One of my main interests in SOTA is activating all summits in EA2/NV, so I chose a 1 pointer to the South-East of Pamplona that I had never activated. In fact, it had only been activated once in August 2013 by my friend Santi EA2BSB (SK) with just 5 QSOs in his log, so it was a new reference for most of the chasers. Unfortunately, I had not yet met Santi by that time and I wasn’t yet taking part on the SOTA program, so I didn’t chase him then and my activation today couldn’t make a new complete for me. I hope some activator will soon activate it again to give me the chance to chase him and get a new complete.
Mt. Legin EA2/NV-145 is located about 30 Km SE of Pamplona where you’ll see on the following map:
The start of the hike is on a dirt road and I had to drive some Km on dirt roads to get there. Amazingly my Tomtom didn’t ask me the usual question “do you want to avoid unpaved roads?”. Lower clearance vehicles than mine wouldn’t make it due to one specific spot where I made it with care, but not any regular vehicle would.
In the following image you’ll see the GPS track I followed and the elevation profile.
The ascent started on an easy to follow track with the summit at sight,
but soon I lost track, probably confused with many other cattle tracks present everywhere, so I found myself dealing with knee tall heather-like bushes. Before retracing my steps to rejoin the good path, I took this picture of myself in the bushes for you to see:
My walking stick and fishing rod self-kept in vertical with the help of the dense bushes while I was taking the picture.
I found the good track, but further up, the same story happened again and I lost it again probably confused by other animal tracks, so I got into sometimes very dense vegetation, forcing me to go back and retrace my steps over and over again. But I wasn’t being successful on finding the good track and given that the summit was pretty much at sight, I decided to keep moving upwards. This got me into troubles sometimes, having to cross really dense vegetation and pass through small tree branches, which wasn’t easy at all with my backpack on.
Passing through these trunks and branches with a bulky backpack seems difficult…
But I made it
After 1h of difficult ascent, I got to the summit:
I found a dead and dry tree trunk to which I attached my 7m telescopic fishing rod. From its top end I hung as a sloper towards the North my 10m long endfed wire down to a 9:1 unun, from which a 5m long counterpoise wire was extended on the grass following the sloper wire direction.
Rigs were my usual FT-817ND at 5W with MFJ-941B antenna tuner.
The activation went like this:
40m CW: 25 QSOs, 2 of which S2S in 30 minutes.
30m CW: 20 QSOs in 19 minutes.
20m CW: 32 QSOs in 43 minutes, 2 of which S2S, 3 dx USA and 1 dx Canada.
The S2S highlights today were:
1- HB9AFI, who made S2S with me from 2 different summits today.
2- M0NOM, my friend Mark, who made my day when he called me on 40m for S2S.
All in all, 77 QSOs in the log, 4 S2S, 3 dx USA and 1 dx Canada.
This is the full log:
You can see it on the map:
I forgot taking pictures of my setup, sorry.
When I arrived to the summit, there was a very nice sunshine, but not too long after having started my activation, grey clouds started to enter from the NorthWest until the whole sky got covered by dark grey clouds. The cold wind from the North also made presence, forcing me to put on my body all 5 layers I had.
Before leaving the summit, I took some pictures:
Descent was easier and quicker than the ascent because I found a good track, which didn’t match my GPS track, but I decided to follow it because it was a much better track with marking cairns and coloured marks. This should obviously be the good track to be followed by future activators.
I decided QRT and descend in the perfect time, because, as soon as I got into my car, I noticed the very first drops of rain on the windshield. See this picture of the summit taken through the car windshield:
Despite the odd ascent, everything went well at the end and I definitely had another great time out in the mountains. The physical exercise of today and yesterday makes me feel very well and I think I’m going to try to keep activating as often as possible.
Thanks dear chasers for your calls and QSOs. I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again soon from a SOTA.