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More success at Mt. Etxauri EA2/NV-070 by EA2IF/P on 22/12/2021

The day started again with the fog at the street level and the temperature at 0º C.
My friend Alf @EA4R sent a whatsapp message informing us that the SFI was 132 last night, so I said this may be the perfect excuse for me to escape the depressing fog and cold temperature in Pamplona for the sunshine at the mountain summits.
After some SOTA chases and once I did a few errands, I decided it was the time to leave, as I wanted an afternoon activation aiming for Trans-Atlantic DX.
I decided Mt. Etxauri because it’s just a 25Km drive from my QTH and it has a great orientation towards the West and the hike is very nice. I hiked from the cemetery of the village Muniain de Guesalaz and you can see several pictures of the ascent in this other 2019 activation report: Mt. Etxauri EA2/NV-070 by EA2IF/P on 08/10/2019

The ascent of the vertical 325 m in about a 4 Km walk went well at a slow but steady pace and it took me about 50 minutes. When I got to the summit, the sky was absolutely blue and the Sun was shining with the sea of cloud covering the valleys, although there was a cool breeze blowing.
At one point, later, the blue sky got overcast, so I was sitting in a clouds sandwich, with a thick layer of grey clouds above me and the fog down at the valleys. Later, some fog started to enter the summit, but it finally vanished and even the higher clouds went away leaving me under the blue sky again.

I quickly setup my new 9.1m OCF sloping random wire antenna hung from my 7m long telescopic fishing rod, which I attached on top of the hermitage/shelter roof corner, which gave an additional 1.5m of height above the ground to my fishing rod.

I sat close to that concrete rectangular prism seen on the picture, so I could lay my back on it when necessary.
I put on all my clothing because I was going to stay there for a long time and I knew I would need everything while sitting in the clod breeze. I had double socks, double trousers, six top layers and 3 hats. With all that on, I had a very comfortable activation and I didn’t have to finish shivering as I’ve done so many times before. Lesson learnt: I’ll always carry with me the top outermost blue layer you will be able to see in a selfie posted later in this report.

The activation went as follows:

  • 60m CW: 1 QSO with my friend Rick @EA4M

  • 40m CW: 14 QSOs in 13 minutes.

  • 30m CW: 14 QSOs, one of which S2S with Bruno @HB9CBR, in 13 minutes.

  • 20m CW: 56 QSOs, 6 of which DX with the U.S.A. and Canada, in 80 minutes.

  • Now I spent some minutes trying to find a good SWR match with my MFJ-941B on 17, 15 and 12m, but 3 bulbs on the FT-817 SWR meter is the best I could get. A no go to me, so I didn’t operate on any of these bands.

  • 10m CW: 8 QSOs, 7 of which DX with the U.S.A. Absolutely remarkable!

All in all 93 CW QSOs, 13 of which DX with the USA and Canada and 1 S2S after nearly 3 hours on the air.
You can see them on the map:

After packup, a selfie of this very satisfied activator:

This is the panoramic view right before starting descent.

Descent was uneventful and as pleasurable as the ascent was. It was a big pleasure.

Thanks dear chasers for your calls and QSOs. I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again soon from a SOTA.

73,

Guru

20 Likes

Hi Guru, thanks for your great report and photos. Its appreciated that you hi-light the antenna legs in colour too. :+1:

Take care, stay safe and cheers to you :beers: :beers:

All the best for the season and HNY

Geoff vk3sq

1 Like

Hello Guru

Yes - this is a beautiful piece of earth. I know it now. :smiley: Your report with the photos of 2019 was also the trigger for my visit to you.

I was pleased to have had qso with you again yesterday. I was qrp in Lörrach.

Happy xmas and new year - Armin

3 Likes

Hi Guru

good story which made me smile about the many layers you were using on NV-070 ! I too was on the sunny side as like in your area there is fog down in the valleys and sun on the mountains.
Thank you for the two QSOs one from home and the 2nd one S2S !
I was not able to stay longer in the afternoon and could only make a single QSO on 12 m and 15 m each… I must choose a nearby hill to activate the higher bands with DX later in the afternoon…
Congratulations on your success !
Merry Christmas and a happy NewYear with i hope good health.
73 de Bruno HB9CBR

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Hi Guru,

Many thanks for the lovely report, excellent photos and, of course, the very pleasant QSO. A great achievement making so many QSOs. I was in the shack at the right time for a change! :grinning:

I too was surprised to read how many layers of clothing you wore while activating. I only ever wear 3 layers - merino wool base layer, Berghaus technical breathable fleece and a Paramo jacket. Also just Paramo trousers, plus gaiters of course to help with the vegetation and mud… and only one hat. Occasionally I do end my activation shivering a little, so maybe one more top layer is required. :grin: Gloves are probably the most important to me as I suffer from Raynauds Syndrome, which also affects my toes - they are rarely warm, even indoors.

My best wishes to you and your family for a Happy Christmas and New Year. May all of you keep safe and healthy.

73, Gerald

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Hi Bruno,
Due to my current health situation I needed all this clothing. Bear in mind that I have lost 14 Kg since mid June. I’m extremely thin now and have no reserves at all to keep myself warm in the outside. Also, I have almost no hair and we loose a lot of heat through our head, so having it well covered is essential, particularly when sitting in the cold breeze at about 1200m a.s.l for 3 hours.
Things were apparently going very well up to the scan I had on Oct 26th and the new treatment seemed to be giving good results, but something has changed lately and I’ve been having several pains in my back, my belly and my stomach since the end of November. I went to the hospital for my weekly treatment session there on Tuesday and I was having so much pain that the oncologist decided to inject me a shot of morphine. That was a relief and I’m regularly having pills of morphine since then, so perhaps the reason for my success during the activation yesterday was the dopping… :wink:
I’ve got a scan test this morning and I’ll hopefully know soon what’s going on inside me with this bloody bug I have.
I’ll let you all know and I’ll keep enjoying SOTA with the help of the drugs for as long as I can.
73 and very Merry Christmas,

Guru

3 Likes

Hi dear Guru,
congratulations on another great activation. Your new setup, and current propagation improvement is giving you a flexible system and lots of DX which is always rewarding.

I wish you the best in your scan this morning and hopefully things are going better on 2022. Merry Christmas and I hope Santa will bring you a new layer of happiness and motivation.

Un abrazo
73 Ignacio

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Hi Guru
I certainly understand your situation, that explains the many layers. I can also learn from you - i often end up with ice cold feet and hands and shivering after a 3 hours activation… so i also should improve my clothing !
I do hope you are feeling better soon.
You have not lost your humour, that is impressive. Keep going and enjoy as good as you can.

All the best to you. 73 Bruno HB9CBR

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Nice one Guru, glad you enjoyed yourself and got so many long dx Thanks also for our contact.
I wish you and your family a happy Yuletide.
Take care mate and best 73

1 Like