Overcoming adversity on Mt. Lakarri EA2/NV-089


My beloved wife gave me a good surprise two days ago when she suggested: ”why don‘t you go Sota tomorrow as you don‘t have anything at work?” (Most Wednesday afternoons I have meetings at my school…)

Wow! Said and done, no excuses to go for a summit. I decided going to Mt. Lakarri. Last time I did it was a joint activation with Mr. Guru, EA2IF, and was a very rainy and foggy day. Today it would be better, I expected…

This time weather was a bit better, just cloudy and 13C temp. I left the car and followed the path but it was really muddy and slippery.

I soon found a lot of trees laid down creating a real barrier on the path. It seems the huge amount of snow on them this winter caused that, because their roots were pulled out!

I had to pass many of them though on the way making it difficult to continue. I had an umbrella with me and incidentally its handle was stopping trapped in the branches all the time when passing under…

Well I got on and finally arrived in the summit with a feel of relief.

Then I had another bad surprise when I deployed the random wire and the tuner gave up on setting a good SWR: I had values of 1:5 and up, no way to reduce it. I played a lot and finally changed my position but the best that I got was 1:3, and under this condition I started calling cq on 20m SSB.

Immediately some rain started to drop and I opened the umbrella but it was difficult to operate. Soon after I heard static noise on my headset and then storm noise around. Oh dear, what a day… I had to reboot my rig twice to get rid of static and unexpectedly the storm moved away and luckily it soon stopped raining and I could take the umbrella apart.

I felt propagation was poor, I got a mixed of good and bad reports. I also saw huge signal variation of chasers at my end. After ending with the regular chasers on SSB, I saw the spot of GI4ISJ/P and could log the S2S on 20m CW. Thanks Pete!

Although my plan was to run on 20cw, the bad SWR made me change and move to 30m CW were I could set the SWR to 1:1,5.
I ran there with and had the chance to log EA2CW/P and EA2BDS/P S2S with lower than normal signals for this band. Also logged my friends EA2BSB (novice in CW) and EA2GM, well done!

I didn‘t want to stay for long because I wanted to go back with daylight, and pass again these trees without the lamp on my head…

I dismantled the HF aerial and settled on the pole the 1/2 wave vertical to try VHF. I logged a couple locals and after unsuccessful calls gone qrv. After putting everything on my rucksack and doing the last pictures I took the talky with his rubber duck and announced I started going down saying goodbye.

In this very moment the voice of EA2IF broke the summit saying hi. He had just took his car after leaving his work. We could quickly exchange and after telling him about the difficulties of the day his voice encouraged me saying ”I‘m sorry about your troubles but I‘m sure you overcome them all with success…”. Thanks Guru.

It‘s time to get back and take a warm and well deserved shower. Good bye Lakarri, expect it will be much better next time!

VY 73 de Ignacio