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.