Dear SOTA mates,
There is a 1 pointer Summit pretty close to my QTH called San Martin with an hermitage right at the top.
This is a picture I took at sunrise about one week ago when I was leaving home to work. You can see Mt. San Martin right in the center with the hermitage on top.
I had never activated it but I had been recently thinking about possibly doing so one of these days.
The weather forecast for this weekend was announcing high chances for rain and a temperature drop. In fact Saturday was raining all day long, so I was expecting a bit of the same for Sunday and that’s why I didn’t plan any SOTA activation and I didn’t get up too early in the morning.
However, I prepared my batteries yesterday with a full recharge just in case the weather God decided to give us a small time window without rain.
I got up this morning, had a relaxed and slow breakfast and then realised that it wasn’t raining and the sky didn’t look like it was going to pour any rain in the short term, so I decided to grab my SOTA kit and leave for a quick activation before lunch.
I drove to the small village of Añorbe, passed the village to the highest part of it and soon parked the car at the side of a dirt road. I asked a villager which was working and burning some weeds in his land and he kindly explained me the right path I should take to get to the Summit.
The ascent path was very easy.
In the following view taken during the ascent you can see some of the smoke caused by the villager burning weeds that I mentionned before. See the nice valley with a just partly cloudy sky:
After a short hike of 20 minutes the wide and easy path took us to the top:
I set up the station here, with the rigs on the stony table you can see at the bottom of the hermitage tallest wall, but I didn’t take a picture with everything on the table due to the strong wind I had all the time.
This is the side where I should have set up the station should I have given priority to comfort instead of station performance, because it was much better sheltered from the North wind. But setting up in this location would have given me difficulties to get signals from and to the North and NorthEast due to having the hermitage blocking the path, so I preferred the other side, despite of the winds, in order to provide the antenna a better take-off with no obstacles to the North and North East, which is where all Europe is from here.
Before setting up the station I took a few pictures from the summit, which I’ll share with you:
The activation was a little bit unpleasant due to the strong wind forcing me to hold firmly notebook, pen, paddle and everything I had on top of the stony table. My new SOTA hat flew off once but I fortunately managed to recover it.
I started CQing on 30m CW, where I had a good run of 31 QSOs in 24 minutes.
Then switched to 20m SSB, with 25 QSOs logged in 18 minutes, one of which was a S2S with Mike, 2E0YYY/P at G/SP-013. Thank you very much for your call, Mike.
The last QSO on 20m SSB was with Africa, thanks to EA9IB call with a very strong signal.
I was running out of time and finally switched to 12m CW, where I only logged 3 QSOs with Scotland, Sweden and Hungary. After a few more unreplayed calls on 12m, I QSYed to 2m FM, where, after some CQ calls, I didn’t get any single call back, so not QSOs on 2m FM. I must admit that I didn’t raise any spot for 2m FM because I had not time left.
I quickly packed up and descended as it was time to get home for lunch.
These are a couple of pictures of the mountain I took from my car on my way home.
All in all, 59 QSOs and another nice (but too short) time activating SOTA, despite the strong wind.
Thanks for your calls, spots and QSOs. I’ll be looking forward to copying you all very soon from another Summit.
Best 73 de Guru - EA2IF