SOTA: 5B-CY/026 (Moutti tou Chareri)

The operating position — in the shade.

It took me a couple years to get around to activating this four point peak because I was not sure of how to reach it. It is most of the way west on the island, but but closer to Nicosia than many of the sites further south because it can be reached via the A9/B9 highway that runs just south of the green zone rather than by driving around the entire of the island on the coastal highway.

Topomaps is your friend for this one rather than anything I’ve seen from aerial photography like GoogleMaps. There are two ways of coming at the peak, leaving the highway at A (35.111380N, 32.703503W) or Z (35.101873N, 32.685073W).

Since I was coming from the east, I encountered A first. It comes up suddenly since the slope on both sides of the road is very steep up to that point. As the road climbs, it turns a corner and at that corner there is a pull off with a sign for Syrmeni, a non-SOTA peak, on one side. The pull off would be a great place to park or to have a snack before embarking on dirt road A.

The parking spot across the highway from trailhead A.
The view across the highway towards the start of trail A.

After this point, the highway dips down. The path from A to the summit (blue route) is a lot shorter (about 8 km) than from Z to the summit (red route, about 15 km), but Z may be a more gradual slope. I checked both of them out because when I first looked at A, I noticed a Do Not Enter sign to the side of the road. I thought perhaps the roads were a loop with traffic in one direction, but entrance Z has the same sign. I will add anecdotally that when I got to entrance Z, a bunch of people drove from that road towards the highway, and they were in an ordinary private pickup truck, so I am not sure how much those Do Not Enter signs are enforced. I will say that it would be long hike if one did not take a vehicle, but it could be done from entrance A if you started early enough.

Here’s the other end of the trail.

I entered at entrance A and the road itself was in good shape, but narrow and with no sort of guard rail. There are a few places where it would be possible for cars to pass each other, but most places it would not be a good idea.

Whichever path you take A or Z, the final path to the summit is the same. There are two choices: either the yellow path or the brown path. The yellow path comes off the main dirt road at a very sharp angle and follows a steeper but shorter path towards the summit. This road is in good shape. There is a wide area in the road near the start of the brown path and the brown path is overgrown and looks like it has not been used in a while. Nonetheless, it is easy to follow the remnants of wheel ruts and an off road vehicle could attempt this route if it didn’t mind being buffeted by brush from below and tree limbs to each side. This path has a bit of up and down and the first hill that you come to is bald, flat, and nearly as high as the summit. I am not sure it’s in the activation zone, and it’s not too much further to the summit, so I would recommend pushing on.

Zoomed in view of the possible ways to the summit from the main trail.

The yellow and brown paths make a loop at the base of the summit and another path takes off towards the north at that junction. I did not explore that way further, but it looked like it was in good condition. Standing at the junction, the summit is small hill with another ten or fifteen meter height. You can get the best look at the summit from the North, but I recommend scaling it from the south. There were a lot of slippery pine needles, so I found a climbing pole helpful.

View of the summit from the northern trail spur.

I am happy to report that there are some antenna-friendly pine trees at the summit and they did a great job holding up my end-fed antenna, so you do not led to lug a mast or other self-supporting antenna. There was a bit of noise on HF despite the remote location, more pronounced on 10m. I worked 26 stations, six of them on 10m (Romania, Czechia, Slovenia, Germany, Ukraine, and Norway). Of these, I was particularly happy to reach LA9XGA/P for my first summit-to-summit on 10m operating from Cyprus. The 10m contacts sounded very strong and my guess is that this was some June sporadic E activity.

A panorama at the summit

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