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G/LD-045 - Dent - The Highs And Low Of the Day


#1

Hi all,

After the disaster of two weeks ago when attempting to activate Dent with what turned out to be a damaged antenna, it was nice to venture out at the last moment on a glorious sunny afternoon to play radio.

What an afternoon it turned out to be, with the very first QSO being Barry 2W0IML/P on GW/NW-050 using just the hand-held and rubber duck after hearing him on the calling channel when just 20ft from the summit cairn.

This turned out to be just one of the seventeen S2S QSO’s of the afternoon. The summit was rapidly qualified immediatley upon setting up the antenna by three more S2S’s in succession without even having to call CQ after others had heard my call to Barry saying I would be QRV in 10 minutes.

The first of these was Ron 2E0RWB/P in High Raise G/LD-019, followed very quickly by Neil 2M0NCM/P on GM/SS-283 and Colin G4UXH/P on a WOTA summit.

This was followed by a further three S2S QSO’s with Derek 2E0MIX/P, Rob G4RQJ/P and G8YDC/P.

The best S2S of the day came from Gordon on G/SP-017, despite the whole of the Lake District Fells being well and truly in the way of the path to this summit for 2m FM!

The afternoon was nicely rounded off with a final flurry of seven S2S QSO’s including one with Geoff G4WHA/P who had just managed to complete the 116 Outlying Wainwright Fells as a chaser as part of his activation on Orrest Head, making this a unique double for WOTA, having earleir in the year completed the 214 Wainwrights as a chaser.

I would have said that this was one of the most perfect days that I have had to enjoy an afternoons radio with so many good QSO’s and S2S contacts and friendly banter with passing walkers. However, sadly this was marred by a very rude and aggressive man that decided he didn’t like me playing radio from the fell tops.

After having a very enjoyable time, including chatting with many curious coast to coast walkers etc, it seems that this “local” took a total exception to me being there, even though I had set up well away from the summit cairn in order to limit any inconvenience to other fell users, not detract from the views towards the main Lakeland Fells and to keep the activation low key. Without even so much as a friendly, “hello, can I ask what you are doing” he launched into a complete rant.

Thankfully I am not the sort of person that is easily phased or intimidated by such behaviour, having worked in the construction/engineering industry for 30 years. I also had my two dogs with me, so he kept his distance after my Springer/Collie Cross decided he didn’t like the tone of voice being used.
Other nearby walkers seemed equally stunned at this ourburst and looked on in disbelief.

I have held my licence now for over year and also been on many activations with my partner prior to this within the Lakes, and thankfully have NEVER encountered this type of behaviour before, not even on very busy popular summits.

The land owner has no issues with activators being on this fell and never had any problems activating from here in the past so hopefully this is just a one-off.

Many thanks to everyone worked on Sunday

73

Liz.


#2

In reply to M6EPW:
Hi Liz

Great to get you S2S on Sunday from “virgin” summit, once we found a clear enough channel! 192 Km - not bad for FM!!

Of all the activators that were on down your way you were the only one I could hear. Not sure if the rest were maybe using beams and pointing the wrong way at the time but I admit if I couldn’t hear them in a few minutes then I moved on.

As for you having a toasting from the almighty one - forget it. There are only a very few people that feel that way (or at least let on) about “unusual” activity on “their” hills. I have had a few in the 6 years activating but once they have their rant I just say “thank you for comment and goodbye” and carry on. Like you and most activators, if it is a busy summit I keep out the road on the crowds and keep it low key. I have even done without HF for this reason sometimes. Lonely hills are the best, never see a soul all day and if you do they are usually surprised to see someone rather than get grumpy about it.

It takes all sorts to make a world!!

Hope to get you again soon for another S2S.

Take care

Neil 2M0NCM


#3

In reply to M6EPW:

…this “local” took a total exception to me being there…

Sorry to hear about this Liz. Thankfully this kind of intolerant behaviour is very rare. In 385 unique summits, I have been addressed in a negative manner on just one occasion - on Y Garn GW/NW-004. Hardly a tranquil beauty spot as there were at least a dozen or so people at the summit at the time. The guy (a fell runner who wasn’t stopping on the summit anyway) moaned about the 6 element 70cms beam I had up. I didn’t have to reply - there was a universal chorus against him from everyone that was there! :slight_smile:

Don’t let this experience put you off. Certainly everyone that I met on the summits in the Lakes was friendly and many wanted to see and hear what I was doing.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#4

In reply to M6EPW:
He wasn’t called ‘Wainwright’ was he?

73
David


#5

In reply to G4OIG:
In the light of Liz’s experience, and this seems to be an increasing trend, with reports of encounters with wardens, park rangers and the public, it might be a good idea if the SMT considered the introduction of a maximum summit activation period. One hour maximum would seem to be about right.
Benefits would be:
Much Lower SOTA profile.
Safer for activator in inclement winter conditions.
Harder to qualify hill. (It’s too easy now)
Harder to chase hill. ( " " " " )
The less than one hour period, between first and last log entry, would validate the activation, otherwise invalid, and peace would return to the fells.
73,
Frank


#6

In reply to G3RMD:

Apologies Frank, but that is rather a silly suggestion.

Some activators will still stay longer than an hour, and will either omit some valid QSOs to fit (hence the chasers do not get their confirmation), or will merely make two or more one-hour activations in the database. Either way, nothing is achieved and another unenforceable rule is added to the list …

73 de Les, G3VQO


#7

In reply to G3RMD:
I don’t think more rules are needed Frank.

However I am standing by to read Mike (yyy’s) reply to your suggestion :slight_smile:
73
David


#8

In reply to G3RMD:
Hi Frank,

A couple of points to consider.

I’ve had plenty of pile-ups lasting well over an hour. Then there’s the time to change antennas to be taken into account.

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#9

In reply to G6LKB:

In reply to G3RMD:
I don’t think more rules are needed Frank.

However I am standing by to read Mike (yyy’s) reply to your suggestion
:slight_smile:

Hi David,

I stopped short of suggesting Chasers should be limited to one hour a day also. Lets face it, I like my legs just the way they are ;-)))

73 Mike
2E0YYY


#10

In reply to G3VQO:
Les,
The main consideration behind my ‘silly’ suggestion was to pre-empt a blanket ban on ‘wireless broadcasting’ by one of the national park authorities. There is no doubt that SOTA activations impinge on other park users who are trying to have a quiet walk on the hills, so reducing ones SOTA profile is desirable. I appreciate that administering such a change in the rules would be difficult.
My daughter in law, who is a keen Lakeland fell runner (recently completed all the Eastern fells in one day!)is seeing many more Activators than hitherto. Food for thought?
73,
Frank


#11

In reply to G3RMD:

My daughter in law, who is a keen Lakeland fell runner (recently
completed all the Eastern fells in one day!)is seeing many more
Activators than hitherto. Food for thought?

That’s probably the “WOTA Effect.” People are activating many more summits in the Lake District.

If fell runners, mountain bikers and hang gliders can do their thing on the tops then I don’t see why SOTA/WOTA activators can’t.

Julian G4ILO


#12

In reply to G3RMD:

The impact of high visibility or long stay activations has been discussed amongst the MT. We feel that as section 3.7.3 of the general rules lists the code of conduct including section 6 “Behaviour likely to bring SOTA into disrepute” that this is sufficient enough to ensure this is not a problem.

The MT will act if we think the viability of activating is threatened by inconsiderate activating.

Andy
MM0FMF


#13

In reply to G3RMD:

In reply to G3VQO:
My daughter in law, who is a keen Lakeland fell runner (recently
completed all the Eastern fells in one day!)is seeing many more
Activators than hitherto. Food for thought?
73,
Frank

I’d hazzard a guess that fell running has increased over the years, too, and those who enjoy solitude, or want to observe wildlife, might be annoyed by people running past all the time.

I don’t think SOTA activations are intrinsically more intrusive than any other outdoor activity. Being considerate / tolerant is generally better than making more rules, IMHO.

Adrian


#14

In reply to G4ILO:
and 4x4’s and motorbikes in selected areas ie Walna scar rd and Top 'o Selside etc.
David


#15

In reply to MM0FMF:
Don’t know what other people have experienced, but I’d say my ratio of “interested” or “not bothered” people vs. “actively hostile” is about 100 to 1.

I always take the time to explain what I am doing and nearly without fail I then turn round that 1 in a 100.

Failed with one lady at the weekend on Cadair Berwyn who thought it was a piece of “unnecessary electronic unpleasantness” cluttering up the hill. But she did go away at least saying “each to their own” and bid me a cheerful goodbye.

I think I could probably find 1 out of 100 people who would be “offended” by one of my ties… vive la difference.

73
Gerald
2W0GDA


#16

In reply to MW6AQU:

Failed with one lady at the weekend on Cadair Berwyn who thought it was a piece of “unnecessary electronic unpleasantness” cluttering up the hill.

When I activated Cadair Berwyn back in 2006, I purposely asked the people sitting nearby eating their lunch whether they minded if I set up my station. They all shook their heads and one woman said “where would we be without radio!” If the lady you encountered had twisted her ankle badly or had a fall on the descent, maybe she might have thought better of the “electronic unpleasantness” that helped the MRT rescue her. As my mother often said, some people can’t see further than the end of their nose!

73, Gerald G4OIG


#17

In reply to G4OIG:

I’ve never had unpleasantness, but have had plenty of interested people keen to chat and find out what I’m doing. The best was “are you trying to contact Michael Jackson?”.

Mind you, the GM summits I’ve been on are mostly very quiet and I’m usually on my own - Criffel on a Sunday afternoon is about the busiest I’ve experienced.

73
John GM8OTI


#18

In reply to G4OIG:
Oh the irony of that… I had to go QRT early (and in a hurry) to go and take part in a rescue on a hill about 2km away.

Just FYI, the summit was empty when I arrived, this lady walked up after about 30 minutes, she only stayed a couple of minutes. Just time for a little chat.

Edit: wonder what she made of the rather noisy big yellow Sea King from our friends at RAF Valley that turned up soon after she left!

73
Gerald
2W0GDA


#19

In reply to MW6AQU:

In reply to G4OIG:
Oh the irony of that… I had to go QRT early (and in a hurry) to go
and take part in a rescue on a hill about 2km away.

Just FYI, the summit was empty when I arrived, this lady walked up
after about 30 minutes, she only stayed a couple of minutes. Just
time for a little chat.

Edit: wonder what she made of the rather noisy big yellow Sea King
from our friends at RAF Valley that turned up soon after she left!

73
Gerald
2W0GDA

Not to mention two weeks before Gerald when both of us saw, and in your case, were involved in the MRT incidents in the Lakes at Fairfield ( a collapsed Fell runner) and below Great Gable.

Ironically, that day there were two of those microlight / power paraglider things buzzing about really low across the whole of Butteremere valley and Great Gable in the whole of the time walking up to there and during my activation creating Far more noise than any radio activities.
Almost four hours !

Most people I encounter are interested in what I am doing or ask if I am MRT ! Often the latter are those seeking reasurance that they are on the right summit, seeking directions etc. Scary when you
think about some of places this has happened in the Lakes. Even more scary when those on the C2C ask you that on easy summits at the start of this walk on Dent !

Frank, even Fell Races need radio cover in the Lakes etc. Not to mention other events such as cycle races etc. SOTA and WOTA operators are just a small part of that equation.

I’ve seen a fair number of Fell Runners out and about that would be serious trouble should they ever have a mishap as they carry absolutely nothing with them as well as Joe public. Phone cover may be quite good these days in the Lakes but not that good. There are still plenty if areas with no signal. Relying on just a phone to get you out of trouble is extremely foolhardy.

As for my activation on Sunday, 2 1/2 hours is hardly an excessive time to spend on a summit on a nice sunny afternoon.

Thanks for everyone’s replies. It certainly has not put me off.

73

Liz


#20

In reply to G4OIG:

Work? My dog’s brain operates better than some people’s!

(Present company excepted!)

I’ve only ever had one complaint, years ago from one of the members of the climbing club that I’m in - “That’s not the sort of thing I climb mountains to see!” On the other side, when I was trudging up Moel Eilio a couple of years ago one of the rangers asked me why I was carrying a fishing pole and I finished up expounding on SOTA to him over the next quarter mile, he seemed quite interested and was also a little relieved that I didn’t intend to stay more than an hour as conditions were cold and windy.

73

Brian G8ADD

73

Brian G8ADD