 m.
Weather was a bit windy and overcast during the ascent.
We arrived in the summit, who is a very bent surface with a large fall towards the South face.
We agree to separate to avoid interference and they quickly installed and followed their routine: 14-CW, 7-CW, 7-SSB.
They ran on their KX2 and Sotabeams dual bander dipole. While one op is in the key the other annotate the log and help decoding out of the pile up.
Wind was blowing hard now; pity some nasty chasers are not conscious of our situation in the wild, and they don’t show good manners…
I moved and installed my EFHW inverted vee. Alejandro saw my difficulties to fight the wind and came to help me installing my aerial.
I found a proper space to accommodate and ran my KX3 in 14-SSB mainly, plus some S2S chase in other freqs. I had to hold myself in that bent surface.
I closed my log with 61 including some S2S.
Meanwhile, after the SOTA activation, Alejandro & Elena ran the Geodetic Vertex with a neverending pile of avid EA chasers… They are great, keep calm, an always show good manners, greeting friends and thanking for the qso. Well done!
We finished the activity and went down, talking about the day.
It was great to meet this nice couple. I wish they continue doing and enjoying so much hiking for many years to come… It is always a pleasure to chase them and say hi.
Looking forward to share another summit in the future.
73 de Ignacio