SOTA vs CANCER at Mt Ezkaba EA2/NV-119 by EA2IF/P on 08/03/2021

Dear all,

As many of you know already, I fought against a rectum cancer since the end of 2018, all 2019 and 3/4 of 2020. During all those hard times, ham radio and SOTA in particular was a great company. I enjoyed chasing from home and even activating when possible.
After my last operation in August 2020 to reverse the ileostomy I got I June 2019, I fully recovered and got back to work by the 25th of September.

Everything was going well but just a few weeks later, by the beginning of November, I started feeling some sort of pain in my back and inside my abdomen. I went to the doctors and after some blood analysis and a couple of scanners in December and January, they finally confirmed to me that my very aggressive cancer had reappeared and I was due to quickly start a new series of chemotherapy treatments.
Athough I was decided to fight again this Cancer 2.0, I admit that I felt quite disappointed and I was starting to think that I should prepare myself to any possible outcome.

My chemos started on February and I’ve already got 2 sessions. The third session is due to happen tomorrow. The plan is for a total of 6 sessions. The chemo sessions are quite hard and it usually takes me some 5 or 6 days to overcome the effects. With the chemos and the not very nice wx we’ve been having lately, chasing SOTA is all I’ve been doing these last days.

But I’ve been feeling strong back again over the last few days and I finally decided to go activate our local summit Mt. Ezkaba this morning, despite the 7º C in Pamplona which were 4º C at the summit with a cold breeze from the North.
Here you can see me right after setup, when I was ready to start my activation:

Setup was a 14m long endfed wire hanging from the top of a fishing rod up about 8m a.g.l. as a sloper to a 9:1 unun and a 6m long counterpoise wire layed over some bushes and the grass. The rigs were my usual FT-817ND at 5W with the help of a MFJ-941b antenna tuner. Battery was a 4S2P LiFePo4.

I didn’t alert my activation and before selfspotting, I tried to make S2S with the activators spotted on SOTAwatch at that time. It was about 11h30z and the first S2S of the day came on 40m CW thanks to HB9BAB/P. After this 1st S2S, someone asked me to QSY 1 UP, which I did to find Eric F5JKK who was my 2nd QSO of the day. Eric kindly offered himself to spot me, but I said no, thanks because I wanted to chase other activators for S2S.
So, I QSYed to 40m SSB and managed to S2S with CT2GSN/P and CT2IUV/P.

After these S2S and after having unsuccessfully tried it with HB9ELZ/P on 40m CW due to QSB and with ON4TA/P on 20m SSB due to skip, I decided to QSY and selfspot on 60m CW, where I only logged 4 QSOs (3 EA and 1 DL). After a number of unresponded CQ calls, I QSYed back to 40m CW for a S2S with HB9DST/P and then to 20m SSB for a S2S with DL1CR/P. Not seeing other activators spotted on SOTAwatch, I QSYed to 20m CW, selfspotted and had a good run of 22 QSOs in 20 minutes, being one of these a DX with K4DY and all the others from Europe.
After a number of unresponded CQ calls, I QSYed to 30m CW.

When I was about to start on 10.118, Ignacio EA2BD informed me of a potential S2S just 1Kc down. There I went and materialised the S2S with HB9IIO/P.
After this S2S, I returned to 10.118 and while I was typing on my smartphone for a selfspot, an activator started CQ SOTA right on that frequency. It was HB9CGA/P and I quickly had a new S2S in my log. After this QSO, I QSYed up and found someone calling me on 10.119. I asked QRZ? and it turned out to be G3RDQ, so we made QSO and I decided to selfspot on that frequency, which let me have a good run of 21 QSOs in 27 minutes. When I had already had a number of unresponded CQ calls and I had announced QSY to search for potential S2S, I was called by HA8ZB and we completed QSO.
I remember having picked up a 8ZB earlier in the 20m pileup, but after 3 opportunities, ?8ZB never showed up and I continued with the rest of the pileup. I’m pretty sure it was HA8ZB, so I’m glad he could finally chase me on 30m.

All in all, 56 QSOs, 7 of which were S2S and 1 DX with the USA, after about 1h50 on air and having worked on 20m CW & SSB, 30m, 40m CW & SSB and 60m CW. I feel great now after a very nice time in the mountain and on the air.

Thanks dear chasers and activators for your calls and QSOs.
I’ll be looking forward to copying you all again very soon from a summit.




I could finally hear you this morning, but alas, you couldn’t hear me. :frowning: Look forward to trying many more times. Prayers for a total recovery.
73 Gary


I find the combination of radio and mountains to be amazing at taking all your cares away and, for a brief moment in time at least, normality returns.

Hope to be one of those S2S in the near future when we get out again in the UK.

Kind regards, Mark. M0NOM


I hope to have an S2S or a chase from you Guru soon.


Hi Guru,
Very sorry to hear of your continued medical issue. Keep up the good fight and stay positive my friend!

Thinking of you here in the USA…

73, Brad


I’m really sorry for not having copied you, Gary. I hope there will be a future chance soon.
Take care.



Hello Guru. Very sorry to hear you cancer has returned. I also had colorectal cancer in 2018, so I know a bit of what you are going through. Keep a positive attitude. It helps immensely. I will certainly be praying for a full recovery, and listening for your call on the air.

Ken, W4KAC


Really sorry to hear of your bad news Guru. You worked me when I activated G/NP-028 Rombalds Moor. Our QSO is 15:35 into my video…

I know that I speak for many Activators when I say that we’re looking forward to working you again soon. Hopefully S2S and maybe CW.

73 Chris M0RSF


Keep up the fight, Guru, and keep chasing/ activating as the circumstances allow. It’ll help staying positive.
I hope for a soon recovery and many more QSOs!
73, Roman (3TU)


Hallo Guru

I wish you much strength and all the best for the coming time.
You are an important goat in our herd - we are waiting for you and look forward to seeing you again.

73 Armin


Great therapy for you Guru the Mt Ezkaba activation giving us all in the SOTA Community great hope that you will get through the treatment, go clear and no return this second time.

Sorry I missed you and everyone else today, I was taking care of business and not time for radio until reading your uplifting report this evening. As you know I also had some medical stuff done in the last month which appears at this stage to be a success. I will know more in 2 weeks time.

73 Phil


Hello Guru,
very sorry about your issue. Reading your messages I feel your strong will to overcome this. I wish you a fast recovery with all my power.

73 Ludwig


Hi dear Guru,
very nice to hear you today from this many times activated mountain by you.

Here, the Pamplona team DT - LU - BD will be sending all the energy so that you keep the mood up and sure you soon will overcome this again.
Always a pleasure to join you on air, either chasing DX, EU or having the chance to meet together.

A big hug my friend, 73 de Ignacio


Haĺlo Guru,
it was a great pleasure for me to speak to you S2S today.

I read your report in detail and felt your joy in activating, also in our qso.

In this difficult time, I wish you the motivation for these activities that will make you forget your worries for a few hours.

73 Chris


Inspirational as always Guru. Keep up the excellent work.

As you may know, I’m currently raising awareness and funds for Prostate Cancer UK here by walking at least 11,000 steps every day in the month of March. I’ve been mainly using my “Lockdown Walks” for these days, but by the end of the month, I’m hoping some SOTA activations will have contributed to my step total!

Here’s my March the Month blog if you’re interested:

My very best wishes to you as always dr Guru.


Hi Guru,
I wish you success with your current battle. Amazing result on your last activation. May you continue to give the chasers a target for many decades to come.



Hello Guru, saddened to hear the cancer has returned and you’ve started treatment again… all of us on this reflector wish you best wishes and hope you beat this dreaded disease. I know what you are experiencing as my wife needed 12 months of chemo and has now been in remission for over 12 years!

Take care.

regards Geoff vk3sq


Thank you for the QSO, Guru. Keep fighting, even SOTA is therapy
My best wishes and 73


Indeed, Fabio,
SOTA and nature are soul and body therapy, which is as important as chemo, if not even more.
Looking forward to many more QSOs to come soon.



¡¡¡JODER!!! Bad news. Yesterday I heard you do S2S with @CT2GSN , I told you 4 up but you didn’t listen to me. Then I hunted you in 30m.
Much courage and to defeat cancer.
Un abrazo