YO SOTA Marathon 2016

Dear friends,
After two successfull editions, the Romanian SOTA Marathon launches today the next challenge for this year: the YO SOTA Marathon 2016 that will be held on the second part of August, starting on 15th (monday) and running for 6 days. The activators will have a list of 18 summits to activate, 3 of them for each day of the Marathon, with a maximum of 128 points to win. This year we will focus on the beautiful sightseeings of the Moldavian mountains (YO/EC), with summits up to 2000m height and most of them covered with forests or with alpine pastures. There will be two focus areas with 3 days of activations each one, first of them around Vatra Dornei and second around Bicaz lake. The summits will be close to each other daily, and the tracks from the car parkings will not exceed 2km in lenght.
With the help of our constant sponsor, the Romanian Radioclub Association (ARR), we will try to identify in the next period a hotel/guest house for each focus area, to obtain infos about tracks from locals, and may even be possible to have guides in some days (not sure yet). All areas of activation are well covered in close proximity with good restaurants (the Moldavian cuisine is famous!). The activators must come with their own cars, off-road vehicles are preferred. The final details will be decided at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2016, hoping to have a presentation event @ SOTA Conference.
Activators abroad interested in our Marathon are very welcomed, we have already a request from an Austrian team to join us. A detailed presentation of the Marathon made in Powerpoint is available on request using my e-mail: yo2msb@gmail.com. Or we can discuss face-to-face at Friedrichshafen, both at the SOTA Conference or at the daily meeting near the QSL Wall.
I will update this topic each time a new decision will be taken. The deadline for registration to participate in the Marathon will be 15th of July, 2016.


I will be there, of course. If anyone else from UK/London area wants to join, let me know so we can plan the trip together.

Stories on previous editions as well as a document showing the summits being considered for this year can be found on the YO SOTA Marathon page on my blog.

Razvan YO9IRF/M0HZH.

The YO SOTA Marathon 2016 is about to begin. In two weeks from now we will start the 3rd edition, which this year will take place in the Eastern Carpathians YO/EC. Initial plans were unchanged after the official presentation of the Marathon that took place in the ARR/EURAO stands at Friedrichshafen Ham Radio 2016. The bookings of the rooms in guest houses in the vicinity of the activation area were already made and the activators of the team are expected in the evening of Sunday, 14th of August for the initial briefing. Starting from August 15th we wait you daily in frequencies for 6 days to participate as chasers in our Marathon.

Yesterday was a very tough first day of the YO SOTA Marathon, with three summits near the city of Campulung Moldovenesc: YO/EC-336, YO/EC-318 and YO/EC-297, with a 1200m total elevation difference and a lot of kilometers to hike, more than expected. The main team consists of Sorin YO2MSB, Petrica YO9RIJ, Razvan YO9IRF, Csaba YO6PIB and Florin YO9IPF splitted in two teams. We found here another two hams wanting to activate in SOTA, so we can consider a third team composed by Adrian YO8AZQ and Iulian YO8SJD. Everybody is OK in the end of the day and looking forward for other summits. The weather was perfect yesterday, with only 15 mins of rain and a lot of sun, temperatures perfect for activate. From left to right on image below: YO6PIB, YO2MSB, YO9IRF, YO9IPF.

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That pile up on one summit was a lovely one and so what the your signals to me.
But as the pile up died off, so did your signals failed to get through, oh well.

But did reach YO2SJD/p YO/EC-560. My problem being at moment beyond 2000 km this time of year is hit and miss. Perhaps a quick one on 15m afterwards as some times can;t hear on 20m and comes up on 15m.

But either way thanks for the challenge as it can bring a lot of YO summits in one small period of time.

Day two were listening for you guys and may the propagation smile upon us.

Karl M3FEH

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Second day of the Marathon was an easier one, with only two summits due to the pain in everyone’s feet after first day. So, we activate on YO/EC-017 and YO/EC-527 and we had a very pleasant evening together with a group of local hams, eating goulasch and drinking a lot of natural water filtered through different fruits, hi! In the image below is YO9RIJ activating on 017.

Thanks to Petrica YO9RIJ for the S2S yesterday with me on Römerstein DM/BW-078 and Petrica on YO/EC-527 - I just caught the spot as I was packing up!

73 Ed DD5LP

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Third day of the Marathon began later than expected and with some changes due to fences with barbed wire blocking the access to summits. Well… sometimes it happens, you know what.
So, after activating YO/EC-555 we chose to go to YO/EC-018 that wasn’t planned before. A good move with good results. In the evening the rain was above us, and the forecast doesn’t look good. It is possible that tomorrow evening we could end the Marathon if the WX remains as predicted, with showers on Friday and Saturday.

The fourth day of the Marathon began with a fail to activate YO/EC-596 due to countless forestry roads ending suddenly in the middle of a large area of dense bushes and young trees. It was quite impossible to penetrate through the summit. Well, in fact this was the main problem here in YO/EC: even if you have a lot of summits to activate, a lot of them will remain unactivated due to a very difficult access in the area. The second problem: all these mountains are full of bears and they are NOT friendly with tourists.
Going back to our Marathon, we did activate with success YO/EC-593 and YO/EC-628. Petrica YO9RIJ was forced to leave the team yesterday evening due to some family emergencies, so today we made a single team with four activators. In the following image you can see the team activating on 593.

Friday was the fifth and the last day of our YO SOTA Marathon 2016. Going back home we were splitted again in two teams. I worked on top of YO/EC-154 and the other guys travelled to YO/EC-569 and after to YO/EC-133.
In the end we had a good Marathon with a lot of summits activated, a lot of points earned and a lot of funny stories to tell after. The weather was amazing for us in a week with daily announces for red-code-warnings for heavy rain.
Tnx to all the chasers that have worked with us, we had a lot of good pile-ups. Sorry if we didn’t hear some of them due to QRM sometimes. Tnx to ARR (The Romanian Radioclub Association) for their strong logistic support and tnx also to the DORNA DX GROUP and his passionate hams for support and their warm welcome in Bucovina. My personal tnx goes to all the members of the YO SOTA Marathon team for joining me in this one-week-adventure along the YO/EC mountains, it was a pleasure to activate with you all.

It’s the time to make an official announce: the new YO SOTA Marathon will be held in YO/WC, most probable in August 2017. Until then, 73 & GL in SOTA!

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