Sunday, January 16, 2022

TF-019 Rojar activation 22nd November 2021

 An easy and accessible summit but busy with other climbers

This is a brief account of my SOTA activation of this summit, with a few tips that may help aspiring activators!

Rojar is situated on the coast overlooking the sea and beach.  As it was so close to where we were staying it was an obvious summit to activate, although only worth 1 SOTA point.

Parking is easy in a large car park off the coastal road just under the summit.  Alternatively from Tejita you can walk along the beach and start the ascent from there.  The ascent is along well used footpaths and the summit can be clearly seen - just keep walking up!

There is plenty of space on the summit, but as it was so busy I struggled to find a discreet place to set up my antenna.  Walkers were staying on the summit for 10-15 minutes or more, enjoying the view with their packed lunches!  In the end I found a spot on the sea side of the summit, just out of view of the trig marker where most people went. A metal caged Solar Panel provided a useful anchor point for one end of my dipole with a bungee cord.

 


I did not fully extend my Sota pole, but used a few sections to give it a little bit of extra height in the middle.


 I dropped an SMS to Andy EA8/GM6ZAK who was holidaying on the island and we had a quick 2M FM QSO to start the activation.  Unfortunately 70cm did not work for us, so I proceeded to self spot and started calling CQ SOTA on 20m.  I managed 8 further QSOs the furthest of which was with Italy.  As with all activations on Tenerife I was using my FT 817, 5 Watts. 

Friday, January 14, 2022

Friday 19th November 2021: TF-014 Roque de Jama

 Straightforward summit worth 4 SOTA points, not much room at the top

This is a brief account of my SOTA activation of this summit, with a few tips that may help aspiring activators!

The Summit is accessible from the village of Roque with plenty pf parking available (Main road is the TF565).

 

From the village I walked along the minor road Westwards until I found the access path between two houses.  It is not signposted, but I was guided by the picture on DF6XP's very useful report of this activation.  The house has been spruced up a bit since DF6XP's picture in 2017 - Access is to the left where the white car is.


From here the summit is visible but the footpath is not clear - I ended up making my haphazard way to the top, zig zagging and clambering over rocks.  It is not too challenging, just needs a little persistence!  The terrain is rocky and covered with prickly pear cactus, so I was glad I had my long trousers on.



The summit's peak is very narrow/pointed and only accessible by rock climbers, but there is a useful flat ledge just below that is suitable for activation.  The hill sides either side of the ledge
are steep, so there was no ground spaceto anchor my inverted V elements.  I did try extending my Sotapole, but was concerned it could roll off the hill if too clumsy!   I was careful to keep hold of water bottles, connectors etc for fear they would cascade down the hill!

I found suitable rocks to string my Dipole between and propped it up in the middle as high as I dared.

 




I dropped an SMS message to EA8/GM6ZAK who was holidaying on the island and we had a quick chat on 2m and 70cm FM to get the activation off to a start.  I decided to just try 20m SSB, and after a self spot managed a further 10 unique QSOs.

Happy with the morning's activation I descended the summit, trying (and broadly failing) to plot an easy route down.

Just one final activation the following week: TF019 Rojar


Monday, January 10, 2022

Thursday 18th November 2021: TF-006 Colorados de Chinoia

Challenging summit worth 10 SOTA points, but a failed activation.

This is a brief account of my (failed) SOTA activation of this summit, with a few tips that may help aspiring activators!

There is a good car park and information centre near the junction of TF-38 and TF-21.  I followed the low path that runs parallel with the TF-38 over a fascinating range of terrains, through volcanic rock and scrubland.



After about 1.5 km the summit rises to the left of this path.  I climbed up through partially burned trees over loose ground - the climb is fairly hard going with no clear path to the top.  I got fairly close to the summit and access is certainly possible, but the mist was becoming thicker and I decided it was wise to make my way back downhill.

 

This was my second climb of the day - when I return I will make this the first one when energy levels and natural light are higher!

Next activation: TF-014 Roque de Jama

 

ZS/WC-058 Lion's Head 1st Dec 2022

  A steep climb rewarded with views across Cape Town (1 point) We parked on the road near the start of the sign marked footpath.  An alterna...