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The rare Mt. Larrondoa EA2/NV-010

Motivation
As explained in this other article, this activation was part of my 2021 Pyrenees mini tour (3 days only, hi!):

Day 2: Mt. Larrondoa, EA2/NV-010

Mt. Larrondoa is just aside Mt. Kartxela, that I hiked the previous day…

There is no reason why this mountain is a rare and less activated one, but Its large rounded shape and minor height compared to the near Mt. Katxela makes this summit less visited.

Activation date: July 21st 2021

Climb

I decided to start the hike exactly at the same place that I did for Mt. Kartxela. From this point the route is a bit long but easy, as the first part is a no difficult and easy walk.

I started a bit earlier as I knew it would take me more time to reach today’s summit.

  • Track length (one way) is 6,7 km
  • Elevation gain: about 325 m.
  • Max. elevation: 1705 m.

See how the summit looks like at the start to the trail and notice the planned route, that passes all along under Mt. Kartxela basement following the line of trees:

This was the profile of the hike, flat at fisrt then progressive:

The hike took me about 2 hours 20 minutes, and I arrived in the summit at around 08:00 utc.

Here some pictures taken during the ascent. It was nice to see a different view of Kartxela from underneath:

Deviating out the path to avoid a bad collision:

Deviating under, further onwards:

Destination at sight. Final approach: right, left and right up!

This is the very summit. In the background,from left to right, EA2/NV-006 Otsogorrigaina, EA2/NV-007 Barazea and EA2/NV-004 Kartxela.

Activation

Again I carried my light gear: LNR MTR-3B, 3 x LiIon 18650 batt, EFHW triband antenna and the VHF handheld Kenwood TH-F7.

First I ran VHF FM with the handheld and got a S2S qso with EA2EWC, activating EA2/HU-073: well done Pablo!

After a few qso, I installed HF. The summit is very large, flat and grassy. I put my EFHW the way I use to do, inverted vee, with a single cord in the pole forming a triangle with the 3 ends over ground. This way, with no wind as it was the case, I didn’t need to fix the base of the pole at all.

I operated for about 1 hour 10 minutes and closed my log with 43 qso, including S2S with IK2LEY, DL/OE6FEG, HB9CBR, HB9AFI, HB9DST and F5PLR. Thanks everybody.

This time I just operated in VHF, and 10-14 MHz CW. It was on my return and log upload that I found I was the first ever HF CW activation of this summit.

The sun was shining hard, and temperature was very hot. I decided to go QRT to return soon before I had any sunburnt.
I left the summit and saw how long the way back to the car would be!

Once I reached the line of trees I made a stop under a good shade for a celebration party, to drink and have a boost for my legs! (no comercial influence intended):

Large groups of cows were there and again I had to do some detours to avoid any surprise:

It was that hot that I found a water stream and soaked my baseball cap to have some relief.

I arrived safe and sound and got back to the camping for a meal.

Historical tip of the day

When I was at the camping site of Zuriza, I found in a near forest an old bunker well hidden.

This machine gun position belongs to the “P line”, a defensive fortification system built by Franco, the Nationalist dictator in the 1940 to 50’s decade.

Their target was to defend the Spanish frontier to avoid any army invasion from the mountain passes with France.

They planned to build defensive points for the 500 km border. Some 4000 units were built but it seems that they were only partially finished and not put to service completely.

Glad to see today this thing is not needed at all nowadays, and contrary to what happen in some other parts of the world, we can leave in peace and welcome visitors that want to admire nature and enjoy life in this beautiful land.

Goodbye Pyrenees, looking forward to get back here soon!
73 de Ignacio

16 Likes

A great report and congratulations on the activation. :slight_smile:

Great report and photos Ignacio, thanks.

73 de Geoff vk3sq

Brilliant report Ignacio!
Congratulations on the activation. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, and for the history lesson.

73, Fraser