SOTA: 5B/CY-020 (Moutti tou Tragouna)

The drive out to this six-point peak looked very similar after last week’s activation of 5B/CY-026, which is just a bit to the east of this one. Summer days are long enough to attempt both on a single day, but you would need to start early, particularly coming from the eastern side of the island as I am. Both of these summits are not near main roads, so they require more navigation than most 5B summits.

Here’s the buddipole. I did not find any comfortable rocks to perch on, so I just sat on my jacket (which got pretty dusty).

This summit lies in the middle of a network of mountain roads and firebreaks and in principle, it could be approached from either the north or the south. I decided to take the southern approach and did not explore the alternative. For orientation, I have drawn the path I took beginning with the paved road that connects the Kalonomati picnic site to the town of Kampos, just to the south. My GPS proposed an off-road route to the picnic site, so I would suggest using the town as your landmark and plot your approach from there.

Take the pink route to the summit

It is about six and half kilometers from the point that you turn off a paved road to the summit. The roads up are some of the best mountain roads that I’ve driven on: well packed dirt and not so narrow that you feel like the car will plummet over the side at any moment. There are a few places where the road turns back on itself, so stay alert or you will find yourself heading in the wrong direction and need to backtrack.

A roadside sign on the way up.

Eventually, you will come to a final junction. To the left, there is a sign pointing to a fire lookout station and there is a commercial antenna farm to the right. The summit is in the middle of that antenna farm. The final hill to the antenna farm is the steepest hill of all, but doable in a jeep or pick-up truck.

A surprisingly quiet transformer at the antenna site.

A few commercial towers sprout from the plateau at the summit. Power lines run up the road to the summit and there is a large transformer that powers the site, so be careful not to pitch antennas near any of that. I went on dry day and had no noticeable noise from the equipment or powerlines up there.

Hill with microwave dishes on top.

To the side of the antenna towers is a small hill, but I did not set up on it because there are several microwave dishes up there about knee-high and I did not desire to be cooked while activating (or to interrupt signals to those dishes). Instead, I went down the road a bit and set up reasonably far from all the commercial equipment. There are trees to the side of the road, but set back a bit and they are not very tall relative to the height of the road. You could find one to support an end-fed antenna, but I went with my Buddipole in vertical configuration for this outing. A small pine tree to the side of the road agreed to hold the end of my counterpoint wire and I just moved the tripod back and forth as required to get the right counterpoise length.

I started at 30 meters and worked my way down to 2 meters with my FT-817. I managed to hit the reverse beacon network on all bands that I tried, but did not make contacts on all bands. I ended up with 18 QSOs on 20m, 5 on 17m, 4 on 15m, and one on 10m. I operated in CW only on the HF and 6m bands and tried just FM on 2 meters.

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