Mt. Madalen EA2/NV-189: a S2C, a T2T, a P2P and a T&T

I chose this summit as it was a new one for me, and another complete, nr.129 in my log. This is also a park, POTA ES-0934, that I activated as well.

This mountain is not too high but has a curious pointy shape and a huge mountain cliff at the North face with some climbing routes.

This is the mountain while driving from the South

The summit looks quite inaccesible with remarkable slopes and vegetation by the North face (photo Internet):

Activation date: May 3rd 2024.

I collected 4 curious things there: S2C, T2T, P2P and T&T. What? Read on…

Driving directions

There are two main tracks for this mountain and I choose the shortest but steeper access, which starts near the village of Irañeta.

Leave Pamplona towards Vitoria by AP-15 motorway.

Take the exit towards Irañeta from A-10. Pass this nice village driving North and cross the Arakil river by a medieval bridge. Turn right just after the bridge and follow a concrete road and get on to end on a parking area, after a cottage.

The hike

A GPS track is mandatory for this one to arrive in the summit and not to get lost.

Leave the car and don’t cross the gate, which is closed for cars with a chain, as you would find the Urruntzure river a few hundred meters ahead obstacling you from the trail.
You better turn right (East) and cross the river in the park place by a small charming bridge:

  • Trail length: 2,7 km (one way)
  • Mountain elevation: 856 m
  • Elevation gain: 400 m
  • Walking time: about 1 hour 20 minutes

The hike follows a gravel track first. It is steep at points. After half an hour you see the impressive rocky wall at sight:

After reaching a col you leave the track and turn right to enter the forest.
Pay attention to discover this cairn at a deviation. There you’ll find the start of a permanent climbing rope.

This rope is the easiest way to to ascend a 50 meter slope on a very slippery surface. The rope is about 100 meters length and I ascended with care to avoid falling at points. It was a funny adventure!
Once I left the rope I found I was facing the upper rocky wall of the summit. A tiny path allows to get on around the wall and access the upper ridge.

The ridge is covered with boxwood plants and you need to pay attention to progress:

In the end it was easy to arrive in the summit following the GPS. At a distance we can see the higher summits of NV-015 and NV-032.

A nice mountain mailbox is placed in a lovely point above the valley:

The activation

The summit, despite a large and flat activation zone, it’s covered with boxwood and the path is really narrow, therefore it is difficult to deploy a large dipole antenna. I managed to extend my short loaded EFHW inverted Vee and it took me more time than usually.

My gear: (tr)uSDX rig + 3x21700 LiIon + headset and a homemade CW paddle.
Although (tr)uSDX is not my preferred rig, I carried it because of the complex access to the summit and to be able to work CW and SSB. I had to seat between the plants and rocks, not really comfortable.

Today I ran on 14 & 7 MHz, SSB and CW. The first in my log was a rare S2S with Colin, @M1BUU: I don’t think I heard Colin’s voice before, as we usually chat on CW!

The S2C

I stayed on 14 SSB and, after a few regular chasers, to my surprise I got a CW call by Mikel, EA2CW/P who was activating EA2/NV-092. We had the qso cross mode: me on voice and him on morse. It was so funny we could held a fluent qso that way, chatting fluently. Mikel was keen to call me that way as he hadn’t got a microphone with his KX2 today: thanks Mikel for the S2S. This was in fact a S2C, SSB to CW cross mode S2S! Have you ever experienced that?

The T2T

The band went dead and I saw a spot on 7 MHz of Juan, @EA9ADD, who was activating as he walked the Camino (the way of Saint Jacques) in Galicia. I was excited as I new he also carried a (tr)uSDX for his trail. Would it be possible a S2S with him?

I tuned and, as expected, heard a pile of chasers calling. Nah, it’s gonna be difficult… But wait, there he is! I called several times and heard him replying asking for the S2S. It took us several times but we could finally complete the S2S, that was a T2T as well (truSDX-to-truSDX).

Thanks dear Juan, what a nice surprise!

You can read about his trek here:

The P2P

I got on in 7 MHz SSB and logged a few more, before I got a P2P call (POTA park to park), but I could barely hear the operator. The (tr)uSDX has a nasty S5 contant floor noise making difficult to hear low signals.

I asked for several repeats and then I could hear Alejandro and Elena @EA4DON & EA4DOS, calling me from another POTA park. Thanks dear friends for your patience!

I ended the activation with a few more QSO in CW, logging K2UPD as the best DX. The two last QSO were, Chris @DL1CR and Uwe DK8OA/P, both S2S . I closed my log with 55 QSO

I packed and started the descent carefully very glad. The fixed rope was again very helpful in the middle section.

Source of Urruntzure river

On my return I deviated to visit the near source of the Urruntzure river. It was nice to see a big stream of water exiting from this mountain:

It’s been a rainy spring this year and I was delighted to see a good amount of water coming form the heart of the mountain.

T&T: two unexpected guests in my leg

Two days upon my return to Pamplona, I had a nasty feeling when I discovered two ticks on my right leg, near the knee. They had bitten me and I managed to pull them out with a tweezer, doing it slowly.

Both were completely extracted and I saw them under a magnifying glass happily walking on my bathroom sink. I took a photo of one of them, smyling to my camera:

Oh gosh! I had checked my body while returning from the summit, but seem they were hiddend and had later installed on my leg. I called the doctor to check if I needed antibiotics. He said there are many ticks in this period of time and he recommended to keep the byte under observation. I’d get the medication if I felt extrange.

So I kept watching my leg for a couple of weeks a bit nervous. I’m happy to confirm all went fine, the byte mark on my leg disappeared progressively and I felt normal all the time.

Sure these nasty guests were waiting for me in the dense plants covering the access to the summit. I have decided to use some protection for future hikes in mountains with such a dense vegetation.

Appart from the Permetryn or DEET, I was advised to use the alternative of Oil of lemon eucalyptus (30%) by some friends. Let’s see if I can avoid them.

In the end, quite a lot of fun from this less visited mountain.

73 Ignacio


Hello Ignacio, a great report, with photos too. Very interesting to read as well. :+1:

cheers :beers: , Geoff vk3sq


It was a real pleasure to fix the S2S (T2T). That day I only made 8 QSOs due to my bad installation in which I prioritized to be sheltered from the cold.

I remember listening to “Summit to Summit” among the noise and focusing on getting it, once I got it I was so satisfied that I decided to pack up and continue the Camino so that T2T QSO was the last one of that day. And the most emblematic of all the Camino!
Posts like this in sotareflector make it worth much more than a QSL Card! Thanks Ignacio for your words and post.