Taking the chance of Eastern holidays I decided to activate a new one for me, that had been only activated few times in the past, and never on HF SSB.
Activation date: April 3rd 2021
The hike starts in the village of Eugi (650 m), 27 km away from Pamplona.
There you take an asphalt road, 2 km long, that goes up towards the col of Gurutxaga (970 m). You can drive and park at 850 m elevation near a farm.
From this point you start walking on a stony path up to the col.
There was a light fog and I couldn’t see the surrounding mountains when looking down towards the reservoir in Eugi:
Once in the col of Gurutxaga you deviate towards the summit following a sign that indicates Zotalar (GR footpath 322). The tiny path from that point onwards is in the forest.
- Track length: 1,9 km
- Summit elevation: 1196 m
- Height gain: about 350 m.
All the way up to the summit is clearly indicated by the red & white sign painted in trees. The path is very steep at points. Mountain sticks are advised.
The last part of the path is a “motorway” compared to the previous one, with trees well aligned at both sides following the ridge:
1h 10 minutes after the start of the walk I arrived in the summit. I stopped a few hundred meters ahead to put the rain cover in my backpack as a few drops started falling, but it soon stopped and I could proceed to setup.
There are no views at all from the summit, just a very small mountain mailbox and trees in all directions.
My station was LNR LD-5 + EFHW. Batteries are 3 x LiIon 21700.
When I switched the radio on I felt something was wrong, no sound at all in the speaker. I had to search and find a station to notice it was all okay, but the background noise was simply zero.
During the activation, I felt the signals were very low, and experienced QSB most of the time. Conditions were a bit poor, and perhaps all these trees around me attenuated RF as well.
I was on for 2 hour 10 minutes in 7-10-14 MHz CW & SSB, and closed my log with 86 qso, including S2S with OE5EEP Heinz, SV2NCH Heinz together with SV2OXS Christos, F5LKW Roger, EA2IF Guru, on his 56th birthday celebration, SV1RVJ Kyriakos, DJ6TB Thomas (we struggled on SSB, thanks for your patience), and last HB9DST Paul.
I missed my baseball cap during the activation. Seems it fall off my backpack during the ascent. I was carefully looking for it all the way down and I was glad when I find it near the col of Gurutxaga.
It was midday when I returned and the fog had vanished. Now I could see the reservoir and beautiful views:
Tip of the day
Just before starting my way back home I stopped by the dam of the nice reservoir in Eugi.
There I could see the mountain I had climbed today, towards right hand side:
This artificial lake collects water from river Arga, born not far upstream.
The reservoir is important for my city, Pamplona, as this infrastructure is part of our water supply network, and provides half of the distribution system in the area of Pamplona.
Built between 1959 - 1972, its volume is 21,38 cubic Hm and can supply up to 1050 liters/second.
The dam has also an electricity plant downstream and a treatment plant.
Could I hang my antenna from there and have a good parasitic reflector?
73 de Ignacio