EA2/ZG-058 Muela: first time activation

Motivation

I ended my summer holidays spending a few days near EA2/ZG region. I searched for a suitable summit near my accomodation and found a rare never activated summit: Muela EA2/ZG-058.

Activation date: August 28th 2023, afternoon.

Driving directions

The summit is just over the village of Alhama de Aragon, a curious place settled in the heart of a rocky area (pictured by Santiago Cabello):

I drove through the village heading West and exit via the road named Calle del Barranco (thanks Google maps). After the last houses I parked.

The climb

  • Trail length (one way): 3,1 km
  • Mountain elevation: 915 m a.s.l.
  • Elevation gain: 230 m
  • Walking time: 42 min from the start to the summit.

When you enter into the village of Alhama de Aragon, you see a few broadcast towers in one end of the mountain. This is not the true summit, which is towards the western side of the ridge, and is hidden from the village.

The climb was easy as it follows a service road that goes up to the broadcast station. Perhaps it is accesible by a 4x4 car, better than for a regular car, as it is rocky in some areas.

I felt that I was far from my QTH as the vegetation, soil composition and trees were different compared to the mountains I use to visit in EA2/NV.

I took some pictures to share how it looks:

I passed near the entrance of an old mine of silica at left hand side:

The walls are very rocky and the way up is exposed to the sun:

When you reach the top flat area and have the broadcast towers at sight you don’t need to reach them, but deviate left leaving the main path at a point (shown on the picture) towards the highest area not far from here now:

Soon you’ll arrive to the eastern summit: there it is a tall mast, that looks like a weather station with an anemometer on top:

The summit

Finally you step into this flat second summit in the western part of the plateau and find the geodetic vertex indicating the true summit, despite the activation zone is wide.

Further to the western there is another broadcast station at sight, a bit down the mountain:

I moved a bit apart and searched for a big bush where I could have a shade as it was hot. It was about 13:30 utc and prepared the gear for the activation.

The activation

My setup was LNR LD-5 + 21700 LiIon +compact EFHW inverted vee on a 5m carbon pole.

I ran on 40m CW, 20m SSB, 15m CW, 20m CW, and 30m CW.

I was lucky to log a few DX on 15m. I expected that I’d have some of them as it was a good time for transatlantic contacts, and I did have four calls from Brazil, including Carlos @PY2VM, @PU2OYT, @PU2YWR and @PY2OM. The path was open there!

No NA was logged in the other hand, but I had lots of fun managing the pile up.

All in all I logged 52 QSO and went down happy with the activity.

Touristic tip of the day

What about relaxing after a long SOTA activation under the sun?

The village of Alhama de Aragon is not big, with about 1000 inhabitants, but it offers a remarkable attraction as there is a famous thermal water source with good properties that has been used there since Roman times.

Years have passed and nowadays we find modern thermal centres and a Spa, as the water source still provides a stream of natural hot water.

There is an open air nice lake whose water is kept at a constant temperature of 28º celsius. A bath there provides a peaceful rest and well-being. A number of resort and hotels have been built around but you can even buy a single day ticket to get the experience of a good bath.

73 de Ignacio

29 Likes

Great views, Thanks for sharing

3 Likes

Nice place Ignacio.73

2 Likes

Hi Ignacio,

It was a pleasure for our people at SOTA São Paulo to have been able to contact you at this beautiful and rare Summit.
The spread was good and I believe we would have QSO on the 10 meters as well.
I hope to hear from you on November 4th at the Trans-Atlantic Sota event.

73
Carlos
PY2VM

4 Likes

Amazing post.
Very nice photos, you got me inspired to do something similar im my next activation.
It was super cool to make a QSO with you.
See you in the bands!
73

4 Likes

Carlos, Felipe! It was a pleasure to have you both in my log.

We’ll try to monitor 10m as well on the 4th November. I sometimes hear you chasing some Sota from home. Let’s try S2S!

73 Ignacio

3 Likes

Great Landscape and nice Pictures.
Congrats from DK8OA.

1 Like

Nice pictures! I was there in that spa resort after visiting “Monasterio de Piedra”. 73

Hi Ignacio,

I couldn’t hear you on November 4th.
73