Essential summit info (for activators)
Target summit: YO/EC-537 "Bîtca Neagră" - www.sota.org.uk/Summit/YO/EC-537
Our Route: Easy route in the summer, medium in the winters. Track length 5km total (both ways), on and off trails. GPS track here: www.wandermap.net/en/route/3509790-bitca-neagra-sota-yoec-537-gps/ (or directly from the links below, in GPX or KML format).
Summit conditions: Forested, thicket, with a narrow trail on top. Still, there's enough room to set up.
We've left town at around 9:35 AM and got to Rarău at around 11:15 AM, where we've met with Adi, Tatiana, Cătălin, Ghiță and Silviu. Adi YO8AZQ and Tatiana YO8SST were coming with us, so we picked them up and drove to our trail's starting place, while Ghiță YO8SFS and Cătălin YO8SFF went on to activate Rarău (YO/EC-017).
The trail seemed easy at first, but the snow was very deep and we had no snowshoes. Sometimes I'd go up to my butt in snow. It wasn't powder either, so each new step meant breaking the crust, which, on half of the cases, wasn't strong enough to hold us. Whenever we encountered this type of conditions we struggled badly, sweat dripping all over us. Luckily there were about three sections with the stuff, while the rest of the way had easier medium-deep snow. Adi and Tatiana started later, to allow us to gain some distance, so they could chase us from the trail below once we reached the top. We used the snow to convey messages to them, such as the direction and time. Later they would call us and tell us how far behind they were.
Once at the top, after a final stretch of deep snow and steep gradient, we broken the crust and laid the tent sheet. Setting up took a bit longer, the space was crammed. We started in 70cm and made the S2S contacts with the guys from Rarău, then switched to 2m where we talked to Sebi YO8SSH and Corneliu YO8SCV. After we could not hear any more stations we started working in 17m and 20m. Adi and Tatiana left first, while we stayed behind and called for another 30 minutes or so.
The cold and the apparent bad radio conditions made us pack up after about 1 hour. Compared to last time, only a fraction of contacts could be made today. The hike on the way back was much easier since the path was already trodden.
Thank you for reading & chasing us!
Hi, we're a team of hams from Romania. We're into SOTA and other activities. Thanks for stopping by!