The night we spent at 2500m altitude was a true mountain experience - 11 people packed in one small room, and most of us didn't get enough sleep. At 06:00 we were already ready to go - mostly out of boredom since we couldn't sleep anymore anyway. Some of us (YO9IRF, YO6PSX, YO2BP, YO6PIB, HB9DST, YO9IPF) decided to go and activate YO/MC-008 Costila (10p) and the rest (YO2MSB, YO8SEP, PB2T, K2XYL) went ahead to Babele and took the cable car to Busteni, from where they drove to YO/EC-011 Postavaru (8p).
|The path from YO/MC-006 to YO/MC-008, just follow the crest|
The hike to YO/MC-008 is a short one - about one hour, but there are some steeper parts where you need to pay a bit of attention, and we needed to come back to YO/MC-006 in order to get to Babele and then to our cars in Pestera. Heading out there that early in the morning was a bit of a gamble, since we are 3 hours ahead of GMT the chances were the rest of Europe (and our chasers) weren't awake yet, but the weather forecast didn't look good for the day and we had a long hike and drive ahead of us so we had to get going.
|Taking our time on the steep uphill|
Finallly, when we arrive at the summit it starts to rain - cold, depressing, 2500m altitude rain. Paul HB9DST installed his 30m CW lightweight setup and Casaba was giving 20m SSB a try.
|YO/HB9DST/P activating YO/MC-008 - you can see YO/MC-009 in distance|
At Babele we stopped a bit to regroup, and Paul took the chance to have his picture taken next to the Carpathian Sphinx.
|Emblematic natural rock in the Bucegi mountains - the Carpathian Sphinx|
|Zoli YO2BP working CW from YO/EC-241|
|Petronel YO8SEP on YO/EC-241, at the 20m SSB station|
While we were busy with getting the 20m SSB station on the air, Csaba YO6PIB was trying his best at 10m SSB. Once again 10m disappointed, he only managed to get 3 contacts, 2 of them being S2S with the other team on YO/EC-011.
|Csaba YO6PIB trying his best on 10m SSB from YO/EC-241|
|Zoli YO2BP activating YO/EC-252|
|Himalaya camp, in a secluded but beautiful mountain area near Rasnov|
|HB9DST, YO6PIB, YO8SEP and YO9IPF above Poiana Brasov|
For the last day, the plan was to join Paul HB9DST, Zoli YO2BP, Csaba YO6PIB, Petronel YO8SEP and Florin YO9IPF and activate YO/EC-011 and YO/EC-331, while Margreet K2XYL, Hans PB2T, Sorin YO2MSB and Adrian YO6HDF would go on and activate the summits we did the day before. As I was feeling a bit tired after the previous night (=hungover) and had to drive 200km back home the same day, I decided to postone those summits for the winter bonus season and get some more rest.
|Getting right to the top of YO/EC-011|
The rest of the guys went on to YO/EC-011 Postavaru (8p) first:
|Florin YO9IPF trying to blend in|
|HB9DST's antenna overlooking the surroundings|
We managed 998 activator points, about 1100 QSOs and we activated 14 summits from Romania - including 2 virgin ones, in the span of a week. I didn't even count the S2S or chaser points, and we decided not to take part in the current 10m/6m challenge - this many activators also chasing echother from different nearby summits would've been disruptive for everybody else enjoying the competition. We set out to have fun and enjoy the summits and that's what we did, so I consider YO SOTA Marathon 2015 to be a great success.
It took me more than a month to put the story together and it may be that some of the details have been left out - unintentionally, of course. If you took part in the YO SOTA Marathon 2015 - either as an activator, chaser or just a friend that supported us in any way, I give you my personal thanks and please, feel free to fill in any details I might have missed by using the comments section.
Some pictures used in this blog post were provided by HB9DST Paul, PB2T Hans and YO6PSX Silviu. Thank you !