Essential summit info
Target summit: YO/EC-576 "Cota 1071" - http://www.sota.org.uk/Summit/YO/EC-388
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/ .
The route is marked as a touristic path by red crosses (white squares with red crosses painted on them). Map and downloadable GPS track here: http://www.wandermap.net/en/route/3505200-cota-1071-sota-yoec-576/ . At the top, the path blends in with the ridge trail marked on the trees by a blue vertical line over a white square (which goes all the way to another summit, YO/EC-584).
Summit conditions: Wooded, mixed beech and pine trees, but with plenty of space to set-up radio equipment. Plenty of shade too. Can be done regardless of season. No authorization required (Jan 2017).
Activation Date: 21 Jan 2017
ETA on summit: 1500 UTC
I'm in my PJs as I write this. Today we're going to tackle Cota 1071, an easy 6 point summit in the Eastern Carpathians. Yesterday we made plans for two other summits, but it fell through, so Cota 1071 is our back-up plan. We we're supposed to go to Rarău (YO/EC-017) at YO8AZQ's shack, but he's got a cold and, to his dismay, we decided to leave him home to recover.
Today's gonna be different. From our SOTA group there are going to be three summits activated today (or four!) and we'll try doing it in Summit 2 Summit style. Because one group is going to Ceahlau, which is a tougher climb, the sked time is set quite late in the day. Late means cold. Also, the 20m band will be closing up, so we'll try making the S2S contacts on 70cm instead. Or in 2m. Ideally, by the time they land on the summit we already made our activation in 20m.
So this is the layout:
1) YO8SSQ/P and YO8SBR/P (my brother and I) we'll be on YO/EC-576
2) YO8SSH/P and YO8SDF/P are going to YO/EC-527
3) YO8SDE/P and YO8SJD/P are going to YO/EC-055 (ETA 14:30 UTC) and YO/EC-005 (later)
It should be interesting. Keep in mind that 14:30 UTC means 16:30 local. The main issue here is the cold, especially for the people waiting. If I was to give a prognosis I'd say that we'll probably be making only the first S2S contact with the 3rd group. Waiting in the cold is not much fun and between the summits there's a one hour hike. So, I guess, we'll be chasing them for their 2nd activation - if it happens at all - from a less inhospitable place.
UPDATE: The ascent took us about an hour. We climbed at the edge of the forest, even though there was a tourist path marked by red crosses about 100m to our left, as we later found out. During the climb we got attacked by big, unattended and quite aggressive shepherd's dogs. The trekking poles and pepper spray saved the day. Once on the summit, we unpacked the gear and deployed the antenna for the 20m band. Made a few contacts on 2m and then switched to 20m, but most frequencies were occupied by contest stations. Even so, and with strong QRM, we managed to make some nice QSOs. Before 14:30 UTC we packed the 20m equipment and were on stand-by for the S2S contacts. First we heard and made QSOs with YO8SSH/P and YO8SDF/P from YO/EC-527 and later, at 15:00 UTC, with YO8SDE/P from YO/EC-055. Fifteen minutes later we made contact with YO8SJD/P and then we started the descent. This time we took the marked path and avoided the loud barking dogs. On our way back home, helped by APRS, we met up with YO8SSH and YO8SDF and stopped to successfully chase YO8SDE/P on his second summit activation attempt, YO/EC-005.
Yaesu FT-857D + vertical dipole on a 7m fishing rod for 20m band + 12V & 12Ah SLA
Motorola GP300 + dipole for 2m band
Baofeng UV-3R+ for 2m and 70cm bands
Hi, we're a team of hams from Romania. We're into SOTA and other activities. Thanks for stopping by!