In reply to MM0FMF:
I’ll think you’ll find there would be a number of worried people if, as a SOTA activator, you had a record of hitting your alert times and then you don’t show.
Well, what has happened on several occasions when I have been out on my own is that my mobile has rung. When I have answered, I have spoken to a relieved chaser at the other end. In one case, I was running just 30 minutes late. Several of the 2m SSB regulars have my number and keep tabs on my movements. I have also used my mobile to advise of a change of itinerary or an issue that has arisen, both via a chaser and direct via Spotlite.
In my experience, chasers certainly appreciate activators appearing at their alerted times. Indeed, only yesterday the issue of punctuality was mentioned while Paul G4MD and I were doing the round of St Sunday Crag - Fairfield - Seat Sandall and I received thanks from several chasers for us being on air pretty well spot on time. In return, I must applaud the helpfulness of chasers - when I asked for it to be reasonably quick, that’s what I got. It works both ways.
Living so far from the summits, it would be no use whatsoever if we made a guess at what time we might be on the summits. I certainly learnt that the hard way back in 2006 when I was “learning the ropes”. Both Paul and I base our alerts on well considered itineraries which take into account travel times, ascent and descent times (based on a well tried and tested algorithm matched to our abilities), weather and seasonal factors. Adding in a bit of bunce by rounding times up certainly helps and we do not consider this to be a failing. It provides a bit of flexibility for those days when there is an absolute pile up, one of us ends up scratching about for contacts or something as simple as our legs don’t work as well as we expect them to!
While I sympathise with Walt’s original post, nothing in life is guaranteed and SOTA is no exception. Annoying it might be, but that’s just how it is.
73, Gerald G4OIG