Mt. Bizkai EA2/NV-142 by EA2IF/P on 21/05/2021

After having finished my duties, the weather looked nice and I decided to go activate a nice summit less than 20Km North-West of Pamplona.
I activated this summit once in 2015 and the last activation was done by Santi EA2BSB (SK) and Jorge EA2LU in 2017, three and a half years ago.
I drove the 16Km from my QTH to the village of Ochovi:

After parking by the small cemetery of the village, I followed the track shown in this map, with an elevation gain of about 300m:

The hike along the ridge was like this:

After a bit more than an hour, the summit was reached:

These are the views towards the North:

This is the valley down to the North:

And these to the South:

I forgot taking a picture of my setup, but it was the usual 14m long endfed wire as a sloper from the top of my 7m long telescopic fishing rod towards the East to a 9:1 unun and a 6m long counterpoise wire extended on the grass.
The activation was CW only on 30, 40 and 20m and it went as follows:

  • 30m CW: 16 QSOs, 1 of which S2S, after about 15 minutes QRV.

  • 40m CW: 8 QSOs after about 8 minutes QRV.

  • 20m CW: 5 QSOs, 1 of which S2S, after about 8 minutes QRV.

All in all, 29 QSOs, 2 of which S2S after about 50 minutes QRV.
You can see it on this map:

The weather changed rapidly with a cold wind from the North and the clouds developing in the sky, so given the little number of chasers, I decided not to make it longer trying other bands and modes because it wasn’t pleasant at all in the summit.

See the clouds wrapping now the summits in the distance:

The SOTA summit name is Bizkai, but it is also called Oskia:

During descent, I met a fox only about 15m in front of me, but, as you can imagine, it swiftly run away before I even thought about taking my phone for a picture. It was a very beautiful fox with a great tail.

When I was nearly ending my descent, I took this panoramic towards the South where you can see circled in red the city of Pamplona in the distance and a red arrow pointing to the place where I parked my car:

The degradation of the weather continued and we have got some rain in the afternoon-evening. It’s great that I could squeeze an activation before the arrival of the rain.

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




Hi Guru,

Great report as always, many thanks :blush:

Tnx S2S :champagne:

73, Jarek

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Hi Guru,

I am glad to read you are so active. Fine pictures, thank you.

73 Ludwig

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Nice report, as usually. Tnx for the QSO on 30 mtrs. A lot of QSB, but we made it. This was a new one for me. Thanks es goodluck.

73 - PA9CW - Tonnie

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just to know our qso of 21/5/2021 at 09:12 on 20 mhz band CW i was on I/AB-013 Monte Ocre , sorry but i have sent the wrong spot.

73 And IW0HK

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Thanks for show us this amazing report, wow!
regards from Asturies!!

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Corrected now. Grazie!

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Thanks for a great report and pics Guru. I wish I had summits like that so close to where I live! 30m was the best band for you on the day - super job done!

73 Phil

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Hi Phil,
Thank you for your kind words.
Yes, as I’ve several times written here, 30m band is for me the best band to work most of Europe at around Noon. I’m often starting my activations on 30m and that’s why I changed my 10m long enfed wire (half wave on 20m) to a 14m long one (half wave on 30m).
Since I know you like traveling abroad to make completes, I’ve labelled some of the SOTAs seen in the pictures of my activation report for you to see how many we have at a short distance of Pamplona, just in case you feel tempted to come over to gather a few completes. Of course, this information can also serve to any other activator feeling like visiting Pamplona for SOTA completes in EA2/NV.

You can now check which ones you have already chased in order to prepare your future activations.



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A treasure trove of Completes for me there Guru if I ever get to the Navarra region and I am able to climb them - when we can meet. Maybe two or three a day is possible within my limits (Now around 15 Km with 800m ascent max but no longer day after day as it was before).

From the 16 identified I have Chased 14. The ones I need to Chase would be EA2/NV-150 and EA2/NV-029, but please don’t go there at my request, I don’t like hinters!

I imagine it is much the same in any SOTA Association when you look at the figures - the two big attracters - ease of access and maximum points! You will know which applies here being a local in your region. EA2/NV-119 Ezkaba 2 points 894m, yet 124 activations! From the highest top 10ers EA2/NV-003 Ori 2019m, 39 activations.

Germany is now ruled out for UK travellers with effect from today today due to the Indian Variant - UK people are “persona non-grata” now in DL/DM but at this time from the UK viewpoint Germany is also an Amber country, the same as Spain. So if we come to Navarra we have to quarantine at home for 10 days when we get back. No way Jose (Or Guru)! I am waiting to see which way our Johnson Brexit government will jump in 3 weeks time when they review travel again, and to see what comes of Brits on holiday in Portugal…

73 Phil

Hi Phil,
There are a few of drive ups in those pictures, i.e. 037, 071, 092, 116, 119, which might be activated in a 2 or even 3 per day basis, but all the others are not trivial hikes and they require not little time and effort, so I would recommend one summit per day. Even doing one per day everyday during a whole week is tough enough for me.
Regarding the 2 you haven’t chased yet, 150 is a 1 pointer and surely the easiest one. I’ve activated it once only. The summit is in the forest with little room for long wires, but there are some nice views to the West by the rocky cliff at the summit and among the trees. There’s also a numerous group of not very friendly goats living and owning the summit territory. I remember my dog Lucho having to work hard barking to keep the goats sufficiently away of me while I was operating. I even had to wave my arms shouting out voices in order to make them get back, as they were approaching too close to me. But they kept insisting on approaching me all the time.
029 is over an hour hike with nearly 800m elevation gain. I have activated this a couple of times in 2014 and 2016, but it’s been quite a long time since my last activation, so I may wish to get back there again one of these days…

We have two 10 pointers in the Pyrenees and both require an over 100Km drive from Pamplona taking about 1 hour and a half drive. NV-003 is a 45 minutes hike from the highest and closest road, but this is a summit I would only attempt in summer, because it’s over 2000m a.s.l. and the chances for ice are high over several months a year, with some important exposed and very steep slopes I’m not tempted at all to try under those conditions. A history of some casualties in winter time discourages me too.
NV-001 is a very long and tough hike of 7 hours round trip, about 3.5 hours each way. This summit is over 2400m a.s.l. so everything said before about ice and risk in witer time aplies to this one but even harder, with the addittion of a very long hike.

In my opinion, there are nicer way to earn points in EA2/NV without so much risk and effort. I’ve done up to 3 activations in a day a couple of times and these are doable, very nice, not too distant from Pamplona and highly recommendable. In winter bonus times, these can provide over 20 up to 25 points in total. These are:

Well, it’s true that the Corona nightmare is not yet over and it’s probably too early to speak about traveling to other countries for SOTA, but I hope things will become substantially better by the end of summer so I guess/hope we will soon be able to travel. It may be not bad talking about this now after all, so we can start thinking about plans…

I learnt this expression when I lived in Michigan as my first name is José and some work mates liked kidding me saying that.