For my last SOTA activation while living in Cyprus, I decided to go back to the first peak I activated, but approach it differently. The first time, I took the foot trail to the west of the peak, this time I took the road to the east of the peak. Both got the job done, and it’s really a matter of taste as to which one is best.
The gravel road towards the peak leads up from the parking lot and ends at a fenced commercial site (Cyta) with a large antenna. There is no good place to park at the top since it’s essentially single lane at that point, so I would not bring a car up the road – it is not too far to walk from the parking lot.
To get to the peak, it is necessary to walk around the facility’s fence and there is some room to do so, but not a lot. If you don’t like heights, skirting the edge of the hill along the fence is probably not for you. On the other hand, what are you doing on a mountain top if this is the case?
Once around to the other side of the fence, the hill continues upwards. Near the peak is a smaller fenced area sporting various warning signs. The fence surrounds some sort of optical equipment, which seems to be pointing west, but looks articulated, so perhaps it changes directions. There are some heavy cables that run up the hill from the communications stations to this installation, probably power. I stayed away from both.
I set up my Buddipole tripod just a bit down the hill from that device such that my antenna was above the crest of the hill. On the previous activation, I was on the other side of the hill, working on the sloping side of the mountain and I did not manage to get the antenna up that high.
One concern that I had was that I was activating right next to a radio tower which included microwave antennas. Looking at the antenna from the SOTA activation point, I was not in the path of any of these dishes, so I don’t think I was illuminated by microwave RF. I can’t say that I had radio interference beyond the usual background on Cyprus peaks.
There were some convenient bushes around to hold my equipoise wire, so I worked some bands using a vertical configuration with single radial a bit over a meter off the ground. I had a late start and propagation not great, so I was happy with 18 QSOs.