SOTA Activation of Montaña Blanca (EA8/LA-005)

View of Montana Blanca during the approachAfter arriving at Lanzarote airport and hiring a car, I made a beeline for this summit. I arrived pretty quickly from the airport (15 minute drive) and parked near a farm at the base of the summit.

The summit gets its name due to its white rock which is quite unusual on this volcanic island, where most summits are made up of red/black volcanic stone.

Here’s the view from the parking spot:

View of Montana Blanca from parking spot

Some quick facts about this activation:

Date: 06/01/2015
Band: 15m SSB
QSOs: 18
Points: 1
Height: 599m (if it was 1m higher it would be 2 points!)
Parking: Near farm at base of summit, there is a track leading up to a transmitter site but you’ll need a 4×4 due to deep gravel/sand.
Highlight: Excellent view and my first summit on EA8
Lowlight: Angry guard dogs with no chain at the farm. I picked up a few rocks in case of anything serious!

The walk to the summit is a car wide track, but as I found out, it’s very difficult to drive up without a 4×4, deep sand and gravel see to this. The walk was quite steep and took about 45 minutes.

The summit has a small antenna farm (UHF) and a wooden cross on top and the views are pretty spectacular:

Cross at the summit of Montana Blanca

Broken mast & UHF antennas at summitThe adjacent hill you can see in the first picture is also a SOTA summit (Guatisea – EA/LA-008) with just a small village in between the two.

I activated the summit on 15m using my SuperStick Vertical, using 10w SSB from the Elecraft KX3. I was happy to use an EA8 prefix for the first time as well, although over the next couple of weeks my EA8/M0JCQ/P would become very familiar, so familiar in fact that I accidently used it during a QSO when I got back England!

The QSO’s

I made 18 contacts in the 30 minutes I was active. The 15m band was suffering from deep QSB, with stations going from 59 to 52 within seconds and back again.

I wanted to make a number of contacts back to the UK, but due to conditions only managed to complete 2 with Don (G6TUH) and Mike (G0RQL), both being quite weak signals.

Here’s my final list of QSO’s:

Time Call Band
14:15z CU3AA 21MHz
14:16z EA2DT 21MHz
14:17z N4EX 21MHz
14:19z OM5DP 21MHz
14:20z DJ5AV 21MHz
14:21z HA3OK 21MHz
14:22z OE6GND 21MHz
14:23z UT5MB 21MHz
14:28z DL1DVE 21MHz
14:29z EA2CKX 21MHz
14:30z EA5AT 21MHz
14:32z OM1AX 21MHz
14:35z EA5KA 21MHz
14:36z OH5XX 21MHz
14:37z OK3KW 21MHz
14:39z G0RQL 21MHz
14:41z G6TUH 21MHz
14:44z EA1YY 21MHz

Conclusion

This summit was the first of 14 on the Canary Islands and the views from up here were spectacular and gave me a good taste of what was to come on Lanzarote, I wasn’t disappointed!

I made a video while on the summit which should give you more of an idea of what its like:

I descended quickly & headed off to my next summit just across the valley to Guatisea (EA8/LA-008):

View over to Guatisea (EA8/LA-008)

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