Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

Peña del Abrigo EA2/NV-117 by EA2IF/P on 08/12/2019

The streets of Pamplona city were inmersed in the fog this morning and I wrongly thought it would be one of those typical thermal inversion days and it would be perfect for activating SOTA in a sunny summit with the sea of fog down in the valleys.
So I left home some few minutes before local Noon (1100z) to this 2 points summit located right South of Pamplona:
>Las calles de la ciudad de Pamplona estaban inmersas en la niebla y erróneamente pensé que sería uno de esos típicos días de inversión térmica y que sería perfecto para activar SOTA en una cima soleada con el mar de niebla abajo en los valles.
Así que salí de casa pocos minutos antes del mediodía local (1100z) hacia esta cima de 2 puntos ubicada justo al Sur de Pamplona:

imagen
I drove to the village of Untzue, there I found an ex-work mate I hadn’t seen since 2004, who explained me his mother is original from that village, so he can often be found there.
I took a dirt road, crossed a small stream with my car, followed driving on a muddy track and finally found there were some warning signs informing about a hunt taking place in the area. For an instant I thought about turning back, but I quickly changed my mind when I saw a hunter and approached him to ask if he thought I would be at risk if I decided to climb up to the top of the mountain. His reassuring words made me park and proceed to start my climb. However, I asked the hunter to inform, with the help of his HH radio, about my presence and intentions to all the other hunters. He told me there were about 16 hunters and I thought that was quite a huge number of rifles for a SOTAri and his dog…
>Conduje hasta el pueblo de Untzue, allí me encontré con una antiguo compañero de trabajo al que no había visto desde 2004, quien me contó que su madre es originaria de ese pueblo y por eso se le puede encontrar allí a menudo. Tomé una pista de tierra y grava, atravesé un pequeño arroyo con mi coche, continué conduciendo por una pista embarrada y finalmente encontré unas señales de advertencia informando de que una batida de caza estaba teniendo lugar en la zona. Por un instante pensé en dar media vuelta, pero rápidamente cambié de parecer cuando vi a un cazador y me aproximé a él para preguntarle si creía que estaría en peligro si decidía subir hasta lo alto de la montaña. Sus palabras tranquilizadoras me hicieron aparcar y proceder a empezar mi subida. No obstante, pedí al cazador que, con ayuda de su walky, informase a todos los otros cazadores sobre mi presencia e intenciones. Él me dijo que había unos 16 cazadores y pensé que era un número bastante enorme de rifles para un sotero y su perro…

But I’ve never been a coward and there we went Lucho (the dog) and I.
I was regularly shouting out loud that I was a mountaineer and I was there with a dog, just to let the hunters know where I was hiking.
>Pero nunca he sido un cobarde y allí fuimos Lucho (el perro) y yo.
Iba regularmente diciendo en voz alta que yo era un montañero y estaba allí con un perro, sólo para que los cazadores supieran por dónde iba subiendo.

I usually carry 2 smartphones. One makes good photos and the other one not anymore because I have the lens plastic unprotected and it must have got rubbed and too much scratched over time. Unfortunately, I forgot charging the battery of the one able to make good photos, so I must apologize for the extremely poor quality of the pictures I took with the other smartphone. But a bad picture is sometimes better than nothing, so I’ll share them with you anyway…
>Habitualmente llevo 2 teléfonos. Uno hace buenas fotos y el otro ya no porque tengo el plástico de la lente desprotegido y debe de haberse rozado y rayado demasiado con el tiempo. Desgraciadamente, olvidé cargar la batería del que puede hacer buenas fotos, así que debo pedir disculpas por la extremadamente pobre calidad de las fotos que tomé con el otro teléfono. Pero una mala foto es a veces mejor que nada, así que las compartiré con ustedes de todos modos…

The last time I activated this summit was 2015 and I found several young trees just planted along the track. I’ve found today that 4 years later they haven’t grown up much, just a bit. Mother nature takes its time…
>La última vez que activé esta cima era 2015 y encontré muchos jóvenes árboles recién plantados a lo largo del sendero. He encontrado que, 4 años más tarde, no han crecido mucho, solo un poquito. La madre naturaleza se toma su tiempo…
imagen
This picture taken during the ascent shows the village of Untzue and the wrongly deleted but recently reinstated SOTA Untzueko Harria EA2/NV-101.
>Ésta foto tomada durante el ascenso muestra el pueblo de Untzue y la erróneamente eliminada pero recientemente reinstaurada SOTA Untzueko Harria EA2/NV-101.
imagen
Shortly after having started the hike, this sign made me take the narrow track to the right:
>Poco después de haber empezado la subida, esta señal me hizo tomar la estrecha senda hacia la derecha:
imagen
I followed the narrow track…
>Seguí por la estrecha senda…
imagen
At this point, I found a fork and a sign informing the track to the left goes to the St. Barthelemy ermitage, so we took the one to the right:
>En este punto, encontré una bifurcación y una señal informando de que hacia la izquierda se va a la ermita de San Bartolomé, así que tomamos la de la derecha:
imagen
The track is not too hard but it has quite a decent gradient for quite some time:
>La senda no es demasiado dura, pero tiene una pendiente bastante decente durante algún tiempo:
imagen
Some views taken just 5 minutes before reaching the summit:
The cone shaped summit seen at the left is the SOTA Alaitz EA2/NV-064:
>Algunas vistas tomadas 5 minutos antes de alcanzar la cima:
La cima en forma de cono que se ve a la izquierda es la SOTA Alaitz EA2/NV-064:

imagen
Another view of the recently reinstated SOTA Untzueko Harria EA2/NV-101:
>Otra vista de la recientemente reinstaurada SOTA Untzueko Harria EA2/NV-101:
imagen
One more view of the cloudy sky and the valley:
>Una vista más del cielo nublado y del valle:
imagen
By about one third of the ascent it started to rain very lightly, so I kept going in the hope that it wouldn’t be much more than that for a short while.
>Para el primer tercio de la subida comenzó a llover muy ligeramente, así que continué esperando que no fuera mucho más que eso por un corto espacio de tiempo.

And the summit was finally reached:
>Y alcanzamos finalmente la cima:
imagen
It was raining so I quickly tied my fishing rod to a small tree or big bush, deployed my endfed wire as a sloper, extended the 6m counterpoise wire over the bushes and started the activation right on the same frequency where I had finished my previous activity yesterday, on 14.062.
>Estaba lloviendo, así que rápidamente até mi caña de pescar a un árbol pequeño o arbusto grande, desplegué como una “sloper” my cable alimentado en el extremo, extendí los 6m de cable de contraantena sobre los arbustos y empecé la activación en la misma frecuencia donde había terminado mi última actividad ayer, en 14.062.

Jorge EA2LU was surely waiting for me because he came back to me after my first or second CQ call. I informed him that it was raining and the activation would then be a really quick one. I sat in a way that my body was mostly keeping the rigs and the log out of the rain, which let me go on for just 15 minutes in which I managed to log 13 QSOs. 2 of them were S2S with 2 activators in the same Greek summit and one was a DX with the USA. The light rain was little by little turning into plain rain and thus I had to QRT before it got too bad.
>Jorge EA2LU estaba seguramente esperándome porque volvió para mí tras mi primer o segundo CQ. Le informé de que estaba lloviendo y de que entonces la activación sería una realmente rápida. Me senté de un modo que mi cuerpo mayormente preservaba de la lluvia a los equipos y el log, lo que me dejó operar por justos 15 minutos en los que conseguí anotar 13 QSOs. 2 de ellos fueron SaS con dos activadores en una misma cima griega y uno fue un DX con los EE.UU. La ligera lluvia fue poco a poco tornándose en auténtica lluvia, así que tuve que QRT antes de que se pusiera demasiado mal.

This is the short full log: Note: typo now corrected.
>Éste es el log completo: Nota: el gazapo ahora corregido.


You can see it on the map:
>Pueden verlo en el mapa:

Descent had to be very careful because the steep track had become wet and extremely slippery, particularly on certain rocky sections. With the help of my 2 walking poles, I managed to descend without landing at any time on the muddy track.
On my way down I had the chance to talk to the happy chasers who had managed to chase a wild boar, so I congratulated them.
>El descenso tuvo que hacerse con mucho cuidado porque la empinada senda mojada se había vuelto extremadamente resbaladiza, en particular en ciertas secciones rocosas. Con ayuda de mis dos bastones, conseguí descender sin aterrizar en ningún momento en el sendero embarrado.
En mi descenso tuve ocasión de hablar con los felices cazadores que habían conseguido cazar un jabalí, así que les felicité.

I got to the car safe and sound but wet, really wet and all my SOTA stuff lays now fully extended close to and on top of the heating radiator at home… But don’t worry, the FT-817 travelled well preserved from the rain inside a wooden box I have inside a plastic bag in my rucksack, so I’m sure it will work perfectly the next time I’ll need it.
>Llegué al coche sano y salvo pero mojado, realmente mojado y todas mis cosas de SOTA están ahora completamente extendidas al lado y por encima del radiador de la calefacción en casa… Pero no se preocupen, el FT-817 viajó bien preservado de la lluvia dentro de una caja de madera que tengo dentro de una bolsa de plástico en mi mochila, así que estoy seguro de que trabajará perfectamente la próxima vez que lo necesite.

This summit has usually given me troubles as you will be able to see by reading my previous activation reports here:
>Ésta cima me ha dado problemas habitualmente como podrán ver leyendo mis reportajes anteriores aquí:


Today, it wasn’t just the rain and the poor quality photos; the number of QSOs was 13:thinking: I’m starting to think that Murphy might live in Peña del Abrigo… :wink:
Hoy, no fue solo la lluvia y las fotos de mala calidad; el número de QSOs fue 13… :thinking: Estoy empezando a pensar que Murphy podría vivir en la Peña del Abrigo… :wink:

Apologies for such a short activation on one single band and mode, but sometimes this is the way things have to be and there’s little we can do about it…
Apologies again for the extremely poor quality of the pictures. I’m really sorry for that.
>Les pido excusas por una actvación tan corta en una sola banda y modo, pero, a veces, las cosas tienen que ser así y poco podemos hacer…
Les pido excusas de nuevo por la extremadamente pobre calidad de las fotos. Lo siento mucho.

Thank you very much dear chasers for your calls and QSOs. I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again soon from a summit.
>Muchas gracias estimados cazadores por sus llamadas y QSOs. Estaré esperando copiarles de nuevo pronto desde una cima.
imagen
Note how this selfie has a better quality. The selfie lens has the touchscreen glass before, which seems to be in far better condition than the one before the main photo lens at the back of the smartphone.
>Fíjense cómo el selfie tiene mejor calidad. La lente para selfies tiene el cristal de la pantalla táctil delante, que parece estar en bastante mejores condiciones que el que hay delante de la lente principal en la trasera del teléfono.

73,

Guru

9 Likes

Hi Guru,

Well done on persisting in the rain. Your waterproof box was essential!

As you say, your photos were not at your usual standard but they showed the main features. Your final comment about using the front lens made me think perhaps that is an option for other photos when you have to use that phone. Take them all with the front lens. Lower pixel rating but perfectly adequate for online usage. Awkward perhaps as you can’t see the image unless you stand on that side of the phone, but possibly a workable alternative.

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

1 Like

Looks like a great activation and that’s a good S2S rate in my book

1 Like

Hi Guru!
It was a pleasure to hear you yesterday, by chance, going up the band! The weather for us was very hot and full of sun, like spring! Remember that difficulties make us stronger, if they donnot kill us!!!
My callsign, as usually, was /P, please check it!
I hope to hear you soon again!

73, Christos.

1 Like

Hi Andrew,
Thank you. Well, it’s not strictly a waterproof box, but the wooden box is a good protection against small mechanical shocks from possible falling stones as well as from the rucksack or even myself falling down on ground. The plastic bag is one of those isothermal bags available in supermarkets for customers to put frozen food inside to prevent them from unfreezing on the way home. It wouldn’t preserve the rigs from water ingress in case of accidental inmersion of the rucksack in a river or a lake, but it does a very good job preserving the wooden box with the SOTA kit inside from getting any water when hiking in the rain in days like this.
Regarding the convenience of using the selfie camera instead of the rear one the next time I had to make use of this smartphone for pictures, I agree and it’s something I had already thought about when I realised the much better quality of the selfie picture at the moment of writing and pasting the pictures on the activation report.
This is a very basic NOKIA smartphone and it’s amazing that the selfie camera is just 2MPixels, while the rear one is 5MPixel. But the rear lens protecting glass is so much rubbed and scratched that those 5MPixel have become fully useless.
The lesson learnt for my next smartphone is buying a protective thing to prevent the rear lens glass from rubbing the surface where the smartphone gets placed like on top of a table, inside my pocket or wherever it gets onto.

Best 73,

Guru

Dear Christos,
Thank you and your activation mate (SV2NCH) for your calls and S2S QSO. It was a very nice surprise to me.
Sorry for having made a typo when copying my paper log to the electronic log I uploaded to the database. You can see here that I indeed wrote your callsing correctly with /P ant the end,
imagen
But due to the rain, the paper was a bit wet as well as my hands and the morse paddle I usually hold on top of my paper log, so the paddle key placed on the top part of the page while I was writing callsigns at the bottom part of it, apparently rubbed the paper log and almost erased the /P at the end of your callsign and I guess that’s why I missed it at the time of copying it into my electronic log, the one I later uploaded to the SOTA database.
I have corrected already my typo in the elctronic log and I will do it as well in the SOTA database later this afternoon.
I’ll be looking forward to making more S2S with you two.
73,

Guru

Well, with the help of a very, very thin screwdriver, I have managed to remove the rubbed and scratched plastic protection of the rear lens in my NOKIA smartphone.
Let me show you the AMAZING difference by comparing a picture of Mt. San Cristobal EA2/NV-119 taken from my home balcony this morning before removing this protection and again this afternoon, after the protection got removed.
imagen

imagen
Amazing, isn’t it?
I’ll have to be very carefull now with this smartphone because removing this protection leaves it less watertight than before…
Cheers,

Guru

2 Likes

Many thanks Guru!

I still feel, some times, unsure that I had possibly made a mistake by keying or not! Is it Alzheimer’s disease coming in the horison ?

Everybody has such note disasters! The event is now very clear and well done!

We always are interesting in chasing you from home or a summit!

73 de SV2OXS/P !!!

1 Like

Guru,
the front camera on my iphone is covered by the plastic screen protection cover and it still seems to make good photos despite that. You could cut a small section from a screen protector and replace the cover you have removed from the rear camera on the Nokia. that would protect the lens and possibly retain some water protection?
73 Andrew

Well I really enjoyed that report Guru. Many thanks for putting it on the reflector. There is no problem with the photographs - they certainly show what is important.

After a bad experience with my FT-817ND and wet weather many years ago, I have always housed my rigs in an enclosure. Maybe it is more important up in Scotland where I mainly activate summits, but the changeable climate up on summits means that a sunny day can suddenly become a wet one. The only place that I have activated without the rig inside an enclosure is on the Algarve… in summer! :grinning:

1 Like