Mt. Itzaga EA2/NV-029 by EA2IF/P on 19/10/2014

When I was a kid, I went to school to the San Ignacio de Loyola Jesuits College in my birth town, Pamplona.
At the age of aproximately 12, we were taken by our Jesuit mentors to Mt. Itzaga, just about 30Km East of Pamplona on a field day in the mountains with all our class mates. That was probably back in 1977.
I had never been to Mt. Itzaga again since then until today.

I got up at 6AM and covered the 30Km drive to the small village of Altzorritz in closed dark night.
When I got there it was very dark, too dark to start hiking an unknown path, so I lingered for a while until it got less dark to start the hike. I quickly found the path described in the page wikilocs and started the ascend some few minutes before 6 o’clock utc with very little light. I had a tourch with me but I didn’t have to use it.
When it got a bit lighter, I could take the first shot with the Summit at sight far away in the center of the picture. There are 900 m difference in height between the car park and the summit.

This is view of Mt. Elomendi during the ascent. These foreground trees were burnt in a fire some years ago.

The ascent continued like this most of the time:

Until I got to a point where my path joined a wider path coming from other villages. It’s clearly marked to help mountaineers find the way down:

The path became very different now and it went like this until an ermitage located not far from the Summit where villagers from the small villages around this mountain get together every year for a pray and a neighbours friendship party.

I didn’t go to the ermitage and took a direct and much steeper path to the summit.
Finally, after an hour and a half ascent, the trig point was at sight:

The wind was very, very strong at the Summit and I had to do my best to get the fishing pole on top of the trig point. And I made it!

The strong wind was coming from the South, so I found shelter close to the North side of the trig point, which meant, in the shade. The wind was so strong and with me operating sitting in the shade close to the trig point, I soon started to feel pretty cold.
It’s been so nicely warm all these last days with this South wind down in the valleys, that I, unfortunately, forgot my Winter coat and I only had some light warmth clothing.
I run most of the operation with my body shaking in cold, so it was a bit difficult for me to operate the CW paddle and write down on the log like that, while holding my note book pages with my hands to prevent pages from flying.
The activation resulted in 60 QSOs down on the log:
16 QSOs in 9 minutes on 20m CW
33 QSOs in 30 minutes on 30m CW, 2 of which were S2S.
8 QSOs on 2m FM, 4 of which were S2S.
2 QSOs only on 12m.
At the very end of the activation I logged another S2S QSO on 20m CW.
After 1 hour and 42 minutes of a shaking in cold activation, I decided to pack everything and descend, not before taking some few pictures from that beautiful place. Let me share them with you:

At the right hand of the following picture, far in the distance, you can have a not very clear view of the city of Pamplona, the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Pamplona, which became later the kingdom of Navarra and it’s one of Spain’s Autonomous Comunities today.

Good bye Itzaga Summit:

On my way down I visited the ermitage but I forgot taking any picture of it. Sorry.
During the hour and a half descent, there was a beautiful warm sunny day. Nothing to do with the hurricane-like wind at the summit.
I got to the car, drove the 30Km towards home and got just in time for lunch at 14h30 (local) with my family:

Thank you very much for all QSOs, spots and your nice company.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF


Hi Guru,
A very nicely illustrated story. 900 m is a very good ascent in 1 1/2 hours. The views and the many contacts were well worth the shivering in the cold wind I think. It’s interesting to see the contrast between some of the SOTA peaks. This one is reminiscent of some Australian ones. No cliffs to climb or ice ridges to carefully walk along!

Hope to catch you on another peak sometime.

Thank you Ron.
I’m glad that you liked it. Yes the views and the activation were well worth the shivering. Thanks for reminding me this word, which I knew but I had forgotten.
Yes, I also enjoy very much watching pictures here of different types of mountains and landscapes around the SOTA world.
Regarding my ascent of Sunday, I’ve found the following picture on the web. It wasn’t really 900m, but 776m exactly, according to this:

The path I followed is the top one. From the top left flag to the flag at the right side, which is the summit. Same way for descent, of course, as I was on my own and had left my car parked down in the village…
If you come around some day in the future, I’ll be pleased to take you up to some of these nice mountains we have over here for an activation.
Have a nice week.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF