We are on a family holiday to the Granada region of Spain for three weeks starting next week. We are staying in Güéjar Sierra. My wife, since our holiday last year, has taken an interest in staying in the mountains, who am I to argue?
There are several SOTA summits in the region. Veleta is definitely on the list due to easy access via chairlift, but I was also thinking that Alto de los Jarales may be achievable. Clearly air temperature is a massive factor at the moment relating to hiking.
I would welcome any local knowledge. The plan at the moment is to take the FT-817 with MiniPA50 amp and Sotabeams Quadband antenna but I will also need to purchase or borrow an antenna support.
Kind regards, Mark.
I have not experience of hiking those mountains but I’ve been several times in Granada and the day temperatures will no doubt be your main threat.
My advise is go as early as possible and return before the Sun reaches its top.
Bring water, use suncream and have a nice time in GR.
Re. antenna support, I’d buy a 7m telescopic fiberglass fishing rod at Decathlon. I bought one the other day for 13,99 €. For such cost, you can discard it when you finish your holidays or try to check it in with the rest of your luggage in your return flight.
Don’t forget a hat. The Sun feels like a hammer at that southern latitude and I assume you might have quite a white untanned skin. Be very careful with the Sun.
Noted about the hat Guru and the plan at the moment is to take a trip to Decathalon and pick up a pole as suggested, thanks.
Thanks for the info, hopefully will be working SOTA in EA7 at some point soon
Regards, Mark. M0NOM
In the end I bought the 6m compact travel pole from Decathalon which was €15.99 together with a hat, neck roll, compact compass, new shoes, 1L water bottle and fold up rucksack (yes, I did go shopping on my own!) Buying the compact pole is a long-shot - it will fit in my carry on luggage but whether I get it through security is another matter!
I also bought some plastic tent pegs to replace the aluminium ones which were confiscated in security (for the first time following may trips previously!) which may prove difficult to get into the ground - I may have to resort to loading the ends with rocks. I tried the pole today - on the dam for Embalse de Canales - and did get a couple of contacts on 20m and with the antenna at only around 4m I think was operating NVIS - I could only hear EA stations. Don’t think 20m is in great shape at the moment, there was very deep QSB.
The plan for activations is initially to tackle EA7/GR-088, Alto de los Jarales early tomorrow morning. This is the closest SOTA summit to me, a 6 point hill but only a short ascent of around 250m vertical from a parking spot on the mountain road. It has yet to be activated. I will try 20m, 40m & 80m - not sure about 80m activity in Spain however.
Later in the week I am also planning on activating the ski summit of EA7/GR-002 Veleta via gondola and chair lift. I am also considering EA7/GR-051, Calar - this is also a close summit but will be more of a trek in - probably around 1h 30 mins from the closest road. I need to make sure I am comfortable with the first activation.
Hope to speak to folk on the air tomorrow morning around 09:00 UTC.
OK. Good stuff what you purchased.
I’ll see what the plans with my family are going to be tomorrow morning and I’ll try to go out somewhere to chase you from SOTA (S2S) or somewhere else if possible.
Regarding your planned activity on 80m, I’m not sure what you’ll find there. I’ve never ever activated on 80m. I think you’d better stick to 20 and 40. I asume you are not a CW operator so I omit recomending 30m. Perhaps, in case you have antenna for that, you may try 17m.
I wish you very good luck but mainly a lot of fun.
Thanks Guru. I’m planning on being on top of the hill by around 9am local time but it may take a little longer to get there so I’ve posted the SOTA Alert conservatively. I will certainly be on summit for an hour at the very least. I will give 80m a go and see what happens - when in Bulgaria I got one contact on 80m but it was the first contact on that band so worth trying.
I don’t do CW although when I have learnt it the SOTABeams 30m clips will come in handy.
I was going to bring a 10/12/15/17m antenna but forgot it. I am anticipating spending most time between 20m and 40m.
Kind regards, Mark. M0NOM
I always put mine in the hold luggage wrapped in the beach towels. There has never been an issue and (surprisingly) no damage. Might be worth a try if your weight allowance permits this.
All the best for the activations Mark.
73, Gerald G4OIG
Some might say that coming away for three weeks without a hold bag is a fools errand - others a good way to save £100. Now it is the way it is, so if I have to give up the pole at customs so be it - if I had bought the full size one I’d have saved 0.99€ so it was worth a chance.
Note that at home I have given up taking a 8m full-size pole in preference to the SOTABeams 10m compact travel pole - a substantial piece of kit and just much easier to use in the field except when the winds are very high. For me it is worth the extra weight for the convenience. This Decathalon 6m pole is very lightweight - even the YL who helped me out setting it up today commented on how light it is.
I suspect it is going to be easier taking the 6m compact pole back to the UK than bringing it in hand luggage - given that Glasgow Intl now pride themselves on the tight security.
Arghh! I usually haul around two 20kg hold bags, though I did get away with just one once, but we were staying for just one week. I recall the extreme agony that the XYL went through deciding what and what not to take…
“… this sink or that sink. Which goes best with my dress?”
With no little effort we finally made our S2S QSO. It was still too early for an inter EA contact on 20m, but conditions were starting to build up and our initially impossible QSO became reality after a few minutes and several shouts out loud to my mic.
Thanks for the new unique too.
10/10 Guru for your persistence, copy was so difficult - but we got there didn’t we!
Thanks for the S2S, I am currently logging, expect a report on the reflector later today!
Cheers, Mark. M0NOM