SOTA: Cruz de Gala (EA8/TF-007)

The operating site at the end of the road.

Over the Christmas and New Year holidays, my family rented an airbnb house in Icod de los Viños, a rural town along the northern coast of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. During that week, I reacquainted myself with driving a manual transmission car on steep, narrow roads that wind around the island’s volcanic peaks.

Cruz de Gala is a ten point peak (thirteen with winter bonus!) located about halfway between where we were staying and the touristy beach resorts no the southwest corner of the island. A small, well-maintained road diverts from TF-82 and leads to a parking area with a scenic overlook. Beyond the parking lot, the road is marked “authorized vehicles only”, but the road itself continues just about to the top.

A sign next to the parking spot gives some background about the area.

At the top of the mountain, there are a couple commercial antenna installations, but the if you keep going to the very end of the road, there’s an open area that gives about a 270 degree view, only blocked by the antennas to the east. From here, you can see neighboring Gomera Island to the west.

If I’m reading that sign right, this area is also used for training dogs. We didn’t see any.

A chain link fence around the commercial antenna site served as a useful support from my Sotabeams telescoping antenna, requiring just a bit of duct tape to hold in place. I draped the lower end of my end-fed antenna in some trees just to the side of the path. There are some higher trees on the summit, and I think these would also have served well enough had I not brought an antenna support with me.

Lara spent some time sketching the landscape while I played radio. My antella pole is taped to the corner of the fence at right.

I made 24 contacts that afternoon, all on 20m; 21 cw, and 3 ssb. I did try 40m, but the band was mostly quiet. I also gave 2m FM a quick try, but heard nothing. While the HF bands were quiet, I did hear some background noise, perhaps from the nearby antennas, on 2m.

Countries contacted included: Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Finland,  Germany, Italy,  Netherlands, Northern Ireland,   Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and USA.

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