Gran Canaria 2017

I’m slowly working my way along the Canary Islands having a family holoday and bagging some easy summits. These are holidays with SOTA as opposed to anything serious.

Maspalomas Earth Station

I spotted a big dish from the motoway on the way to our holiday apartment and mentioned it to my XYL who didn’t think a dirty big dish on an altazimuth mount was odd. Anyway a former NASA now ESA station has been here for 50years. Capable of S band and X band downlinks and S band uplinks. Sadly nothing was small enough to fit in my luggage on the way home :frowning:


Pico De Las Nieves EA8/GC-001

A drive on summit should you find anywhere to park. Loads and loads of hire cars looking for somewhere to park and the odd SOTA activator looking for somewhere to operate.

Not a bad view from the shack.

No noise on HF despite all these transmitters being LOS to my antenna or the huge great military RADAR on the summit.

Happy activator with a new region to his name.

Conditions were not brilliant. 21 QSOs on 20m & 17m CW. No SSB stations worked despite calling for sometime. 5 Eastern and Mid-east US stations worked wasn’t bad though. GM0AXY was most Northern station worked.

Oh and the roads have excellent surfaces with no potholes. Just narrow and windy and it takes an age to drive any distance.


Tamadaba EA8/GC-006

This was a sheer delight of a walk. Took about 20-25mins from the car park through lovely Pine woods. 24C so I just ambled to the top.

View from the summit. My camera sucked in some dust onto the sensor and so I stole my daughter’s 20MP compact. A simple auto-everything Canon that cost £65 and produces some fabulous pictures!

Another view from the summit. Gran Canaria has amazing vistas.

Happy activator… look at the colour of that sky!

Tenerife was just visible to the naked eye but is lost in the haze on the photo.

The summit on the way back down.

More views of the summit area. I don’t think it’s fair to describe it as a scramble, just wander over the rocks really.

Paths through the forrest are excellent and signposted. You cannot get lost even if you try.

Easy to find the start from the car park.

Conditions were much better. I managed a selection of Europeans and US stations on 20m/17m & 15m. 15m gave me ODX with N7CW in Prescott, Arizona. Still no SSB stations worked again despite calling. But 15m working was excellent giving me VE2JCW, N7CW, CU1R, ON4FI, KB7HH, G3RMD & EA2IF


#Moriscos EA8/GC-003

The other summits I had my family with me, this one was just me which meant there was much less time pressure on me getting back to me them.

The route up, forest roads lead to the transmitter site at the top… This is looking back the way I’ve come.

Happy activator with 3 successful activations.

The simple vertical used for 30-20-17-15m amongst the trees at the summit.

Summit trig in the TX compond.

The 5GHZ weather RADAR.

Someone has helpfully set up a SOTA operator stool at the summit but I think it looked a bit uncomfortable!

That’s a Euro size 44 boot showing how huge the pine cones are here and also some mushrooms that had been collected.

Simple forest road with hardly any ascent needed.

A small shrine where the forest road splits. Someone has set the blue sky all the way to 11 again!

Plenty of signs for walkers, again hard to get lost.

Signs of a forest fire on the drive back. Excellent road surface and wide for a road with no centre line. Typically Gran Canaria twisty though.

Finally, just how twisty hilly are these roads. The camera never lies. Even with power steering, I looked like an Olympic Weightlifter after a week of driving about.

The TX sites produced horrible noises on the HF bands. I had to fish about to find places where it was quiet enough to operate. Also cell coverage was difficult unlike the other summits and that made spotting on odd frequencies harder. Still CW QSOs on 20/17 & 15m and finally I managed some SSB QSOs on 20m, enough to qualify the hill alone. Also a welcomed S2S with Victor GI4ONL who was QRV as EA8/G4ONL on neighbouring island of Fuerteventura.


3rd holiday in The Canaries. Gran Canaria is ever so different in geography to Fuerteventura or Lanzarote. It does take a long time to drive anywhere if you head inland due to the terrain. But the hills are big compared to the calderas on the other 2 islands.

Again, every single island has been a holiday delight. Lots of touristy things to do yet easy to get somewhere quiet and beautiful. The locals on all 3 islands have always made us feel very, very welcome and wanted as tourists and I’d be happy to go back and re-visit any of the islands any time I can get the chance. Well worth visiting and plenty of easy to very difficult SOTA opportunities.

Maybe Tenerife next year.


Look at that lovely stacked yagi array too


6ele XY Yagis on a 3 x 3 array. They look like 150-200MHz.

Looks like a very nice trip. On my list of places to visit one day. That steep windy road pics makes me laugh thinking about a friend who would faint after about a couple of switchbacks.

Then never suggest he visits Madeira - it makes the roads on the Canaries look tame (and they are not!!)

1 Like

Thanks for the very interesting report and the lovely pictures, Andy.

Gran Canaria is my favourite island in the Canaries. I have been there six times. I usually stay at the Hotel Reina Isabel on the Playa las Canteras in Las Palmas. Your report has made me think of booking another trip. Hotel prices have increased a lot since my last visit.

Walt (G3NYY)