2013. október 20.

YO/EC-312 and YO/MC-035

Yesterday was another great SOTA day, along with two friends first visited YO/EC-312 (Secăria) and Lake Paltinu then on the way back home made also a little detour to YO/MC-035 (Măgura Sultanului).
Secăria hill is situated between the village with the same name and Doftana valley on the western coast of Paltinu lake (a reservoir built on the Doftana river) accessible from the county road connecting Valea Doftanei with Comarnic. Coming from Brașov we took the obvious choice of going trough Comarnic and taking left to the 101S road towards Secăria. We actually found the road quite easily although there were no markings, it is mostly the only road to the left in Comarnic. However it turned out to be not the best choice, as it happened to be under serious working (I'm guessing communal water, maybe) anyway quite hard working even in saturday, andwe had to wait quite a bit and of course a road being digged up was not that easy to drive through. Except this the road to Secăria is in really good shape and hopefully when the working is done it will be a good drive all the way.
Driving along is also quite fun, lots of serpentines going up the ridge, then going down into Secăria village and after that again going up. The YO/EC-312 hill is at the other side of Secăria village, the road reaching it's highest point right under the summit, right next to some cell phone towers. There is also good spot for parking the car (on the photo taken from the summit you can also spot my car if you have good eyes - it's one of those darker pixels):
Phone towers
From there we can take the road going to the right which takes us directly to the summit. The road is actually deserving an old quarry, it even has markings of forbidden access but still it is pretty much a go, nothing much is left there sadly. The road to the summit is an easy 1.3km hike with about 150m altitude difference, so about a half an hour later we were already at the summit. The usual marking for the highest point is a few meters to the right of the road:
Summit stone
Of course a few photos on the summit before getting into action: here are my two companions with Paltinu lake in behind:
Fluky and Make
After the photo session, it was about time for some on the air action, setting up the antenna and turning on the radio. As it turned out there was quite a stir with lot of Jamboree stations in the air, so I had to find some unusual QRG upper in the band (20m) but after a quick self-spot (fortunately the phone towers from down the road were close enough for data connection) the big pile-up formed up almost instantly. I already forgot how good propagations can be on such clear summits. Initially I had quite hard time getting anything out of the madness, so again have to apologize if getting back so slowly to you. But things were calming down ok, except for the wind which was getting ever worse. Here is a pick of my shack on the summit with the antenna which was perfectly vertical so imagine the wind:
High winds bending the antenna
Fortunately the guying hold out firmly, so I had a chance for another big pile-up on 12m as well, I think the band is getting ever better with each activation I'm having, just hope the tendency holds on.
After about two hours on the summit, and running out chasers it was about time to pack, and also I didn't want my friends to wait just for nothing, they were really interested in the beginning, but the cold wind made everyone anxious. So took down the antenna, took some last photos from the summit:
Paltinu lake
Baiului mountains with Secăria in front
After we got down to the car, we headed to the other direction, continuing the road down to Valea Doftanei, and from there towards Câmpina, so we had a chance to visit the Paltinu lake from up close. The lake has some marvelous color, too bad I cannot reproduce it on photos but here are some tries:
Azure lake
The summit from where we came can also be seen (is the last one to the right):
YO/EC-313 seen from the coast of Paltinu lake
 And from a little bit away (it's the furthest behind):
Paltinu lake
 On the coast (which is also a good picnic site) we had some lunch, and also a curious guest:
 The road to Câmpina continues down next to the dam, it's quite impressive view from down below:
Paltinu dam
As we were early in the afternoon, and anyway arriving to Câmpina, we headed out towards east of Câmpina, through Poiana Câmpina and then Provița so we could make another visit to a SOTA summit, making a double activation (I'm getting to like these). This one however is a little bit more adventurous. The road to Provița is excellent in condition, and also from somewhere the middle of the village there is a bridge through the Provița river (also paved) taking us to Plaiu. Of course we first missed out, and only after consulting the GPS managed to get back. Up in Plaiu the paved road continues towards Sultanu but before exiting the village, we have to take right at about the third road. These are not paved any more, and we had to leave the car not too much away from the junction, continuing on foot. The good news is that the road exits from the village and continues along up to the summit. Here is a picture from where we exit the village, the summit is still quite far away:
YO/MC-035 in the distant
 It is bit long hike, about 3km and 350m altitude, took us about an hour walking before reaching the summit:
Up on YO/MC-035
It was a little bit late, so quickly set up, and of course immediately found SV3IEG/p on SV/ST-088 fighting through his pile-up, I also could barely manage to get through with a couple of s2s calls (it was actually another chaser, I think Don, G0RQL who alerted Dinos about me, so many thanks to him as well). After that moved up, and spotted myself to dive in quickly into the pile-up. We were in bit hurry, as the road was quite long and wanted to get to the car before sunset, so after about half an hour I called QRT (no 12m this time, and sorry for any other chaser who did not fit in). We did manage to get down to the car and still in the twilight to have some more adventures towards home. As it turned out we were continuing towards north from Provița instead of going back to Câmpina, to shorten our way to Brașov, however the paved road between Provița and Adunați actually misses itself by a couple of tens of meters, but between them is the river and the old carriage road through the riverbed. Having no other choice we also crossed through the riverbed, wasn't a too big challenge but anyway whoever wants another activation of YO/MC-035 I would advise taking the road from Câmpina and then back. After this intermezzo there was no other problem back home.
Thank you all the chasers for another pleasant SOTA trip, amongst them to S57MS and S52Q having also some multiple activations on their own (caught them both times), SV3IEG (mentioned earlier), DM1LE and DM7MM for the very nice S2S QSOs.

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