Essential summit info for activators
Target summit: 6 pointer YO/EC-380 "Runcu Boului" - http://www.sota.org.uk/Summit/YO/EC-380
Our Route: From Paltinu we drove on a gravel road up the mountain within "striking" distance. For me, with a broken leg and crutches, that's a few hundred meters. Check the map.
GPS Track: http://www.wandermap.net/en/route/3531616-runcu-boului-yoec-380/
(download the track by clicking on "Export GPS data").
GSM coverage: Exceptional. There are several GSM antenna towers on the top, which can give you some QRM. In 14 MHz was OKish, even though "there were noises coming from the darkness, strange, like a whisper".
Summit conditions: Open, grassy, with some scattered trees and hay-barn-thingies. Not much shade nor wind cover.
Other info: Safe from bears and apparently there's not much grazing either. Easily accessible by car with some careful driving required.
Being one of the easiest SOTA peaks and given my broken ankle, we thought of it as my get-back-in-the-game summit. That's a bit optimistic, since I'm a long way from being recovered and probably another 4 months or more from my first un-aided summit (which will be an easy one, no doubt). Moreover, soon I'm getting under the knife again, so this was my last chance for a summit in the immediate future. It turns out I was lucky: the grass was freshly mown and so my crutches didn't get stuck at every step. The distance from the car to the top was around 450 meters, which I covered in reasonable time.
Radio-wise it was pretty chaotic, with the IOTA contest going on and the people who kept mistaken our SOTA activation for a IOTA contest station. We bagged a few contacts each (I got 9, Andrei got 12), all in 14 MHz, and call it a day. Back home my foot was swollen and ached, but I was satisfied.
Essential info for activators
Area code, name and location: YOFF-0263 "Fagetul Dragomirna" Padurea Patrauti - Natura 2000 site number ROSCI 0075, near the Dragomirna Monastery, Suceava.
Access: The area is accessible by car and there are several entry points. The roads, although gravel, are well maintained and usable by any type of car (except maybe Formula 1). You can set up at one of the several convenient wooden bench-and-table halting places (two of them are at the Dragomirna or Patrauti entry points).
I coerced Marian to drive me to the activation spot. We've left Suceava around 10AM and by 11AM, with Marian's help, the rig setup was complete. Being my first FF activation and not being sure of the proceedings, I didn't announce it on the WWFF site, which showed. At first I called several minutes without any response, then tried to chase some random stations just to get a feel of how my antenna-station-location marriage worked. No success. I resumed CQ-ing and finally, after some 15 minutes, someone answered and I received a reassuring 59. I kept calling for about 2 hours and managed to bag 30 contacts in total. I made a sked contact with Andrei YO8SSQ, but the distance between us being about 15 km and in an unfavorable position, he could barely hear me. He gave me a signal report of 34 and I gave him 53. I only installed the 14 MHz antenna for this activation. We've packed and left around 1:30 PM and got home around 2 PM. Good weather, even if a bit hot for my taste.
Hi, we're a team of hams from Romania. We're into SOTA and other activities. Thanks for stopping by!