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Mt. Erga EA2/NV-078 by EA2IF/P on 03/03/2018

After the impressive snow fall we had in Pamplona on wednesday with about 15cm of snow on the streets and temperatures of +1°C, the temperatures rised dramatically to +14°C max the following day and lots of rain poured, so the snow melted and got fully washed away within 24 hours.
It was wet and rainy yesterday and I was fearing I wouldn’t be able to activate this morning, but the streets of the town looked dry when I got up today and the sky, although mainly cloudy, didn’t look to be going to pour any rain, so I decided to go and activate a nice mountain only 18Km North-West of my QTH.
This is the track I followed from the little village of Aizkorbe,

The first part of the path was very muddy after so much snow and rain these last days, but the track was very clear and easy to follow, although quite demanding with a constant gradient slope.

At one pretty high point, the views over the valley are just magnificent:

and the track splits in two, one to the right going to the ermitage of the Trinidad de Erga and the other to the left going to the summit, which is the one we took, of course.

And the summit trig point was finally at sight.

The area near the summit was still having some patches of snow, which were very much enjoyed by Lucho, our dog

There also was a cold wind from the South-West constantly blowing in the summit.

The views from the summit were beautiful:

It took me nearly an hour to hike the 485m elevation difference measured by my CASIO wrist watch.
I quickly set-up by the mountaineers mailbox seen at the right hand side of the above picture and sat down on the ground towards the North of the summit in order to try to get out of the wind but I didn’t have much success and my upper back was still exposed to the wind.

The activation started on 30m a few minutes before the alerted start time of 11h30 utc and I immediately got spotted by RBNHole:
There, I had a good run and managed to log 17 QSOs in 22 minutes, 2 of which were S2S, one with Juerg HB9BIN/P and the other with Mark HB9DBM/P.
When there were not more callers, I QSYed to 40m and again got immediately spotted by RBNHole:
This band let me log 11 QSOs in 12 minutes, one of which was again a S2S with Mark HB9DBM/P.
When 30m dried up, I QSYed to 20m SSB, but I found there was a contest going on and I immediately gave up and QSYed down to the CW segment, where I started CQing and got immediately spotted by RBNHole:
On 20m, my first chaser was Mariusz SP9AMH, who had previously tried it on 40m but the QSB didn’t let us complete the QSO. The full run on 20m CW let me log 26 QSOs in 35 minutes, 4 of which were DX QSOs with the USA: Barry N1EU, Rich N4EX, Leslie K4DY, and finally Bruce W2SE, who was clearly copied and picked up in the first call but didn’t come back to me after several overs sending him his callsign followed by his signal report. I knew there was a lot of QSB and I guessed my QRP signal would be very weak over there, so I reduced the speed of my CW from the 23 WPM I had used all the time so far down to 20 WPM in the hope that this would help him to copy my weak signals. After a few more trials, Bruce seemed to copy my report and finally came back to me giving me a 329 signal report. It took some hard work but we made it. Good contact!

I also was spotted by Geert, who chased me from the Canary Islands (EA8). Thank you!

I spent 1 hour and 23 minutes activating in the wind, and I was getting pretty cold, so after this last DX QSO with Bruce W2SE, I decided to QRT, pack up and descend at the double in order to warm back up my cold legs and body.

These are the views to the North that I had from the operating spot:

My loyal patient friend Lucho trying to get off the wind.

And this view to the West:

This same view to the West but taken while standing close to the summit mountaneers mailbox to which I attached the fishing rod I used to rise up the end of my endfed wire antenna.

Other great views from the same spot:

And some other views for other spots in the summit:

This is the view to the East:

And finally, this is the full log of today’s activation:


The S2S log:

All in all, 54QSOs, 3 S2S QSOs one was a duplicate and 4 DX QSOs with the USA.

Thanks dear chasers for all your calls and QSOs.

I’ll be looking forward to QSo with you again soon.