Essential summit info
Target summit: YO/EC-388 "Ghirileu" - http://www.sota.org.uk/Summit/YO/EC-576
Our Route: Moderate to steep gradient, 2km long, 340 meters altitude difference from bottom to top, through mixed wooded and exposed areas. The trail at the bottom is tough, both muddy and rocky at the same time, gets better with altitude. Check the map and GPS track here: http://www.wandermap.net/en/route/3505826-ghirileu-sota-yoec-388/ .
Summit conditions: Partly wooded, some pine trees and shrubs, with plenty of space to set-up radio equipment. Can be done regardless of season. No authorization required (Jan 2017).
Today we (YO8SBR & YO8SSQ) activated Ghirileu. The weather was pretty good, sunny and a couple of degrees over freezing. Without checking our location on the GPS we parked the car near a wooden bridge, changed our clothes and started on our way. Something didn't feel right, though. A brief glance at the GPS and it was all clear: we were 5 kilometers downstream from the entry point, on a different bridge. We got back into the car and drove to the right spot.
Immediately the climb gets pretty steep. The trail itself is sketchy, with ice, mud and boulders hidden under a layer of snow. The peak is just 2 kilometers away, yet we take it easy. Still, I overheat quickly and have to discard some layers before I can continue. The hot weather (~2 degrees C) is a nice change, though. We spot a fox, but nothing else. At the top we find a large tree stump and decide to use it as a table. Bad idea, because the position is very uncomfortable (our feet fall asleep .zZ .zZ several times).
First we make two S2S QSOs on 145.500 and then I focus on 14MHz. There are plenty of stations in 20m and I spend a few minutes to find a quiet frequency. A few calls and the pile-up is on. Weirdly enough, many of the stations quickly lose interest and leave before we can make contact. Still, there are a lot of people calling and I log an entire sheet without much effort. I'm glad to make contacts with the "usual suspects" again, a group of chasers which are always there, listening. Then I step aside and give YO8SSQ a chance to "doodle" on his blank sheet. Meanwhile I check the 145.500 and make a couple more contacts there. Then a S2S from France in 20m. At the end of the hour, we log about 60+ QSOs between us. The battery is almost dead and the cold starts creeping in. We pack and head home. Down at the bottom, while crossing the bridge we spot a great egret fishing in the freezing water. We think it's a very unusual time and place for an egret...
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Hi, we're a team of hams from Romania. We're into SOTA and other activities. Thanks for stopping by!