Mt. Gorbeia EA2/VI-001, 31/Oct/2014

I took the chance of a visit to my parents in law to have some free time in the morning and try climbing to mount Gorbeia (1482m a.s.l.), the highest summit in EA2/VI land, about 90 km away from my home qth.

This is quite a wide mountain, and I chose the nearest path to the town of Vitoria. I planned to start walking at 10:30 local time from the parking lot but a truck blocked the road and I had to wait for about 45 minutes to get on and reach the parking.

Weather was good, and although there was some clouds down the surrounding mountains, Gorbeia was clean.

At first I took a wrong path but once I realized I stepped back and found the right way. The way along a big forest was really nice because the beech trees are now covered with a mix of bright green and orange colours due to the receintly started autumn season.

This path is a steady climb and in about 1hour 45 minutes I travelled the 6,5 kilometers length and 800 meters of height difference.

As you approach the summit, the first thing you see is the 18m height big cross in the trig point.
When I arrived there I found myself alone and quickly installed my first aerial for the day: a homebrew half wave vertical (Flower pot design, tks VK2ZOI) to start calling in 145 MHz.

*See the cloth clip used to fix the VHF aerial to the pole. Cheap and clean solution ;o)

I logged a number of VHF qso and then quickly installed a random wire vertical on a 6m pole with 4 ground radials, 4m long each.

*The CD is used as a reel to form a circunference with the wires when I have to dismantle my setup. The grey box is a current choke on a toroid to avoid RF back to the rig and earphones…

I tuned the HF aerial in 14MHz with the ZM-2 tuner and picked another Sota activation around 14.062 CW. I called him several times without success when G4SSH called me. I proposed QSY up and we completed. Then immediately a pile up formed and I kept on working there.

I wasn’t feeeling good because wind started blowing hard and I could hardly listen to my own keying. I modified the sidetone volume without much success and then I noticed that the in-line volume controller of my headset was too low. I adjusted it and then all went much better. Sorry for the repeated calls I couldn’t pick easily before that moment.

Funnily I noticed there was two Sota activation going on, one 1 KHz up and the other 1 KHz down. This situation together with the lack of a CW filter fitted in my FT-817 transceiver also added some stress in my ears to pick some callsigns.

I continued in 14 MHz SSB and 10 MHz CW and finished with some more colleagues in 145 MHz.

My complete log shows 77 qso (4 of them are S2S) and includes N4EX and VE1WT, well copied from the summit. I took some photos and collected all in the rucksack.
Wind was strong but my poles survived without problems.

During the morning there were a lot of visitors in the summit including some cyclist! None of them aproached to ask what I was doing with these poles or if I had captured any fish!!

All in all a good activation with plenty of chasers for being a Friday.
Thanks a lot to all chasers and to the ones who updated the spots and announced band changes.

CU soon from another summit as we have snow forecasted coming soon.
VY 73

Ignacio EA2BD