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Christmas/New Year Activities in EA8/TF

I’m probably jinxing it by posting, but I will be active in EA8/TF Tenerife this Christmas. I will be there from the 23rd of December until the 8th of January. It seems I missed the boat for booking time on Teide TF-001, and I will not go to La Gomera this time either. Instead, I have rented a 125 motorcycle, so I will be able to go all over the island instead of relying on public transport.
73 de OE6FEG
Matt

11 Likes

Well, I made it to Tenerife OK, after changing planes and flying directly rather than via London as originally planned. Today I was up and racing down to the bus stop to catch the 460 to Santiago del Teide and EA8/TF-007 (Cruz de Gala). It’s one of the easiest 10 pointers in Tenerife, although extensive building work now requires a slight detour in order to join the old path going up to the col. Also, the old tower has been demolished leaving just the concrete base:

It’s a shame they couldn’t open the tower up to the public, if it was no longer used for its original purpose. At least they left a handy antenna support:

I also found that my balun had broken in transit:

Another reason why I would never put a transceiver in my hold luggage! Anyway, the antenna still worked fine; as did 21MHz, giving rise to a very satisfactory pileup. I even tried a bit of SSB to finish off:

The view was spectacular, as ever:

I will be active on Christmas Day and will post elsewhere about those plans. Thanks to all chasers who called today.
73 de EA8/OE6FEG/P
Matt

9 Likes

25/12/2021: el Sombrero (EA8/TF-004)

I had originally planned to activate TF-005 and TF-006. However, it was pointed out to me that as there is no official path going to the summit (although there is a lightly marked trail on the ground), there is no official access according to national park rules; the web page for TF-005 was updated in July. A quick look at the map showed that el Sombrero (EA8/TF-004), just across the road, does not suffer from this problem. There are plenty of summit reports online by both locals and tourists that showed the summit is regularly climbed and not too difficult technically. I was at the bus station bright and early to take the 9:15 (bus 342) up to Boca Tauce. The weather was ideal, sunny with light winds.
A short way down the road and a well marked trail heads up the valley to the col:

The ground steepens as you get closer to the ridge:

Once on the ridge, the trail heads up to the first of two rock butresses:

The first butress is turned on the right:

The final butress (the Sombrero) is turned on the left. Again, a well marked trail shows where to go:

Once on the south east side of the Sombrero, a short and not particularly steep scramble leads to the summit plateau:

Some descriptions made this part sound much harder than it was. I didn’t even need to put my trekking poles away. After just a few meters, the summit cross comes into view:

There are some sturdy bushes that provide ample support for a light mast. I was soon on the air and, once again, rewarded with a couple of DX contacts:

Having now climbed the peak myself, I would say that the technical difficulties of el Sombrero have been greatly exaggerated, probably due to its ominous appearance. That said, the terrain is steep and loose, so a peak for sure-footed activators with plenty of high mountain experience.
73 de OE6FEG
Matt

8 Likes

Hello Matt, thanks for sharing your great report with photos. :grinning:

Regards, Geoff vk3sq

1 Like

28/12/2021: Roc del Conde (EA8/TF-010)

I had been looking forward to collecting the motorbike for some days as it would greatly increase my range on the island. When I got to the hire shop, the guy behind the desk gave my confirmation email a very puzzled look and informed me that the 125cc was no longer available. Every cloud has a silver lining, however, and it turned out that I could take a 500cc instead. The larger bike also had a top box which was just big enough to take my radio gear. I stopped off at the hotel, went to the toilet and packed my things properly before setting off up to Ifonche and Roc del Conde.
Ifonche is also a paraglider take-off and I had been up many times already. That helped as I had no GPS mount on the bike and thus had to memorise the route as best I could. There is ample room to park at Ifonche and I left the bike in the shade of some pine trees:

Whilst it is further to Roc del Conde from Ifonche than from Arona, there is less height gain. That said, in the heat of the noonday sun, and in my poor physical condition, I still found the way quite taxing. Technically, the climb up to Roc del Conde is actually harder that el Sombrero. I had to set my trekking pole aside at times and use both hands. Once at the top, the view among the clouds was fantastic:

:

There are plenty of bushes that can be used to support an antenna:

Once again, I called on 21MHz and was instantly rewarded with a large and satisfying pileup:

I didn’t bother with my noise cancelling headphones on this occasion, as some German tourists were very interested in what I was doing and so I let them listen in. I quickly drank all my water on the way back and had to stop in at the Altavista restaurant for refreshment on the way back to Adeje:

It was bliss to sit in the sun sipping my Coca Cola whilst drying out a bit.

29/12/2021: Paso (EA8/TF-011) & Taborno (EA8/TF-008)

The drive up to the north of the island would take about an hour and a half, not including time spent at the side of the road looking at Google maps. These were quite painless miles, however, as it is simply a matter of staying on the main motorway for the majority of the way there. I was glad that I had remembered to pack my earplugs.
Paso has plenty of space to park both cars and bikes just below the summit:

The summit, however, is very overgrown and there was no possiblilty of putting up the mast here. A vertical might work well, but I had to content myself with just stringing the antenna from the summit marker as high as I could in the trees:

In the event, this did not in anyway affect perfomance, and once again, I got a nice pileup on 21MHz, which has been my goto band for this holiday:

I was quickly packed up and heading back up the road to Taborno, which is only 15 minutes away back up the road I came by.
Taborno is also heavily wooded, and to make matters worse, there is a radar installation on the summit:

Thankfully, this does not keep one out of the activation zone and there is room to string an antenna in the trees just by the fence:

I did not notice any noise from the radar at the summit, however, the number of contacts was woefully short of the morning’s total on Paso:

I tried a good selection of bands, but nothing seemed to be working that well. I think it was just the case that solar activity is sinking now and the upper bands (that are so important here in Tenerife) were beginning to close.
I had a rest today and did some much needed laundry. The temperature was quite high at 26C, coupled with a nice breeze, my washing was dry in no time at all. I will be interested to see what happens bandwise tomorrow when I go up to Baracán (EA8/TF-009).
73 de EA8/OE6FEG/P
Matt

7 Likes

Thanks Matt, a great report and fantastic photos. :grinning:

Geoff vk3sq

1 Like

31/12/2021: Baracán (EA8/TF-009)

It was very windy today, probably the windiest I have ever been on a motorcycle. I took it steady and made it to Santiago del Teide no problems. The road round to the Mirador Altos de Baracán was one of the most improbable roads I have ever driven:

Some of the hairpins were so tight, I was dragging my feet in first gear! It passes through two villages built on steep ground in a really dramatic location; well worth a visit in its own right.
There is ample parking at Baracán:

The summit was only 500m away, but wind made it seem much more strenuous. It was also 27°C today, which didn’t help. There is just enough space on the summit for an antenna:

That said, I had to duck down the north side to avoid the wind:

It was a great view to look at whilst activating, and collecting a winter bonus. I tried a few different bands today, but activity is slowly dropping:

The wind will drop tomorrow, so hopefully I can get up to Guajara (EA8/TF-002). Right now, it’s time for a few beers, HNY!
73 de EA8/OE6FEG/P
Matt

3 Likes

01/01/2022: Guajara (EA8/TF-002)****

For fairly obvious reasons, I did not get a particularly good nights sleep last night. However, by a supreme effort of the will, I managed to haul myself out of bed at 07:00 hours and was underway around 08:30. Getting out so early was a very good idea, as I had the roads practically to myself. On the downside, I had not prepared as well as I should have for the cold air in the caldera at 2000m. The cold was really starting to stab quite cruelly into my knees by the time I pulled into the carpark and I hoped that they wouldn’t seize up as they sometimes do when they get too cold. Thankfully, I warmed up a little after getting off the bike, and once in the sun on the ridge I felt fine. I decided to take the short direct route that goes roughly SSE from the car park. It is very wide and easy to follow. It first goes up a ridge and then cuts right under some cliffs:

Once at the col, the path leads up first right and then left up through a cleft in the cliffs:

Things soon level off once through the cleft and on the summit slopes:

There are the remains of an observatory at the summit:

There are also plenty of sturdy bushes that can be used as support for a light antenna:

As with all my activations down here, 21MHz proved to be my goto band:

Sadly no contacts stateside, but a good few S2S. The motorbike has to go back tomorrow and I’m back on the paraglider, although the weather has been less than ideal for flying. I will have a few more activations before I go back, but only on summits that I did before the New Year, so I will probably only report if something very unusual happens.
73 de EA8/OE6FEG/P
Matt

2 Likes