SOTA 5B/CY-024: Karramoudi

This a four-point peak about an hour and forty-five minute drive from Nicosia. There are a few other peaks “in the neighborhood”, so if one wanted to string together some activations, it looks like CY-030 is about 25 minutes away, then a 40 minute rite to CY-031, and then another 25 minutes to CY-029, all of which look like they have road or trail access near their peaks. However, it was a hot day, and I decided to put my time in at one peak and try a few bands rather than rush around.

It bears saying that there is a right way and a wrong way to reach this peak. Like many peaks, a bulldozer has carved a wide fire break road straight up. I initially approached from the east side and tried it in my Toyota Landcruiser — nope. It is just too steep towards the top. Even in four-wheel drive with a bit of momentum I could not make it.

Take the yellow, not the red route.

The right way to do this is to approach from Agios Ioannis to the west. Town roads give way to dirt roads, but they are in good condition and wind their way up to the peak. I took the car most of the way up and found a wide area to pull over and did the last bit on foot.

The firebreak road runs right over the peak. Off to one side, somewhat buried in rubble is a nondescript trig point. On the side of the road there are some bushes, the tallest of which is about 4 meters. In the morning, they provide a bit of shade, but are not much help in terms of elevating an antenna, so bring a pole of some sort.

I brought my Buddipole and set it up near the trig point. I had some difficulty with the banana leads falling out on both the central adapter and coils, but managed it with some tape — still, it is an annoyance. Today the BuddiPole was somewhat cooperative. It took a while to tune on 20m, but I found the sweet spot pretty quickly on 17m and 30m.

I was definitely hearing better than being heard on this activation, perhaps due to higher peaks to the north and west. In particular, I heard a Bulgarian SOTA station working one call after another on 20m, where I had just a trickle. Perhaps they were running more power or were just that much closer to other European stations to be within the skip. In any event, it turned out to be a reasonable activation, with six contacts on 20m, eleven on 17m, and one on 30m, as well as one S2S contact on 17m with F5HTR/P.

Click to enlarge panorama

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