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Activators beware!


Thanks for the details of your ascents and I admire your stamina/enthusiasm which meant that you actually left the vehicle to go up Broad Law (even if you later regretted it!) Your picture of the path down reminded me of a visit to Hoy in our pre radio days when the slight snag was that we were looking for a campsite at the time!! I’m glad we have grown up since then! Lovely to hear you up on the hills again and thank you for the S2S - keep up the good work.
73 Viki M6BWA


Get well soon! Thanks for sharing your story.


I think sheer madness is nearer the mark Viki. Actually I don’t regret the experience as I am well versed in what Scotland can throw at you and for me it was an opportunity for one more outing on the hills. However, I do feel bad about dragging Paul up there when it should have been obvious from the weather at the parking spot that an HF activation wasn’t really practical. I have offered to go back with him when the sun is shining.

Thanks Steve. Thankfully I am feeling a lot better than before all this started.

73 both, Gerald G4OIG


Just read your post Gerald. Speedy recovery and best wishes to you!
Mike NS1TA

PS I see now that Gerald’s heart attack was in July. Im a bit late on this… however, still wish to convey my best wishes and happy to hear of the excellent medical treatment he received.


Many thanks Mike. It was great to work you again in the last NA<>EU S2S event.

The Phase 1 recovery is complete. Awaiting Phase 2, but I am still climbing the hills whenever I can get out as you can see. I still have a target to aim for - Ben Nevis GM/WS-001 in autumn 2018, depending of course upon when I actually have the surgery. There are loads more summits to activate up in Scotland, so I don’t aim to hang my boots up any time just yet. :grinning:

73, Gerald G4OIG


That’s great news A speedy recovery, my friend!


That’s the spirit Gerald! I look forward to working you on Ben Nevis!


Hi Viki,

Funnily the walk up wasn’t too bad, and the walk out was actually quite enjoyable, what with paths in full spate to marvel at and the like. What tipped the balance for me was taking my backpack off on the summit and discovering that the force of the rain hitting my waterproof was still enough to sting my back. With that all desire to indulge in playing radio evaporated :-s

Thought I’d hate myself for wimping out, but I’m actually quite looking forward to the re-visit. Though I won’t insist on dragging Gerald up there again unless he’s really keen to go!

73 de Paul G4MD


The juggernaut rumbles on… Alerts posted for 28th/29th/30th Dec.

Wx looks like it might be “interesting” so may be some variation in summits/times to suit local conditions… will post any changes as and when they occur!

Really looking forward to being out again hope to catch loads of you :slight_smile:

73 de Paul G4MD


Hi Gerald,

All points noted, yes we do not know what we do not know. I am pleased you received excellent NHS treatment and the appropriate treatment is being given.

As a Christmas aside:

In October I ascended and activated Snowdon GW/NW-001 from Penypass via the PYG track. As I ascended, I passed a number of groups of walkers and the further I went the more the WX deteriorated with wintery showers lashing down the valley. I reached the summit and set up a VHF only station, worked about 20 chasers and packed up the kit. As In descended towards the mountain rail station I was hailed…

“What were you doing on the summit?”. I explained my business “Ah yes”, came the reply, “We use VHF radio equipment”. I added that perhaps I was getting too old for this activity with 22lb on my back.

“Well not sure about that”, was the reply, “you flashed passed us on the ascent path, and we are Royal Marines!”

Your warnings are duly noted Gerald
G0EVV (69 minus 2wk)

Keep smiling


Just put your super careful hats on.

I’d be reticent about going anywhere near a windfarm in WX like this when you get large ice build up on the blades. Especially after the snow last night and the cold at my moderate altitude. Shards of ice weighing 10’s of Kg coming off blades whizzing round are going to travel some distance and do some injury should they hit though it doesn’t look to be too windy. Also Blackcraig has some wonderful bogs on the top. If you’re lucky they’ll be frozen and there’ll be no snow covering them and so they wont be an issue. Anything flat covered with snow should be well prodded before walking over it.

The road to the Afton Reservoir will be fun if untreated.

Have plenty of plan-B hills ready.


Many thanks for the comments David. I am really looking forward to getting out on Thursday and hopefully all will be okay once again. In readiness for the outing I have been keeping the local paths “aired” over the holiday period as the weather has allowed.

73, Gerald G4OIG


Well Andy was right - plenty of gloopy bog overlain by a thin (or in some cases thick!) veneer of snow. Also treacherously slippy ice on some of the steeper parts :-s I am however pleased to be able to report we survived :slight_smile:

Apologies for only doing 60m (me) and 2m (Gerald) but conditions on the summit were less than hospitable and a quick exit was deemed to be the sensible course of action. Many thanks to those we did work who sent heartwarming messages of support and encouragement :blush:
MWIS says persistent whiteout conditions on the Southern Uplands hills tomorrow, so although we’ll review the latest information in the morning we may not be out - watch this space…

73 de Paul G4MD


Thanks for another new one, Paul.

I was hoping for some s2s in the next day or two but Snowdonia looks pretty treacherous at present so our trip will probably exercise the drinking arm more than the legs.
Very best wishes for a succe4ssful trip; take care.


I was on Tinto because it’s easy to get to by road and easy when the WX is bad. I needed 4wd to get over one section of road that wasn’t treated that saves about 5miles from the trip. I didn’t come home that way! The whole ascent was covered in ice. After 500m I put the Grivel Spiders on and powered to the top but it still took 30mins longer than normal due to the conditions. The summit was in a thin wrapping of mist. I had the folding 2m Yagi for a 2m SSB S2S and completion but after 50mins on HF in the cold and wind I packed up and came back. With the strong wind I reckon the temp somewhere between -5 and -10. Despite the coolness of such a contact I was just too cold to contemplate it, sorry. At the bottom, there had been a nasty crash exiting the Tinto road, a Fiesta sized car was installed in the side of a tractor. with lots of police cars and 2 ambulances, nasty.

View from a very cold and windy Tinto near the top.

Nearly back at the car. It was so much colder out of the sun!

I think your WX may have been better and so were your ground conditions.


God bless you Gerald. Keep getting better - I hope to catch you on some summit in the future - when bands get a little better. 73, KD6L


We had an average of 15cm of snow on the top and the thermometer around my neck was reading minus 1.6C when I was huddled down behind my tarp. The wind was running at 20 - 25 mph, so I didn’t stay exposed for long. Goodness knows what the temperature was with the windchill.

I completely lost the feeling in both hands while operating and was unable to disconnect some of the BNCs, so some of the kit was packed away still connected up in the backpack. The decision not to activate on HF was a combination of me having cold hands which would have meant a slow set up and probably bad keying, together with the need to descend on the iced up track. Apologies to anyone waiting for me to appear on 20m CW. It actually took us 2 hours to get back to the car and it was dark when we got there.

All in all a successful and reasonably enjoyable activation - I know, I need to be committed! I had no issues with my health and no indigestion so far this trip - that in itself is an improvement!

It looks like we have a “rest day” today courtesy of the weather, but we aim to be on a summit tomorrow on our way back home. It will probably be wet, so it might be another monoband activation. Will have to see how it goes.

73, Gerald G4OIG


Hi Andy,

Great shame we missed the s2s - Brian ADD (who knows my habits and was waiting for me to come up on 5.3715, 5.4035 and 5.3985 already being in use - thanks Brian very much appreciated!) said I’d missed you by a few minutes. Hope to catch you again before too long.

73 de Paul G4MD


Well we’ll never know for certain whether conditions on the hills actually got as bad as forecast and warranted the cancellation of today’s activation… we did however have a pleasant morning exploring the Burns Birthplace Museum at Alloway, thanks to a tip from Neil, 2M0NCM. (Thanks Neil!) Then took a trip out to the starting point for tomorrow’s target, Windy Standard, to spy out the prospects.

The road up Glen Afton to the waterworks is in reasonable condition, and the forecast isn’t too horrendous if you neglect the wind so given that a good part of the walk is on the road built to service the new windfarm we’re planning to give it a go. Hope to catch some of you around 1100 tomorrow if we make it!

73 de Paul G4MD


You’re very welcome Rod many thanks for the chase :slight_smile:

Hope you manage to get out in the end. Enjoy the trip whatever, perhaps catch you tomorrow!

Be careful out there,

73 de Paul G4MD