Yesterday and today we decided to do a couple of summits that at first glance did not show much promise. The main reason for doing them was that I had chased the first and the second was a unique, first to be activated. The reason for the lack of enthusiasm was the less than exciting tracks to the summits and the antenna farms on both of them with the potential of loads of interference.
Yesterday we headed up Atalaya de Femes (EA8/LA-002) with a monotonous trudge up a service road that zig-zagged its way up the south side of the hill. We set up on 17 metres having read that there could be interference on 20 metres; the higher band was noise free thankfully and we did not need to change. A continuous run of calls kept us busy for an hour and a half with 119 QSOs recorded.
The view east from Atalaya de Femes (EA8/LA-002) was less spoilt
Today it was time to activate another unique. Another trudge up a service road although this time there was some more interest with a radar dish (probably for the nearby airport) and a series of wind turbines that were not in use (and have not been whenever we have gone past). We started on 17 metres but it was really difficult due to interference; they could not have got more towers and transmitters on the top. We mainly used just 2.5 W (without the amplifier) on the basis that we would only hear someone who could hear us running QRP. It was quite hard work concentrating and picking out callsigns and reports.
On to 20 metres but it was really unusable with S8 of noise making contacts all but impossible. After three contacts we decided to change to 15 metres which meant an antenna rebuild. 15m was surprisingly good with less interference but lots of heavy QSB making contacts difficult unless the signals were strong.
The problem we have Tom is there are far too many nice places to visit for a holiday/SOTA! There are many nicer EA8/LA summits.
Those 2 Carolyn mentions are simple to bag as they have access roads as opposed to paths. I dismissed them for the reason I wasn’t traveling all that way only to have an activation spoilt by local QRM, there are plenty of summits in GM/SS I can pick if I want local noise without flying 3100kms
I’d only do them for the SOTA complete and after that they’d be the last on the island I would pick for the unique and the chance of activating all the association. Something you cannot do at present as LA-009 is off-limits.
Of all the remaining Canary Islands, Fuerteventura seems to be crying out for activators with some 37 unactivated sumits. Of course there the summits on the 3 islands to the North of Lanzarote which are a bit more involved, La Graciosa, Isla de Montaña Clara and Isla de Alegranza. The last 2 islands are nature reserves and much like the Ihlas Desertas in CT3, you need to get special permission to land.
I do find something special about activating from smaller islands more so than the mainlands and there are now all those 9A islands in the Adriatic, TK, 9H1, EA6 and CU. For Europeans with deeper pockets/larger wallets there’s KH6, E51, VK, 9V, FR and soon ZL! And I’ve still got to visit Unst in Shetland to see where my ancestors grew up prior to them relocating South in the 1880s. I don’t expect the WX to be as pleasant though
from me for bagging one of the La Graciosa summits.
Well EA8 and EA9 are outside of Europe
BTW there is at least one P150 summit in EA9. Best of all there is a ferry from Algeciras in EA7 to Ceuta and it’s possible to get the early ferry, wander up and activate the summit, wander down and get the ferry back to Algeciras in time for tea.
It was so weird to me reading such statement from you that, as I wrote, I was in doubt that I had understood your point correctly. Indeed I didn’t pick up your irony.
It’s because I wasn’t aware of the problem during Carolyn’s activation…
Now I fully understand.
Sorry Carolyn to hear that. It’s horrible how undisciplined many EA’s are. That’s the main reason why I don’t usually activate on 40m.
I saw a spot of you, Carolyn, on 21MHz while I was activating Mt Mendurro yesterday and I QSYed there, but unfortunately I couldn’t copy anything so I got back to where I was 12 or 10m ( I don’t remember now)
Best 73 de Guru