SOTA: 5B/CY-025 (Moutti tou Dia)

This four-point peak is about an hour’s drive from Nicosia. I had planned to visit peaks 32 and 40 on the same outing, but dropped the last one because conditions were so good that I spend quite a while on the first two. GPS driving instructions will get you to the point that a gravel road branches off westward from route E101. That road then winds around a bit between farms and houses and gradually climbs upward towards the peak. At one point, which is seen nicely on the OpenTopo map, the road forks. Actually, the two ends of the fork are connected by road so it is a loop, but that connecting segment is relatively steep, so I would recommend just taking the upper branch in and out.

At the end of the upper fork is a small plateau, which is perfect for parking and picnics, with view towards Mount Olympus (5B/CY-001) to the north and Limassol to the south.

Looking back towards the upper fork from the parking site, the trailhead is at that last turn.

There is no road above the peak, but there are some faded tire marks just behind plateau. A narrow dirt path winds up from there, but it is definitely not a maintained trail, more of a wildlife trail or just a place that water runs off. That trail winds back and forth with some discontinuities. The hill itself was terraced in ancient times, with stone walls still in place. The terracing is not maintained and no farming is taking place on the levels today.

You have to squint a little and pretend that there is a trail there. It is more obvious at some points than others.

It is relatively easy to talk along a terrace as it winds around the mountain and I did spend a bit of time trying to see if the terraces wind up the mountain; I did not detect any upward pitch as I walked along them and in any event, at points they are overgrown and essentially impassable.

One of the stone walls that holds a terrace in place and prevents erosion.

I returned to the path up from my parking spot and realized when I looked back down the path that it would be a harder descent than ascent due to the loose, gravelly rock. I was about halfway up the remaining at that point, but the trail only got steep ahead, so I decided to go back to the car and get climbing poles. I slid a bit on the way back, but not too badly and was glad to have the poles along for the remainder of the trip.

With the help of the poles, I was able to get almost to the top, but the trail petered out and I did not feel comfortable bushwacking up the remainder of the hill through thorny plants that I have come to know so well. Instead, I moved laterally towards a relatively large tree within the activation zone and threw a mason line over it with a coke bottle.

The Russian Districts contest was running this weekend, so I expected 20m to be fairly busy on CW. Consequently, I had modified my two 40/20/10 end-fed antennas with half-wave wires cut to 30m and 17m. I hauled one up, and then the other, working 12 contacts on 30m and another 33 on 17m. Although I was on the side rather than the top of the summit, I had a clear view towards the northwest, so a good shot into most of Europe.

This site was initially activated by 5B/SQ9MDF/P, so I was the second activator here, but I can claim to be the first to activate the site on the WARC bands. Furthermore, I had what I think was my first ever summit-to-mobile contact (TNX DF4TD/M).

This purple-leaved plant reminded me a peacock.

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