So I finally arrived to this magic number. After almost 5 years of hiking to summits with some radio gear, today had the chance to reach a first psychological limit that will now make me think on closing in on MG, a goal which seemed very very far far away back in 2010 when I first put my foot on summit (and came back without any points because the lack of interest in the activity back then).
I had this one planning the whole week, I even invited a bunch of people to join me, and the plan was to make it more interesting to go to YO/EC-145 starting from Azuga, then descend to Predeal and it time permits climb to YO/EC-241 to reach the 100th activation. I bagged both summits last year (or a year and month) so they are not new, it was just the long hiking route that made it a real nice crowning of the day.
I will not describe the route as detailed now, as I had done so already after my previous activations, I just want to share some photos taken along my hike.
An yes it was my hike, as it turned out that even though I was expecting a few guys joining me, it turned out that they might have got scared from the 1cm fresh snow that fell the day before, or just couldn't get up at that early hour. Yes it was indeed early, as planning a longer route I decided on taking a train to Azuga, and the only one suitable was leaving Brassó at 6:20 in the morning. My friends just can't get up that early. Barely could myself, but at least I had in my mind the possibility of the centennial activation, so I was at the station still in the dark, and a bit disappointed by the completely overcast sky.
Fortunately by the time I reached Azuga the clouds started moving around giving hope of improving weather. Opposed to last time, I was taking the more direct approach to the summit, the trail marked with blue triangle starting just a couple of hundred meters from Azuga train station. This trail goes up to the summit, along the ridge and down to Predeál, exactly the route I had in my mind, so it was a natural choice. And the trail marking is excellent, it was very easy to follow even with the fresh snow layer from the day before.
So I set out in solo, treading the snow with no other footprints (well this was expected after the yesterday snowing and the early hour). Soon after I started the sun finally break through the clouds, enforcing once again my expectation of good weather for today.
Except when it is freezing out there. And unfortunately it was. I was just a bit too early on the summit (one and half hour hike instead of the expected 2 hours), but still too early anyway, and it was very very cold. The sun was getting out of the clouds, but I recon it still needed an hour to warm up the weather to a pleasant atmosphere.
So in full clothes, with everything on me, I built up the station and started calling. Not to many takers this early, but fortunate enough for 2 s2s contacts. And afraid it was just to early for VK, I was really hoping to catch an LP window, but again I think I should have come an hour later. It would have been much warmer and probably in time for the window.
I was really glad when back at ski slope finally had an outstanding view over Predeal.
This time I erected the antenna right in the middle of the summit, which I avoided last time because all the motorcycles crossing by, well now it wasn't any danger of that and the snow was the same everywhere
I stayed until the pileup completely went away and even after that gave enough time of CQ-ing for any late comers. Much better weather than in the morning.
Still after silence for a while, and when the colors of the forest started to mimic the one from the morning
Oh, and as I usually give the track for the summits (but already have given for these from the last time), I just put here the whole route for today
So thanks again to all the chaser from this 100 time, and let's meet on the waves for the next 100 and many many more.