Mt. Dulantz EA2/NV-052 by EA2IF/P on 09/11/2014

It’s been raining quite a lot over the week and I was almost convinced that this weekend was going to keep raining, thus a SOTA chasing time rather than activating.
But it wasn’t the case fortunately.
On Saturday morning I could make my morning ascent and activation of Mt. San Cristóbal (EA2/NV-119) on 2m FM.
On Sunday morning I planned activation of Mt. Dulantz, which is the highest point of the Sierra de Urbasa, an absolutely amazing beautiful place that I highly recommend you to visit in case you come over one day.
Here you can see the path I followed thanks to a helpful track I downloaded from internet last night and I will upload later on our SOTA database.

The coordinates of the car park are Lat. N 42.82069 Long W -2.0277.
Despite the GPS I made a Little mistake at the very start of the hike and passed through this “gate”. Almost immediately I realised it was wrong way.

This is the right way to follow:

After a few meters we took the right path seen on this picture:

Very soon we entered into a beech trees forest beautifully coloured:

The path was clear easy to follow and not too steep, so it was easy to hike.

The Sierra de Urbasa has been occupied by human beings since the prehistory, with some burial remains from the peleolitic spreaded here and there. These remains of a stony construction in the following picture won’t be that old but they must have been here for a good number of years:

Later we left the forest and got into an open area where the path remained very clear and easy to follow:

Soon we entered again into forest:

Here we had to cross this gate. Please leave the door shut after you had crossed.

A Little further we passed through this natural kind of gate and immediately after that, our path merged with a wider one,

which we’ll take up to the right. We’ll have to remember this point, as we’ll have to take our left of our way back:

As we continue the hike, we found some horses near a wooden pole with a sign:

The sign informs that our target is getting close.
Let me share the pictures of these horses with you. They are really nice:

I liked very much this black one:

We continued our hike towards the Summit:

And finally we got Mt. Dulantz Summit at sight for the first time:

Just a few minutes further:

and we leave the path to our right, passing over this fallen tree right before the final hike to the Summit.

A few meters before reaching the very Summit I looked backwards and without the forest blocking the long views, I enjoyed them now and took the following pictures:

That is Mt. Beriain, the one I activated last Sunday.

Here is the ridge along which I hiked two Sundays ago to reach Mt. Malkasko.

At the center right of this picture and far in the distance we see Mt. Montejurra, which is a nice peak I’m thinking of activating one of these days soon.

And we finally got the mountaneers mailbox with the trig point at sight and very near.

See the mailbox very nicely decorated with the headed cross, (Guru Lau Buru).

A close up look:

The moon was still low in the sky when we reached the trig point.

A cold wind was blowing from the North, so I installed the GP antenna attached to the trig point and thanks to the several meters of RG-58 I always carry with me, I could place myself with my gear in a shelter with little wind and a very nice sun rising in front of me.

With no mobile phone signal available I started my activation on 30m CW at 0847 utc, which was 43 minutes earlier than the announced start time. The internet information stated 1h30 hike and it took me just a few minutes more than an hour.
The operation on 30m CW gave me 34 QSOs in 25 minutes. It was very pleasant and a well disciplined pile-up. When the pile-up dried up, I QSYed to 20m SSB and I immediately found YO8SEP/P working his Fauna and Flora activation from YOFF-003 on 14.280. We completed our QSO, which I initially thought a S2S one and later I learnt it wasn’t after Petronel sent me an e-mail to warn me about the mistake, and then I moved to find a clear frequency to start calling CQ SOTA.
So I did on 14.285 but after a few QSOs a couple of very strong Greek stations started to have a QSO right on my frequency with clearly no intentions to either QRX or QSY, so I had to move my tiny QRP signal to other frequency.
I stopped on 14.290 and had a very good run with as many stations logged as 67 in 55 minutes.
The anecdote was when I copied ?K3XL and I said: - Questionmark Kilo 3 X-ray Lima good morning, you are 59. Please repeat your preffix, I guess it is OK but, please, confirm. Then he came back and said to my surprise VK3XL. WOW!, his signal was so loud and clear that, when he first called me, I thought it was one more of the strong European stations I had been copying and working over the last 45 minutes.
When the 20m pile up dried up, I switched to 2m FM but only my friend Jorge (EA2LU) came back to my CQ calls. Thanks buddy!
In my alert I had announced that I would work 14-cw as well but, when I was going to QSY there, I felt like giving 12m a try and so I did. My batteries were too weak and just 4 more QSOs were logged all of them with European stations, but it was nice to see how lively the 12m band was at that time. It was 10h30 utc.

A very big group of mountaneers arrived to the Summit and given that my battery was pretty weak by that time, I decided to switch off the rig and have a chat with the just arrived.
There was a woman which surprised me telling her group that what they had just found (me) was a radioamateur with his antenna and radio equipment. To my surprise, she came to me and introduced herself as ex-EA2BKS. Her name, Marta. I told her: -what is that ex? She said: -I was… and I replied that a radioamateur IS so for the entire life. I explained her what I was doing and about the SOTA program and its perfect combination of radio and mountaneering. She felt interested and asked me to provide her with more information about SOTA and so I’ll do for sure.
I explained her that I usually write a report with pictures after my activations and she agreed for a picture with me to be published here.
So, I can say that I had 106 QSOs in total: 30m CW (34), 20m SSB (67), 2m FM (1), 12m CW (4) and finally one face to face with Marta, former EA2BKS.

I hope she’ll like the SOTA program as to recover her callsign and start activating from the summits she’ll hike in the future.

On our descent I took some few more lovely pictures of this fall season that I will share now with you:
This is the point I mentionned before to be remembered because we had to make a left or our way back. Perfectly marked with that piece of branch on the ground where my dog is in the picture, as well as a small cairn across the path.

This one looks like a bulk full of green bubbles popping out of ground:

I love the beech trees forests:

I hope you enjoyed this report. Should that be the case, clic on the Like button, please.

Thank you very much for your calls, spots, QSOs and nice company. I hope to copy you all again very soon.

Take care and have a nice week.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF