2013. december 30.

Last activation of the year

The end of December was quite unexpected WX-wise this year, almost 20°C near Arad is indeed a surprise, but also allowed us for some hiking in the Zarand mountains in like early autumn conditions. Never would have thought that nearing the end of year I can hike in the circumstances as below (doesn't really look as my last YO/EC-145 and YO/EC-123 activation):
Following the red triangle in "mid-winter conditions"
Anyway, following a recap activation of the YO/WC-189 which is practically the same summit as YO/WC-034 I activated earlier this year, but was promoted to a 2 point summit in the meantime, the obvious next target was the highest summit of the Western Zarand mountains, YO/WC-024 (Hegyes) with its 800 meters rising well above the surrounding plains (of about 120m average altitude). Together with my brother started out to the mountain resort of Kaszolya (Căsoaia) at the foots of the summit, near the village of Székesaranyág. There is paved road in very good shape to the resort, from where we get to choose between two trails up to the summit: red triangle and yellow stripe. Both are very well marked, the red triangle following the ridgeline up to the summit, while the yellow stripe follows the valley until right below the summit, then ascends quickly up. We chose the former one (red triangle) just by random, but it turned out to be a good choice as it is the better trail of the two, almost entirely a large easy to follow and easy ascend along the ridgeline. Coming down I decided to check out also the yellow stripe, but that one is a really tough trail even on descent, well at least the last quarter near the summit, where it is very steep, and the trail also many fallen logs across so it is tedious work.
The summit is entirely covered with forest, but is marked with a large stone, so it is easy to find, and has enough room to rise an antenna.
YO/WC-024 summit
There is also another option to access the summit, and my brother was also maniac enough to explore, on can take the yellow triangle road from Solymos to Kaszolya and midway switch to red stripe which also leads up to the summit. It is about 16km long trail, but also very good shape, it took my brother 2 hours to get down on it (of course it is mostly downward, but a nice hike anyway). Here is a map of the two trails: (us going up, and the long way down):
The red triangle trail from Kaszolya to Hegyes (in red) and the red stripe combined with yellow triangle from Hegyes to Solymos (in green)

2013. december 7.

YO/EC-145 and YO/EC-123

End of November brought a chilly but otherwise very nice weather, so it was time for another activation in the Prahova valley. I chose the YO/EC-145 (Clăbucetul Taurului) and YO/EC-123 (Clăbucetul Azuga) near Azuga. The former one has many trails up from Azuga and from Predeal, however we tried another trail up starting from the fishing pond near Azuga, situated right between the to two summits. Initially I wanted to activate both summits in one day, but well I stayed too much on the first one, very good propagation, including my very first VK contact and exceptional panorama, made us to leave the other summit to the next weeked. This in the end proved to be a bad decision as next week the WX was all against us, and while we did manage to get up to the summit, I could barely qualify it using VHF before the intense snowing and the wind practically blew us down the mountain. As usual I have uploaded the photos to the G+ page so I will add here only the track we made both days:
Tracks up and down to YO/EC-145 and YO/EC-123
Looking again I think (especially summer time) they can be both activated in a day starting from the location where we parked and taking the direct route. We came down some alternative trails which had quick descents and then a long walk on the road, but it was just for fun (after we decided to do only one activation per day).