I got to Cyprus a few weeks ago, but just got on the air yesterday from SOTA peak 5B/CY-002, Madari. We’ll be here for another three years, so I would like to see how many SOTA peaks I can reach on the island.
I’ve been thinking about these peaks since before we arrived, and here’s my very rough assessment of them based on information that I can glean from online sources. Red means “just about impossible” (like a restricted army area), yellow means “no, I’m not willing to dangle from that cliff” (or, at least not yet — there are easier peaks), green means “a doable hike, maybe in the cooler part of the day”, and blue means “looks like you could pretty much drive on”. These assumptions may prove hilariously wrong when I get a look at these sites in person. The purple marker near Nicosia is home and the darker purple marker is the site for the Region 1 field day operation in a couple weeks by the Nicosia Radio Club, 5B4NC.
I haven’t participated in any contests recently as I’ve gotten busy with the move to Cyprus and at work, but a few contests were recently scored and I learned that I did pretty well in the Virginia and Delaware QSO Parties
Every year, a few QSO parties fall on the same day, some large ones including 7th Call Area QSO Party and the New England QSO Party, and some individual state ones like the Indiana QSO Party. And then there is Delaware.
After activating Stony Man (W4V/SH-002), I hopped in the car and drove a bit more south on Skyline Drive to reach the Upper Hawksbill Trail parking area.
The trail up is wide and well-maintain and joins up with a gravel fire road for the last third of the ascent to the summit. At the top, there is a shelter and stone stairs lead to an observation platform that has a stunning view. The total distance in is about a kilometer and a half and elevation gain is about 100m. I had good cellular data service from parking to summit.
I saved two ten-point peaks for a drizzly weekday, hoping that would cut down on the number of visitors I’d run into, but even on an off day, Stony Man and Hawksbill, two of the highest peaks in Shenandoah National Park, were busy.
On the way back to my house from Marsh Hill (W3/WE-001), I stopped at Dan’s Rock. Google Maps got me there with no problem. The site is a graffiti-covered metal staircase to steel observation platform, which overlooks a valley.
Marsh Hill is a very different kind of SOTA site than the ones I’ve been working recently in the Shenandoah Valley — it’s a ski resort. It is at the extreme western edge of my range, working from my house just north of Washington, DC, and it took about three hours to drive out there. When I got out there, I was amazed to see, in the third week of April with outside temperatures in the low 70s F (about 24 C) that there was still a little snow clinging to the slopes.
I activated Pass Mountain (W4V/SH-013) and The Pinnacle (W4V/SH-005, not to be confused with just plain Pinnacle, W4V/SH-019, a never-visited peak) in the same day, and I have one pointer: don’t park in the obvious spot, neither Pass Overlook nor Pinnacle Overlook are near the paths to their respective peaks.