Activation Date: 4th July 2019
I choose to activate Mt. Zarranzmendi because it had been activated just 3 times in the past, and it was not far from my home QTH.
Apart from that, the fact that the summit is well covered with trees and the high temperatures forecasted for the day (36 C) convinced me to do this activation under the shadow of high trees.
This lovely sunrise in my window announced the day would be great:
• Leave Pamplona towards San Sebastian (road PA-34, then AP-15)
• Take the exit 117 towards Latasa
• Follow the road NA-4130 and take deviation right towards Zarranz following the road NA-4131.
• Once in Zarranz, park next the church in the center of the small village.
- Trail is about 1,3 kilometer long (one way).
- Height gain is 230 meters.
This is an easy climb, following a path at the very start and later a unobstructed way on the forest.
At mid way up, there is a very steep part in the forest. I think that would be hard to cross with wet weather, but today it was all dry.
Although there is no view to the valley all along the way up, the bleech forest was really nice with all that bright green color:
The summit is well marked with a nice mailbox peak with the shape of a big metallic mushroom:
Although the summit is also surrounded by trees, it is not very dense area, which makes it helpful to deploy my end fed half wave antenna on inverted vee configuration using a carbon fiber 5 m light fishpole. See how it became camouflaged between the trees:
- Equipment: TRX KX3 + Lipo 3S + EFHW ant.
Mobile phone network was working intermittent during the morning, making it difficult to self spot at times.
In the very start of the activation I found S52CU/P calling on 10 MHz from BR-034. Glad to get Mirko in my log as a starter!
Then I moved to 14 MHz CW as I intended to start on that band. To my joy I found there Heinz, HB9BCB/P on BE-120. I was very glad to log this prolific activator and neat parts builder as I hadn’t talked with him since very long.
Later I moved up and started calling CQ, logging 38 chasers in 37 minutes.
Then I checked 7 MHz CW briefly and logged Thomas DL1DVE/P activating for GMA award.
I came back to 14 MHz SSB and logged just 6 stations. Thanks Chris DL1CR/P who called me for a S2S from DM/NS-122.
I then moved to work S2S Paul, HB9DST/P on GR-294. Then I went to activate on 10 MHz but just logged one station.
I then moved to 7 MHz SSB where I logged 6 stations in 4 minutes, becoming dead afterwards. A look at Sotawatch revealed Rudolf DL/OE7RDI/P activating further up in the band from DL/EW-001, and after some difficulties I logged the S2S.
Well, I had been active already on 7, 10 and 14 MHz, therefore I spend some minutes going up and down, logging Kurt F/HB9AFI/P from JU-009, Luk OK/DD1LD/P in PL-002 and Karl DL/OE5JKL/P in a GMA reference. It seems many activators are travelling abroad with a portable setup, hi!
While dismantling the antenna I logged my last qso on my VHF handheld with Santi, EA2BSB, one of the few activators of this summit in the past.
All in all, 63 qso in my log, in a very amusing morning, scrolling up and down the bands, plenty of fun and activity.
On the way down I could see some other SOTA summits:
Mt. Erga, NV-078
Mt. Pagadiaundi, NV-138
Ethnological tip of the day:
Back in Zarranz, I approached to see an old washing place, next the church. They were very used during the 19th century, when there weren’t automatic washing machine available and people used to wash by hand in these reservoirs. That was a big improvement compared with old times when women used to wash clothing on the rivers.
73 and see you soon, Ignacio
Ps: one of the spots I sent using my Sota spotter app was wrongly identifying my summit as NV-138. Later I could self spot again with the rigth reference NV-123; I hope my chasers found the mistake by looking at the spots.