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g4yss: g/ld3, ld22, ld7 & ld10,17-09-10


#1

G4YSS Activation Report: HELVELLYN, SEAT SANDAL, FAIRFIELD, & ST. SUNDAY CRAG.
SOTA’s: G/LD-003, G/LD-022, G/LD-007 & G/LD-010.

FT817ND QRP, 80m CW/SSB 40m CW & 4m FM.
G4YSS Using GX0OOO/P.
Times: BST (UTC = 1) UOS.
Mobile phone coverage on all tops except LD7. (Orange network).

The Patterdale Round.
This is a very efficient way to amass significant SOTA points in one day, normally in the Winter bonus period. Over the years, I have activated this round several times with 2m FM and with both QRP and QRO HF gear, last year adding LD37 prior to and LD8 afterwards. Having been up a couple of times from Thirlmere, walking friend William wanted to try Helvellyn from the east. He has always had a fascination for Helvellyn’s two edges; Striding and Swirrall. Will had also been on Fairfield but the two ‘SS’s‘ namely Seat Sandal and St.Sunday Crag were both on his wanted list.

Our walk had been planned a few months ago giving plenty of time for a bit of training and thoughts about what equipment to take. Despite all the good intentions no real preparation took place apart from a few well separated SOTA sorties and occasional walks to Scarborough carrying the ‘Jack-Pack.’ With this in mind, I couldn’t stomach QRO HF, going instead for QRP. In addition to the guilt this caused me; it being less than popular with many chasers, it meant that thoughts of using Top Band were more or less out of the question.

3.5 MHz with 5W would be challenge enough but that was the band decided upon mainly for reasons of speed mixed with tradition. To 80m could be added a favourite of mine, namely 4m-FM. Early and late, 80m was expected to perform. Around midday it might not. If it didn‘t, 40m would have to substitute for it.

With 12 miles to walk, 5K of ascent and 250 miles to drive, summit time would have to be strictly limited to around 90 minutes. When you add the miscellany of small operations required for each activation plus antenna erection and dismantling, it ties up almost 2 hours for four summits. So as to remove any temptation of wasting valuable minutes and the efforts of chasers trying to get 160m QSO’s that were never going to happen, I removed the Top Band loading coils from the rucksack.

After the debacle during June’s Pillar, Kirk Fell & Gt.Gable expedition, Will’s XYL has banned him taking the dog on any but the most benign summits!

EXECUTION:
Will arrived at my house early and we left Scarborough at 02:55, arriving at the Patterdale Hotel Pay & Display car park (£3.50) by 05:35. This was the first time I have used this car park, traditionally parking up the lane which runs from the main road to the start of the path to the Hole-in-the-Wall. Someone in ‘authority’ has seen fit to get serious about banning parking there, adding some unsightly and slightly officious notices. As far as I can see, no problem need be caused by parking in the lane, so long as people are sensible in keeping close to the edge. The change adds an extra mile and 100 feet of ascent to the round.

The path out of Patterdale pre-dawn at 06:00 was not immediately obvious until a minor search around the rear of the hotel with a torch revealed it.

It was daylight in no time then we saw the sun at around 7am. The climb up to the Hole in the Wall did seem quite slow and I panicked a bit when it was realised that we were going to be later on the air than announced. I was torn between guiding Will up Swirrall Edge; a feature with which he was unfamiliar or ‘taking off’ for the summit to get the aerial up. In the end we separated just before Red Tarn but it was a while before the phone worked well enough to give the new ETA to Roy, G4SSH. On reaching the trig point I was shocked to see that the LD3 ascent had taken the better part of 2 ½ hours against a more usual time of around 95 to 110 minutes from the old parking spot. Part of the problem was down to the parking change which had added 15 minutes but we could not afford further lost time.

  1. HELVELLYN, G/LD-003, 950m, 10 pts, 08:25 to 09:58. Wind 25 mph, 3 deg C, low-cloud. LOC: IO84LM, WAB: NY31.

80m CW (LD3) - 19 QSO‘s:
3.532 now has a beacon on it. Roy suggested a QRG of 3.558 and he was first in the log after giving me a report of 339. 19 chasers were worked in all on here. Representing Europe were: F6CEL, F5SQA and DJ5AV, far fewer overseas stations than last March, though it was later in the day. EI2CL sneaked in too. I heard Frid DL1FU call but despite spending several minutes trying to get back to him, disappointingly we did not make a QSO this time.

The rest were G’s both close-in and far away and all the Scarborough lads made it. RST’s in response to my mouse power ranged from 339 to 579 and even 599 from G4CPA near Skipton. I wasn’t sure whether Bill G4WSB worked me twice (07:49z and 08:20z) or the later QSO was actually John G4WSX. Maybe someone can clear up this mystery?

80m SSB (LD3) - 10 QSO‘s:
3.724 was quiet and MM0USU answered my CQ with a 47 report. After Andy came G3RMD, G0RQL, G4WSB, G8ADD, G0TRB, Carolyn G6WRW, M0COP, G4OOE Nick and ‘long time no hear’ John GW4BVE. 33 to 58 was the incoming report range. Bill G4WSB made doubly sure of it on here.

4m FM (LD3) - 4 QSO‘s:
One CQ using 3.5W from the IC-E90 with its extended 2m duck and counterpoise on 70.450 FM got me Mike G4BLH, Geoff G4WHA/M, John G0TDM and John MW1FGQ.

The preferred route to Seat Sandal saves time by cutting out Dollywaggon Pike, leaving the path at NY 3434 1320 and going cross-country via rock fields, a stream and over tussocky grass, at NY 3418 1262. From the 574m col at NY 3438 1208 where stand old steel fence posts, Seat Sandal can be climbed quite quickly by means of a narrow path at the left hand side of the wall.

In keeping with normal practice Will left LD3 early. I caught him up at the path leaving point and he followed me down the rough stuff while questioning the wisdom of our actions. That is until later in the day when he was able to see from Fairfield just how much walking we had saved and the steepness of the zig-zag path down Dollywagon Pike to the tarn. He joined me on LD22 a few QSO’s into the action.

  1. SEAT SANDAL, G/LD-022, 736m, 6 pts, 11:10 to 12:58. 9 deg C. Sunshine. 10 mph wind. Grassy top with a wall, a cairn & good views. LOC: IO84LL. WAB: NY31.

80m CW (LD22) - 3 QSO‘s:
With good Orange phone coverage, I was able to use G4SSH’s brilliant ‘Fone-a-Spot’ service. Roy suggested an adjustment to 3.556 to avoid some QRM but after working him along with G0NUP and G4OOE (229 reports) there was evidence enough that the old D-layer had ’cut-in.’

When Will arrived I moved a big stone for him to sit on, not noticing that it had trapped my RG316 all but severing it. The rig went even quieter than an absorptive 80m usually sounds but I did not immediately see why because this coax is a similar colour to dry grass. I phoned through notification of a 10 minute delay while the damage was fixed using a penknife and some self-amalgamating tape. Despite restoration of a proper VSWR, no further CQ’s on 80 were answered.

80m SSB (LD22) - Nil QSO‘s:
If CW couldn’t do the job, 5W of SSB would be unlikely to. Nevertheless a few calls went out on 3.724 but to no avail. With 3 QSO’s in the log almost an hour after arriving, something would have to change and that was the band.

40m CW (LD22) - 22 QSO‘s:
40 proved to be much livelier than 80. One call on 7.032 brought in a vigilant Dan F5SQA. Once spotted a steady stream followed: F, SM, HB9, PA, SK, G, DL, S51 & OK. Fritz DL4FDM brought greetings and Frid DL1FU made it through this time. Responses to my 5W on here were much more favourable with 559 being common. As far as I remember here occurred the only S2S of the day. This was with Alain F6ENO/P on F/JU-087. A memorable SOTA ref. which brings to mind an aircraft of WW2. Some of the QRM on the bands sounds like one of these! Thanks for the QSO, Alain.

4m FM (LD22) - 4 QSO‘s:
One CQ from the IC-E90 on 70.450 FM got a quick response which is often the case on here. If not, I don’t think I could include it as it’s always a post-HF afterthought. Mike G4BLH, Alex G7RNX, Geoff G4WHA/M & John G0TDM entered the LD22 4m log.

The final part of the climb down Seat Sandal on the Fairfield side is steep, rocky & loose. The route to LD7 follows a zig-zag path also over loose stones which is a ‘bit of a pull‘. I passed Will in the col talking to some Scarborough people. Always on the lookout for saving time, I got myself asap to Fairfield’s summit shelter for photos, later backing off to a quieter place to set up.

  1. FAIRFIELD, G/LD-007, 837m, 8 pts, 13:43 to 15:08. 12 deg C. 15 mph wind. Sunshine. LOC: IO84ML. WAB: NY31. Approx 20 walkers on this summit.

40m CW (LD7) - 15 QSO‘s:
7.032 was thrang but 033 seemed clear. Uncharacteristically it took 10 minutes of CQ’s to get noticed on 7.033. Admittedly everybody’s attention was with .032. Eventually I was ‘found’ by LA1ENA and Aage kindly put a spot on for me. This brought in the other chasers: PA, G, HB9, OK, DL, F, S51, LA, SM & SK. Conditions were not as good as previously on LD22. Many incoming reports were 229 with the better reports coming from G‘s.

80m CW (LD7) - 3 QSO‘s:
There was very little life in 3.558 at this time of day but I did get G stations in the log. Reports were terrible and the struggle was real. Further CQ’s got me no further forward.

80m SSB (LD7) - Nil QSO‘s:
What more is there to say. 80 was all but closed but I did try.

A Visitor:
A lady with a curious expression and a bizarre pair of heart shaped, yellow framed sunglasses sidled up to the station. ‘I know you must have been asked this question many times before, but……………? Thankfully it was Will who gave out the well rehearsed screed leaving me to carry on with the activation undisturbed.

4m FM (LD7) - 6 QSO‘s:
True to form John MW1FGQ was again logged at 59, though my RS had reduced to 53 on this one. I then worked , John G0TDM, Brian 2E0TOG & Alex G7RNX. Mike G4BLH and Geoff G4WHA/M called in later but I could not get back to Mike at first. After leaving the HF station and walking about 50m to overlook the southern aspect of the mountain and with some QSP help from John FGQ, Mike peaked up to 55 and he was able to hear me OK. The HF rig could be heard at quite a distance; I’d left it on but I don’t think anyone noticed. Earlier on we had been asked if we had the cricket score. It has a lot to do with the time of day but as always, Fairfield was by far the most popular summit of the four visited.

The 2.2 km walk to LD10 can take as little as 35 minutes. Today it took 37. Again I passed Will on the way. He had experienced some nerves on Coffa Pike and wisely reversed his moves and gone another way round. I too have a respect for this feature; not in today’s conditions but in the winter of 2005 when I was forced, due to hard white ice and no crampons to back off and contour Fairfield’s snow, ice and loose rock-covered NW face, to the col at Deepdale Hause.

  1. ST.SUNDAY CRAG, G/LD-010, 841m, 8 pts, 15:45 to 17:15. 12 deg C, sunshine, 10 mph wind. LOC: IO84MM. WAB: NY31.

By late afternoon I expected that we could revert to plan which was 80m. Roy kindly posted a start time for me while I walked the final few metres to the summit cairn. The crowds were thinning out by now so the dipole was placed right on the top. I didn’t have the energy for much in the way of finesse.

80m CW (LD10) - 11 QSO‘s:
G4SSH was first in the log on 3.558. G0NUP & G4OOE, Kevin & Nick were hard on Roy’s heels. After that it was G3ROO, Ian who I know from Kanga Kits. I built a lightweight 3-Band, CW/SSB, 10W rig back in 1989 simply because I could not buy anything suitable even at twice the weight. It was built from three Kanga Kits with a Cirkit PA and home brew panels and filter. After 200 hours work, Ian helped me to commission it and it was used successfully for WAB/P ops for the next 10 years. It weighed 4 pounds.

After Ian, seven more regulars were headed up by Frank G3RMD. EI2CL made it through in this batch but Frid DL1FU was having more bad luck with me today. Again I tried and tried, dearly wishing I could turn the ‘wick’ up but failing in the end. The FT817ND with it’s QRP is a miracle rig but if conditions are poor you just won’t make it. Every time this happened I thought of my regular IC706-2G but it and the associated batteries would have added a further 2.5 kg to the pack. Reports ranged between 229 and 559, which made me think that the long awaited band condition improvement had not commenced.

80m SSB (LD10) - 12 QSO‘s:
Frank G3RMD led off on 3.724. I asked him about his activation of these summits in summer. We both agreed that the worst thing was still to come; namely the final descent into Patterdale at a time when you think it’s all over bar the shouting.

In many ways, this was one of the best sessions of the day. Conditions rose throughout and helped by promptings from Frank & Don G0RQL, I even worked HB9BIN with my 5 Watts. Most were regular chasers who must have been tearing their hair out trying and failing to dig me out of the noise all day. Many of these same ops were now giving my QRP reports like 58 and 59, though some till struggled. I was buoyed up and it certainly was a nice way to wind up HF ops for the day; GW4BVE being the final caller.

4m FM (LD10) - 4 QSO‘s:
I must apologize here for having got someone on 80m SSB to spot my intended ‘QSY to 4m FM in 5 minutes.’ I then decided to pack up the HF station. By the time I got to them, the 4m boys were thinking they’d missed me but I worked: G4WHA/M Geoff, MW1FGQ John, G0TDM John and G4BLH Mike. For the fourth and final time I used the IC-E90 with 3.5W o/p to an extended 2m band ‘duck’ and counterpoise. I hadn’t expected to work Mike with this setup from LD10 because I’d assumed that he was screened. Screened or not he gave me 55. It was now time to try to catch Will, who had left the summit at around 16:30. I caught him up by the oak trees just prior to the hotel path turnoff but carried on through, regaining Will’s car by 18:23. He arrived at 18:31 looking just as tired as I felt.

Yes, after having got up at 02:30 in the morning that final descent, extended half a mile by ’yellow line merchants’ was annoying to say the least. Thankfully, I wouldn’t be adding two more this year!

ASCENT & DISTANCES:
Patterdale-LD3-LD22-LD7-LD10-Patterdale: 1,510 m (4,953ft) of ascent / 19.1 km (12 miles) walked.
(Birks & Dollywagon Pike were both bypassed)

CHRONOLOGY:
Left Scarborough: 02:55
Arrived Patterdale: 05:35
Walk for LD3: 06:00
LD-3 Helvellyn: 08:25 to 09:58
LD-22 Seat Sandal: 11:10 to 12:58
LD-7 Fairfield: 13:43 to 15:08
LD-10 St Sunday: 15:45 to 17:15
Returned Patterdale: 18:23
Drove away from Patterdale: 18:44
Arrived Scarborough: 22:02

Walking times:
Patterdale (Hotel) to LD3: 145 min
LD3 to LD22: 72 min
LD22 to LD7: 45 min
LD7 to LD10: 37 min
LD10 to Patterdale: 68 min.

Summit times:
LD3: 93 min
LD22: 108 min (Coax repair)
LD7: 85 min
LD10: 90 min.

Total time spent walking: 6 hr-7 min. (Ave:1.96 mph)
Total time spent at summits: 6 hr-16 min.
Walking plus Summit time: 12 hr-23 min.
Booting up & prep: 25 min
Booting ‘down: 21 min

Driving time: 2h - 40 min plus 3h - 20 min return (inc 25 min diversion) = 6hr.
Gross time (home to home): 19hr-7 min.

Distance driven: 284 miles. (132 miles each way plus a 20 mile diversion via Northallerton because 100m of road in Thirsk had been closed for repairs on our return journey!)

EQUIPMENT:
FT817ND, adjustable link-dipole. 5m H/B CFC mast with 1m CFC end supports.
One 4.4 Ah Li-Po for LD3, LD22 & LD7 QRP. (95% depleted).

IC E90 4-Band FM, 5W H/H with 2m set-top helical extended for 4m and quarter-wave counterpoise wire. ICOM BP217 Li-Ion detachable battery (7.4V - 1.3 Ah). 3.5W used for all QSO’s on 4m.

PACK WEIGHT: 11kg (24 pound).

QSO’S: (All four summits qualified on 4m.)
LD3: 33
LD22: 29
LD7: 24
LD10: 27
Total: 113.

Breakdown:
36 on 80m CW.
22 on 80m SSB.
37 on 40m CW.
18 on 4m FM.

32 SOTA Activator points.

DISCUSSION:
The WX was kind; sunshine being moderated by a cold breeze. Again the low-cloud was confined to Helvellyn in the morning and there was no rain.

The plan was centred around 80m and only one HF band per summit was the aim. In fact midday conditions made life far too hard for the 817’s low power on 80m and 40m had to be the recourse.

William is a good walking companion. He has no interest in radio whatsoever but he will gladly explain our antics to curious passers by when I’m too busy. Our well developed technique of walking enables longer summit stays than perhaps could be tolerated by an uninvolved person sitting around waiting for an amateur who is mostly oblivious to the time and weather conditions. My going ahead to start each activation then sending Will off to the next one half way through proceedings makes the best use of our time. He does not feel under pressure to walk too fast whilst I don’t worry too much about running over by 10 minutes or so at the summit.

Will bagged two new summits (LD22 and LD10). He enjoyed both of them but after expecting a boring minor summit, made a favourite out of LD22 Seat Sandal. He also enjoyed Swirral Edge and has his sights on Striding Edge. He had been told that the path to Hole-in-the-Wall was long and this is what he found. I don’t really know what happened here but we took longer than expected plus I did not go ahead soon enough. Walking times seemed to improve as the day progressed but the broken coax made LD22 the longest activation.

It seems that there will always be frustrations and failures when trying to fit a quart into a pint pot and I regret missing out on 160m QSO’s. For too many ops, it must have been very annoying work trying to chase me today; too few people got a look in, especially either side of noon though in the end, it’s just a hobby.

THANKS to ALL STATIONS worked, and to spotters: G4SSH, F5SQA, F5AKL, LA1ENA, G4BLH & G3RMD. Once again, special thanks to Roy G4SSH for liaison and his ‘Phone-a-Spot’ Service. Another full day!

73, John G4YSS
(Using SSEG Club call - GX0OOO/P)


#2

In reply to G4YSS:
Hi John,
Great report, as usual. I very much enjoyed reading it. It is a super walk, with good Sota points rewards(which are well earned), and if the weather cooperates wonderful views.
Interested in your HF strategy. I adopted a VHF QRO, but minimalist approach, using my 857 at 50W on 2m ssb. Antenna was just a dipole, supported on my walking poles. Set up and pack up times were very short, but performance was still good enough to work down to London and Isle of Wight.
Astonished that you were able to combine such a strenuous walk with a long drive from and to your home. Glad William enjoyed the outing and ‘bagged’ a few new ones.
I had a much easier time; stayed in Caldbeck, only an hours drive from Patterdale so made it to the Helvellyn summit by 0700Z.
Sorry I missed you on SS and FF; golf intervened.
Thanks for the activation,
73,
Frank


#3

In reply to G4YSS:

A fascinating read, and incredible that you people at the top can do three major climbs plus a long drive in one day…

80m CW is a real struggle in the day, and signals down here in Bracknell were pretty weak to put it mildly. I spent quite a lot of time listening to you at LD-003 until I felt confident to call you, then QSB set in again and I wasn’t sure you had received my report. ESP at its best. I heard traces of you on LD-022 but chances of a QSO were nil. I did hear you briefly from LD-007 on 40m CW but didn’t manage a QSO as I was distracted with other things. Anyway thanks, and you clearly had a good day, though I expect very tiring.

Hope to activate CE-005 Wendover Woods later this week in preparation for possible trips to CE-001 and CE-003 next week. Those of course are trivial compared with those you do…

73 Dave G3YMC


#4

In reply to G3RMD:

You could probably save a bit of time next time you do this round by parking by the George Starkey climbing “hut” in Patterdale, this is the building looking like an old school beside the track to Side Farm (for Place Fell, LD-027). If there isn’t any space out the front (at the time you start there is bound to be!)there is some parking behind the hut, be cheeky! A short walk past the church to the tarmaced side road at Grisedale Bridge, and about a km along you can cross the bridge and be on the good track up to the hole in the wall. The George Starkey hut, by the way, is well-appointed, inexpensive and bookable for small or large parties as long as you can be flexible about dates - its popular!

Just a thought for future planning!

73

Brian G8ADD

PS I did hear you on 80 SSB during the day but unworkable as the neighbours plasma screen was ackling nicely! :frowning:


#5

In reply to G4YSS:

Hi John,

I had been testing a new smaller slab with my FT817 so had that radio connected to my antenna rather than one of my more usual 100 Watt radios, so I had decided that I would try to work you with that radio, my reasoning being that if I could hear your 5 Watts, you should be able to hear mine.

I was monitoring 3.558 from quite early with the intenetion of working you before dashing off to work. I was a little worried when I saw Roy’s spot stating you would be QRV in 30 minutes as that would give me very little time, if any, to give you a call.

As it happened you were calling CQ a little earlier than 30 minutes later & according to my notes I had you at 529 with qsb, so 80m was still working quite well at that time. I already had my coat on ready to leave so I would need to be one of the first in your log, or I would have to give it a miss & leave for work.I heard a couple of others calling you, one of them being Roy G4SSH & I sent my callsign after his.

I heard you working Roy but in the qsb I was not sure if at one point you called me, but by that time I really had to go. It was reassuring that by then there were quite a few chasers calling you & you would have no problem qualifying the summit very quickly.

If you did hear me & give me call, sorry for any confusion it may have caused, but I really had to go :frowning:

Congratulations to both you & William on completing a quite gruelling trek & I look forward to working you again very soon.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF


#6

In reply to G4YSS:
Top stuff John! Was listening out, but to no avail. If you need a overnight stop in Kendal, just ask! 73s


#7

In reply to G4YSS:

Another gripping report John. Well done on what you’ve achieved, yet again!

Paul and I have those 4 summits scheduled together, but so far we have chickened out doing them on account of the distance / time on the road - even though could we stay over and activate them as a round on the first day of a two day schedule. In that case I think it would be a late start and no more than a couple of single pointers activated on day 2. Perhaps commonsense will prevail and we’ll stick to the more commonplace 3 + 1 arrangement.

73, Gerald G4OIG


#8

In reply to G4YSS:

Fantastic achievement John. I really enjoyed following your adventure throughout the day during the activations and the 2m FM net via Roy G4SSH. You are an inspiration to all us budding SOTA activators! The Scarborough Amateur Radio Society were very interested in your day too! Also thanks for a very comprehensive report.

73 Nick G4OOE


#9

In reply to ALL:

To Frank, G3RMD:
Hi Frank, Thanks for your impressions of this round. It is photogenic. When I looked back at the ones I took, they were mostly great. It’s even better covered in snow.

The tip about VHF QRO is good too. I have tried this a time or two and included CW. I liked it. Used a 3-Ely SOTA Beam. The trouble with beams is they don’t mix with wind. Also this horizontal / vertical ‘nonsense’ provides much trouble too so your idea of a simple dipole is quite inspired. As you say, if 50W is applied it should do a decent job, especially if there’s a beam or big power at the other end. I came to SOTA from WAB/P HF-QRO which is why I saw SOTA as a VHF activity because of the QTH advantage. I was sick and tired of carrying 45 pounds around the Cairngorms. A VHF H/H and a few QSO’s gave me a well earned holiday until a reversion to HF after MG. I am still confused and undecided about what is the best approach to activating. I don’t think I will ever decide because I am never satisfied with my efforts. It always seems to leave lots of people out no matter what we do. This will get worse; the SOTA World is getting bigger every year.

73, John.

…………………….

Dave G3YMC:
Hello Dave, The reason for this approach is to concentrate & maximize activity in order to minimize driving; something I am entirely weary of after 8 years and 40k.

I’m afraid that QRP was inadequate for midday condx. I should have made a better effort and gone for 100W gear. 40m was the saviour midday. Sorry you couldn’t get in touch. I didn’t work you from LD3.

Wendover Woods sounds like a really nice place with badgers, wild flowers and blue butterflies. Good luck with the activation. It sounds like you live out of the way of the bigger stuff; even further away than me and I find it bad enough. The only recourse is a holiday or hope for a sudden volcanic eruption.

73, John.
…………….

Brian G8ADD:
Thanks for that tip Brian. I looked at your description on the map and can see where you mean. I may well try it but also saw another grass verge that would fit my heap. I agree about being cheeky. We are getting worse at just lying down and ‘dying’ when it comes to this kind of thing. I never paid to park; didn’t believe in it until SOTA but that need overrides firmly held principles. I don’t really mind car parks for SOTA but they are often not in the right place. The £10 for Pen-y-Pass is disgraceful however but thanks for that and sorry you fell victim to a telly on 80m. Next time!

73, John.

……………………
Mark G0VOF:
This sounds like real bad luck. It’s a pity that there is no way of prioritising ops who must imminently go out. How many must have been frustrated by this in the past. Sometimes if I remembered on 2m FM, I used to ask but it’s not easy on CW, especially when I don’t have a good command of it. After Roy there was more than one caller, possibly three. For some reason I chose to go back to Bill G4WSB; he was miles off freq, strong and very slow which all got my attention. I did not read any of the other callers idents - not good enough at CW. This really was bad luck but when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.

Yes, it is a tiring round. A few years ago, I used to do it without any effects at all but it was with VHF H/H. That’s not the case today - not as fit. We had good WX though and you get a boost from seeing other people enjoying it. Will has some stress in his life. This relieves it better than anything he knows.

CUAGN, John.
……………………

To Martin M3ZOO:
Hi Martin. It’s very exciting to hear from you after a 6 year gap in SOTA. I also note that as well as writing on here, you have been out on High Street yesterday in the dark! I got your email a few days ago and have printed it off to show everybody. I will reply shortly but yes, I still do SOTA and though it’s decreased, still enjoy it.

I was looking at your log. It’s a real pity you didn’t get 4 QSO’s on your H/H the week after I was there to become the 1st activator to ascend via a N.Face ice-climb of WS1! Would have made a good report, so next time………… Great memories too of my 4th QSO from LD1 to your Kayak on Windermere, to make MG. It will be great to have you back in SOTA so don’t stop!

73, John.

……………………
Hiya Gerald,
I’m afraid weeks go by when I don’t bother with SOTA and loose touch somewhat, with what folks are doing . My computer room is often the bedroom of my 2 ½ yr-old Grandson so out of bounds afternoons & nights. This laptop I was given helps with some things though. It’s a pity that you have to travel mega-far. From my own experience over 8 years, I don’t think it is sustainable for ever. I literally now feel sick at the sight of the A66 etc.

I am certain that you could do this round though but do it in winter bonus if you can. March is best but you spend all winter hoping ground / WX condx will allow it. A gamble. If it’s the weight, go for simple VHF. I know you like to do more but here are plenty of chasers in range of all four on 2m FM. You have had plenty of days with 3, 4 or 5 summits in them so you just need to walk a bit further and you’ve cracked it. Book in somewhere though.

Thanks for the reply on the other thread by the way.

73, John
………………….

Thanks Nick,
You grassed me up to SARS!! I should have been there of course. Hope you all enjoyed my ‘taking off’ from the previous meeting with my duff exhaust resounding round the yard! I got it fixed today. Stainless!

My main worry was NOT getting the ‘400 club’ members 32 points! That achieved I could relax! It has become a routine round for me but whether it’s easy or hard depends on how much you’ve done lately. It was hard!

Sorry to hear you didn’t do the activation with Kevin. You certainly will need to train for HB! I would recommend a single NP; a 4 or 6 pointer to start with and develop techniques & equipment. I think your idea of an 857 is a good one and your professional CW abilities will give you a real flyer. Will try to make it to the club soon.

Just a thought: Do you think it’s safe to work me using SSB when Roy G4SSH might easily detect this criminal act? HI.

BCNU, 73, John.
……………………


#10

In reply to G4YSS:

Hi John,

Thanks for this great report and for our S2S QSO; it was on CW (not SSB) but it’s OK in the database.
I did’nt know the aircraft story, but I’ll have a look on Internet.

73 and CU soon from another summit

Alain F6ENO


#11

In reply to F6ENO:
Hello Alain,

Thank you for reading the report but most of all for pointing out that ‘disgraceful’ error which has now been corrected. I have made a few of these in reports in the past and sometimes only see them years later!

Thank you too for the S2S which I think was a previously unactivated summit. Well done for putting it on. Thank goodness for the ‘Dah Di Di Dah Dit, Di Dah Dah dit.’ Prioritizing then follows! It’s good because very often /P is the only thing an activator has in his armoury to break through the (often) stronger chasers. There seems to be universal understanding amongst chasers that S2S’s come first and time is always given. What a polite society SOTA is.

Great to work you Alain, summit or at home, anytime,
73, John. G4YSS.


#12

In reply to F6ENO:
Hello Alain,

Thank you for reading the report but most of all for pointing out that ‘disgraceful’ error which has now been corrected. I have made a few of these in reports in the past and sometimes only see them years later!

Thank you too for the S2S which I think was a previously unactivated summit. Well done for putting it on. Thank goodness for the ‘Dah Di Di Dah Dit, Di Dah Dah dit.’ Prioritizing then follows! It’s good because very often /P is the only thing an activator has in his armoury to break through the (often) stronger chasers. There seems to be universal understanding amongst chasers that S2S’s come first and time is always given. What a polite society SOTA is.

Great to work you Alain, summit or at home, anytime,
73, John. G4YSS.