Mt. Monjardin is a not big two pointer mountain with the remains of a castle at its top and despite being just 35 Km West of my QTH, I had never activated it so far, although I had been thinking about it for some time lately.
The planets got aligned for an activation of Mt. Monjardin today.
In the small village of Villamayor de Monjardin seen at the base of the mountain in the following picture, there is a very nice Palace with a highly recomendable restaurant inside. They also produce very good wine under the Brand “Castillo de Monjardin” from the vineyards like the one seen at the bottom of the picture.
I knew there was a dirt road going up to the very Summit and after having parked my car in the village and started my hike with my dog Lucho, I found a sign saying it’s forbidden for unathorised vehicles to use that road to the summit.
At the point where the forbidding vehicles to go up sign was, I found a mountaneering track, which my dog and I took up to the Summit. The ascent was nice but it didn’t even take us 30 minutes.
Once in the Summit, the gate to Access inside the castle was locked so I set-up at the bottom of the castle rocky walls facing to the North-East because I thought it would be the best orientation for EU at that time.
I started on 30m with my 80m band whip but it didn’t work and not even the RBN skimmers simmed to pick up my CW.signal.
Then I changed antenna and QSYed to 20m CW, where I had a run of 24 QSOs in 29 minutes, three of which were S2S.
It was 09h34 utc when the pile up dried up and I QSYed to 10m.
It looked like the band conditions were good, as I could copy some strong signals, but I only got a call and logged one single QSO with OK2PDT on CW.
Quite unusually on me, I decided to QSY to 40m SSB and after a selfspot on sotawatch, Manuel EA2DT chased me. He spotted me on DX-FUN I believe and this produced an immediate pile-up, which let me log 28 QSOs in 10 minutes. The pile-up son dried up and I changed antenna and band back to 20m looking for S2S with Saku OH2NOS/P, which I could log at 10h44 utc.
After this, I moved to SSB looking for another S2S QSO, this time with OE/VK2JI/P, and we made it at 10h50 utc.
At this time, I went QRT, packed up and went upstairs to enter the finally open gate of the castle.
The views from there were great. Let me share with you some of the pictures I took:
This picture shows Mt Montejurra (EA2/NV-090), which I activated a few weeks ago.
Down there the small village of Villamayor at the mountain base.
Once in my car and ready to leave the village I took this final picture.
All in all 55 QSOs, 5 of which were S2S.
Thanks a lot to all chasers and spotters.
I’ll be looking forward to hearing you again soon from another Summit.
Best 73 de Guru.