That was “fun”.
Monday 20th March 2017, and Liam had a social event in Congleton 1800-2000z, so I thought I’d do a bit of SOTA PSK from The Cloud G/SP-015. I realised upon parking up that I’d left my coat at home - along with useful items such as hat, gloves, pencil and headtorch which were all in its pockets.
I did have the bothy bag though, which would be good for an extra 5 degrees of warmth while operating, so I decided to go for it anyway. I walked to the summit and set up the SOTAbeams Bandhopper 4 linked dipole, set first for 20m. It was getting a bit chilly outdoors in the breeze without a coat on, but once inside the bothy bag, it was relatively comfortable.
I self-spotted and called CQ for a while on 14.074MHz PSK31, but to no avail. The waterfall was busy with strong signals, so I picked one of them and responded to the CQ call. RW3TT was worked, and the activation could now be deemed to have occurred!
I opened the first set of links, self-spotted again, and called CQ on 10.142MHz PSK31. No response from chasers again, and now no time to move down to 40m either (which may have been a better band for EU). It had only just turned 7pm, but I was mindful of packing away in the dark, descending a very muddy and slippery path in even more dark, and picking Liam up on time.
The packaway went well, though I did concentrate hard on it in rapidly deteriorating light and no torch. The descent was painstakingly slow and I was particularly mindful of the muddy and greasy patches noted on the way up earlier. It was a relief to reach the top of the staircase without slipping over into a huge filthy puddle just before it - as I had done fairly recently! It was a further relief to be at the foot of those stairs and with just a short walk along a vehicle access track back to the car.
I arrived at Liam’s venue at 1950z, so adjourned to the pub next door for a very swift pint of ale. Now, where did I put that coat…?