Mt. San Cristóbal EA2/NV-119 by EA2IF/P on 30/04/2016

Editted to change the words snow/sleet into graupel now that I’ve learned it’s the right word for what I had falling from the clouds today.

The weather forecast was for just variable clouds today, but I got a few drops of rain on my car’s windshield while driving North to Pamplona from my QTH.
I started the hike without rain but it started in less than 5 minutes.
It rained during the ascent but not too much so I kept going up without an umbrella or wearing any waterproof clothing.
It took me the usual 35 minutes to get to the summit. It didn’t rain when I got there but a cold wind from the North was blowing and the dark grey clouds were moving fast.
I quickly installed the 20m monoband mobile whip on top of my blue PVC tube which I attached to the usual wooden post.
When I switched the rig ON, the band was so quiet with the noise so very low that I found it weird and thought some connection was making a bad contact, so I double checked all connections before starting to transmit. After double checking everything the band was exactly the same, very quiet, but I transmitted and almost immediately adjusted SWR to 1:1.
I called CQ SOTA once and while waiting for the first response I sent a selfspot by SMS. Later at home I could see that the RBN Hole tool worked brilliant and spotted me right after my very first CQ call. Thank you, Andrew, for your altruist work, which provides us with a so helpful tool.
I soon got the first chaser call and the pile up built up immediately, which gave me a good run of 18 QSOs in just 16 minutes. Three of these were S2S which are always a big joy when activating.
First S2S call was from Heinz HB9BCB/P activating HB/BE-103. A few minutes later I was called by HA2PP/P activating HA/KD-045 and finally it was Stephan DM1LE/P who called me in from DL/CG-018.
I’ve read this week in this Reflector a post from Mark G0VOF saying that Roy G4SSH had been out for some tests at the hospital. Well, I hope everything went well for Roy and I was delighted to be chased by him this morning. He was the 3rd one into my log today.
During the activation I got some rain flurries, which soon turned into graupel ones very well dressed with the cold wind from the North.
When I logged the last callsign it was 4 minutes after 10 utc and it time for me to pack up and descend. It was graupelling when I made QRT and also while packing up and the first part of my descent. As I got lower, the graupel turned into rain and it rained all the way down to the car.
The temperature was 8° C when I parked the car at the mountain foot before starting my hike and I guess it was around 2° C at the summit.
Despite all these WX gifts, I managed to succeed and complete my 48th activation of Mt. San Cristóbal EA2/NV-119. This is the full log of today’s

And this is the S2S log:

Thank you very much dear chasers and activators for your calls and QSOs today. It’s been a real nice pleasure, as it always is.
I’ll be looking forward to copying you again soon on the air.
Best 73 de Guru

P.D. my SOTA kit is spreaded out on the floor of my shack while drying out…