Berreaga SOTA EA2/BI-062

Today I was alone. No son (Oier), no mate (Marcial). So, it was the day to make a new SOTA alone. That mean I might use the motorbike to move.. Unfortunately, bad weather was predicted. 

Anyway, thinking on something easy enough, not far from Bilbao, I chose Berreaga, a 364 m. high summit very close to Bilbao. Nice road, and short path (just half an hour) to climb. And a new one for me. 

I thought it was full of trees, so I prepared just my basic sota pack. FT-817, CW keyer, mike (that thing that I normaly use to tune the antenna), 7ah plumb batt, 8 m. long wire and Fusch tuner. Enough to be on the air from 10 to 24 mhz. I didn't know there was a nice CW contest... Thank we already have WARC bands to live!

The 85 y.o. man and his son on the hide box
All set up. I was on biker dresses soon. Just 30 min later, I was at the last houses before the path begins. This was not exactly where my GPS said to be, but close enough to gain the summit. Well, both summits. eh... where is the mountaineer box? No trace!

More that 20 min later and already on the search, I met a group that, apparently knew where it was. Thanks God! was pretty well hidden between trees, and 10 min away from the path, normally used to cross along some more summits near. The group was great, a couple (of 85 and 82 y.o.) and his son (in his 40s...) The couple had been done 85% of the summits of Bizkaia, and only have pending 20 summits of all Euskal Herria to hike! (of more than 400, up to 2500 m!) So nice history! 

Well, some photos, and quick setup for 144 mhz. I was able to make S2S with Antonio EC2AG/1 from Burgos, and a handful of locals with the 817 rubber antenna.

Then, I started to setup the hf wire, at a small clear zone, by throwing a piece of rope over the trees until I had the antenna almost vertical. 

The funny thing was that weather predictions were absolutly wrong. No trace of clouds, and due to the dense forest, any wind. I think I were at more than 16-18 deg. That's comfort!

Bike clothes are not the best for hiking!
Peacefuly, I made some QSO's on 10 mhz, with no strong signals, where I met Marcial EA2BDS/1, who has the opportunity of activating a never activated before summit at Burgos, Mirador EA1/BU-075. This has been my first S2S with him, as we usually do SOTA together.

Later, I noticed that there were no choice of using 14 mhz. Was full of contesters. No place for poor QRP SOTA stations today...

So, I drive slowly to 24 mhz. Very fast QSB and weird propagation... just on the same minute I made QSO with Matt VK2DAG and another station from 9A... 

And the clouds started appearing... So I decided to dismount the rig, as I might walk the path down and take the bike back to Bilbao hopping not to be caught by the rain on the trip. It was time to left!.
Operating positon, not very large, but warm!

Just another funny SOTA day (except for the search of the "lost" summit!)

73 de Mikel EA2CW