In the second morning at the Tara pension in Ranca the restaurant personnel already got used to our early morning routine, so the restaurant was already opened a bit earlier and the kitchen was already fired up. We had a long drive ahead before getting to our next target, so we wanted to be on the way as soon as possible. Crossing the Transalpina road for the 4th time in 3 days, we met these guys just sitting in the middle of the road:
|Donkeys begging for some food, just by the road|
By the time we got close to Sibiu we already got hungry again, and we had to stop for some food - especially since we had a long hike ahead of us.
|Csaba and Hans enjoying the local beans & smoked ribs soup, in bread|
|Transfagarasan - considered by british motoring show Top Gear "the best road in the world"|
|The Mountain Goats now lead the attack|
|Snow in August on the way to YO/MC-007|
|Petronel YO8SEP found a place where he could rest|
|Hans PB2T enthusiastic about getting read of the steep rocky slope|
We are above 2400m and the view from here is superb, this is the region that concentrates most of the 10-point summits:
The last part to the summit is the most technical (and dangerous) and me, Sorin YO2MSB and Margreet K2XYL decide no to risk it, specially since I wasn't trusting my Trimberland boots' grip anymore (not really made for mountain climbing). The rest of the guys went ahead:
|Fresh Mountain Goat Csaba YO6PIB can't be stopped ...|
|... and he conquers YO/MC-007|
|A few mountain flowers and a few SOTA activators|
|View of the Balea Lake, where our cars are parked|
|The basins where they grow fish, at Albota|
|Just hungry people waiting for food|
On Thursday we were supposed to arrive in the small touristic town of Busteni and pick up two other activators on the way. First of them, Adrian (Adi) YO6HDF, joined us as we passed trough the city of Fagaras. Me YO9IRF, Zoli YO2BP, Csaba YO6PIB, Silviu YO6PSX and Petronel YO8SEP went a bit ahead because we needed to purchase a few more things for the upcoming 2 days, while the rest of the group visited Adrian at his home in Fagaras.
|Adrian YO6HDF and Sorin YO2MSB|
Adrian wanted to join us last year in the Marathon as well, but he caught a bad cold just a few days earlier and couldn't come. He was so sorry he couldn't come that he decided this year he won't miss it no matter what.
In the meantime, the rest of us got a bit ahead, and after waiting in the traffic for a few tens of minutes we got to Busteni. The plan was to take the cable car to the Babele plateau in the Bucegi mountains and there to activate YO/MC-008 Bucsoiu (10p), YO/MC-006 (10p) and YO/MC-009 Costila (10p). Whaen we arrived at the cable car, guess what:
|People waiting in line to take the cable car to Babele|
Florin YO9IPF was also on the way to meet us and while he was stuck in traffic we updated him on our options. While on the way to Pestera the rain started and we were a bit worried about the next two days we were supposed to spend above 2000m altitude, but once we got close to the destination the weather cleared. It proved to be a good choice, since the waiting time at the cable car from Pestera was less than 15 minutes, and once Florin YO9IPF caught up with us we were up on the plateau pretty fast.
In the meantime, the rest of the group who was behind caught a lucky break - Adrian YO6HDF knew somebody at the cable car in Busteni who understood the importance of our activities and put them on a "priority transport", so they managed to arrive at the first summit YO/MC-009 about 2h ahead of us.
|The first part of our group, on YO/MC-009|
We managed to get our chaser contacts and hurried up to get up on the summit as well, while they were moving to the next one, YO/MC-006. When we arrived the weather was looking much worse, although we didn't get any rain.
|Installing HF equipment on YO/MC-009|
Yes, that is a 80m tall broadcast tower; in the past it was used for low-VHF TV retranslation with 20-50kW output power and it was guarded by a military unit. Now it's guarded just by fences and it's power has been severely reduced, but it's till enough to mess with a Baofeng's RX side when nearby.
|Silviu is still sick with the selfie virus|
|Florin YO9IPF and Csaba YO6PIB at YO/MC-009|
|Paper logging, still a good choice for SOTA|
Once we were done with Costila YO/MC-009, the other team was already arriving at Omu YO/MC-006, the tallest permanently inhabitated point in the country and the place where we were supposed to be accomodated for the night. We got the S2S contacts via VHF and then we left to catch up with them - the hike was around 1.5h and we wanted to get there before it gets dark (and really cold, at these altitudes).
|On the way from YO/MC-009 to YO/MC-006|
|All the YO SOTA Marathon 2015 team on one summit|
|Petronel YO8SEP and Csaba YO6PIB activating from YO/MC-006 at night|
Next part: YO SOTA Marathon 2015 - the story IV
Some pictures used in this blog post were provided by HB9DST Paul, PB2T Hans and YO6PSX Silviu. Thank you !