Essential summit info (for activators)
Target summit: YO/EC-550 "Botușan" - www.sota.org.uk/Summit/YO/EC-550
Our Route: A pretty nice and easy route, with some steep sections. It is advisable to hike it during the cold season because of the multitude of sheepfolds in the area (which are unused during the cold season, starting in november and ending in march-april). The route starts at the bottom of a huge tailings dam and climbs on the dirt road on the right side of the dam. At the top of the tailings reservoir the road takes a right, straight up the forest. After about 1km of steep climb, the trail reaches the grassy meadow and snakes up to the ridge. After another kilometer of fairly easy incline, the last bit of the ascent begins. It's medium-steep but it's very short. The top is barren, all grass, with a wooden cross (that might fall over soon) marking it. On a clear day you can see all the other mountains around, including Rarău (YO/EC-017) with it's big rocks. Check the GPS track here - www.wandermap.net/en/route/3510858-botusan-sota-yoec-550-gps/ .
Summit conditions: Open, grassy, with a large wooden cross marking the top.
We've decided to tackle Botușan (wrongly noted in the SOTA database as Batușan) for its seemingly easy approach. We've left quite late, but Andrei managed to get us at the base of the mountain just in time. Our buddy Marian came along and he was in charge of the food supply and building a fire.
The area was heavily industrialized back in the day, mining of all sorts of materials - including uranium - being the main occupation for many of its people. In the past few years the mines closed down one after the other and the installations were torn apart. Another thing you can see right on the summit are some of the trenches made in the war (visible as a jagged line on the satellite view a few meters north west from the summit).
The climb wasn't that easy, after all, but not too hard either. Luckily it was short enough and, despite some steep gradients, we reached the top in good time. Up on the meadow we've found a stag's horn stuck into the ground. As Marian read later, when one of the horns falls (stags shed them from time to time), the remaining one annoys the stag and so it wants to get rid of it.
Unfortunately, it was a bad day for short wave SSB SOTA. The propagation was horrid, allowing for only a few contacts in 17m (more precisely 5 QSOs between us!). The 20m, on the other hand, while still pretty bad, was massively overrun with contest stations. The entire band was full of them contest calls! When we've finally found a free spot and started calling (with strong QRM nonetheless), we could only hold if for a few minutes. before being pushed out of the way by powerful contest stations. It sucked, but that's life, I guess. We reminded ourself that this is a fun activity and simply hiking is sufficiently rewarding on its own.
Hi, we're a team of hams from Romania. We're into SOTA and other activities. Thanks for stopping by!