With clear sky and a very low temperature of -5,5° C, I parked the car at the side of this mountain road near the village of Bigüezal when my car GPS said the distance was 3,2 Km to the Summit and started the hike in company of Lucho, my Pyrennean shepherd dog. There was a bit of snow but fortunately not much and the hike was short and very easy.
After half hour, the Summit with all the towers and antennas was getting close.
In 40 minutes after having parked and started hiking, I got to the trig point:
The view of the Yesa dam and water reservoir with the rising sun was great:
I was late with respect to the start time in the alert I rised last night, so I quickly started to look for a good spot and tried to set up.
The trig point was too close to the towers and telecommunication antennas, so I decided to set up a little bit away in order to avoid QRM and shielding effects from the towers and fences, but the summit floor was too rocky and I was not able to put the steel spike I normally use to get my telescopic pole in vertical position.
I finally modified the start time of the alert on SOTAWATCH and moved further away, close to a small tree whose branches were full of ice and served well to embrace my pole and hold it in vertical position. I also used a tie rope to attach the pole to the tree as otherwise, the wind was strong enough to make the 7m long pole fall down.
After a short instant of panic, where I was unable to tune the ATU for low SWR and the signals heard on 30m were far too low, I checked connectors and found that one of the PL-259 between the FT-817 and the ATU was making a bad contact. Fortunately I managed to easily fix the problem and I quickly started the activation.
30m CW was first and 37 QSOs were logged in 30 minutes.
It was very difficult for me to write things down on my paper notebook, as I was using a pen and the ink was almost frozen with the existing low temperature. Next time, I’ll bring a pencil with me.
20m SSB followed and 25 QSOs made it to the log in 20 minutes.
Writing things down on my notebook became even more difficult during my 20m SSB operation, as I wore gloves in both hands now instead of the one hand only when working CW.
When the pile-up had dried up, I QSYed to 12m CW and one single QSO with a Swedish colleague was logged.
After a number of CQ calls on 12m without any response and getting my bottom quite cold because I was sitting directly on the snow, I QSYed to 2m FM.
I didn’t rise any spot on SOTAWATCH for my 2m FM activity but I called CQ on the local frequency of 145.525 and nobody came back to me, so, after a good number of unreplied calls, I decided to finish off and pack everything up for a quick descent in order to get some warmth ASAP.
Once I got everything packed, I spent a few moments to take a few shots of the beautiful views from this fantastic Summit right in front of the Pyrenees. All of them are fantastic and speak by themselves.
These two are closer views with the help of the digital zoom of my little cammera.
While starting descent, I took this picture of the valley where earlier this year activated Mt. Itzaga and Mt Elomendi can be seen:
On my way down I took a few more pictures of this great Mt. Arangoiti:
Thank you very much for your calls, QSOs and company.
I wish you all a happy new year 2015 and I’ll be looking forward to making many more QSOs with you from the summits.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF