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GM/SS-125 Scald Law


#1

Having attempted this hill on 19 January with zero QSOs I thought it was time for another go. The combination of a decent weather forecast, and an alert from Robert GM4GUF that he would be on Tinto this morning caused me to get things sorted out ready for a little walk.

Seeing the alerts from Paul G4MD and Gerald G4OIG as well I did my best to get up there reasonably early. It turned out to be a lovely morning, very cold but initally a clear blue sky. It stayed that way until I got to the summit at about 1015, by which stage it was clear there were some dark clouds gradually moving in from the north east. However there wasn’t too much wind so I set up without fingers becoming too frozen.

I had 70cm ready by 1030, using the 6-ele SOTAbeam, but there was no response to 10 mins of CQ bearing south. I tried 2m using my 5-ele homebrew for the next 10 mins with the same result. Since Robert had alerted for 433.220, that’s where I next moved to, waiting for him to come on, which he duly did at 1055. Tinto to Scald Law is line of sight 35km so Robert was 59+ off the back of the beam with his wee linear; I was using a bare FT-817. It was then I discovered that Robert had set up some skeds for 70cm which I was gratefully able to participate in to qualify the summit, the first time I’ve done that entirely on 70cm. Many thanks to Alan GM0USI in IO75UV (63km), Jim GM3UAG running 10W in Ellon, Aberdeenshire (188km) - a weakish signal most of the time, with a lot of QSB, but copyable - and Ian GM0UHC (IO85FW, 18km). I could also hear GM8IEM in Lochinver but unfortunately he couldn’t hear me - 100W vs 4W, and well over 250km away with a lot of Highlands in the way. Scald Law has not usually been much of a success for me on VHF and up, so this was a great day - and even better for being able to chat to a number of others interested in some 23cm operation as well; we had the net going for over an hour, though eventually Robert (especially I think - he had a lot more wind than I did) and myself were feeling the cold of altitude!

Robert gave a couple of final CQs bearing south but without any takers; I also gave a last few CQ calls on 2m but again no takers and went QRT at 1204.

Sorry that there was no HF - but after the long chat up on the summit I was too cold to start messing around with long bits of wire.

One success of the activation - I tried using 10 NiMnH cells in a Maplin holder as the power for the FT-817, to give more volts than the internal supply. This seems to have been reasonably successful; I ran the rig on full (!) power, and this was OK much of the time, with occasional flickering of the lower power indicator on long transmission periods. Maybe eventually I’ll go LiPo but for now that’s a lot lighter than a SLAB.

Many thanks especially to Robert for alerting in the first place.

73
John GM8OTI


#2

In reply to GM8OTI:

Excellent on your success on 70cms. I was intending to go up on Saturday afternoon but decided I wouldn’t if you’d done HF. So as you didn’t activate it on HF it means I can go up there anyway. I’ll have the handy so you can work me for a chaser points.

Andy
MM0FMF


#3

In reply to GM8OTI:
Hi John

Glad you could come on so we could get a S2S. Yes a very successful morning all round, WX wasnt as good as I hoped but I just got enough shelter. Needed to be clear of the top with the antenna to stand a reasonable chance with Martin. I made it 310km so happy with that.

Tinto was very icey, I fell over on Wednesday and knocked some sense into myself but I must say I dont want a repeat. My boots are useless on ice, the soles have no grip so need to find a solution.

As you said great to hear so many on 70cm for a natter even if I did have to arrange skeds.
I am still on slabs and I should think about changing as the weight is a problem. It does make a difference to the output with the external cells.
Hear you on 23cm!
73
Robert
GM4GUF


#4

In reply to GM4GUF:

the soles have no grip so need to find a solution.

One word… Kahtoola

Andy
MM0FMF


#5

In reply to MM0FMF and GM4GUF:

Yes, Andy was showing me his Kahtoolas :wink: at the club the other week!

I guess I’ll be sticking with my 1970s investment of 12-point Salewas - though they do weigh 1kg including the straps. I bought my new boots to take them. Wonder what the Kahtoolas weigh?

It was a great natter today, and very interesting too.

73
John GM8OTI


#6

In reply to GM8OTI:

690g for the steel ones. The aluminium ones are much lighter but not as durable of course. For just the odd icy path, the Kahtoola micospikes are excellent too.

There’s also the Grivel Spiders and many other “ice assist” add ons available if you don’t want a full crampon. I wonder if the emergence of all these gizmos is a result of the popularity of lightweight fabric/goretex boots.

Andy
MM0FMF


#7

In reply to MM0FMF:

Thanks Andy I will look, havent heard of these. I used a pair of old socks over my boots on Friday this works pretty well as the fluff sticks to the snow/ice but its not a long term solution as the socks are destoyed… Ok in an emergency as I was advised:) I wasnt sure about the spiders as they just fit in the instep of the boot.
I was wondering if there was any sort of light weight durable fabric sole that slipped over the boots for occasional use but I guess there is no substitute for crampons really.
Cheers
Robert
GM4GUF


#8

In reply to GM4GUF:

Not poking fun here, but seeing a Scot saying “there is no substitute for crampons” raised a wry smile. You see, there was a period when crampons were being introduced for snow and ice climbing, and there was a stubborn and vocal resistance to crampons in Scotland with many climbers sticking to their beloved nailed boots long after a giant leap in climbing standards had demonstrated the superiority of crampons. However, for hill walking rather than climbing, old-fashioned boots nailed with “muggers” and “clinkers” will work as well as instep crampons - perhaps better as they are distributed all over the sole…but they weigh a lot and some say they are cold. The sparks are pretty in the twilight!

73

Brian G8ADD


#9

In reply to G8ADD:

old-fashioned boots nailed with “muggers” and “clinkers”

Brian, the last time I saw any of those was in Wales probably around 1980! We were sitting in a bar in the evening after a strenuous day’s climbing when some bloke came in, raised his leg and banged his heel down firmly on our table so we could see the sole of his boot. “How about those then?” he said - and indeed, all the little nails were very pretty. But, I think, expensive even then since pretty well everyone had gone over to Vibrams. Don’t know if anyone sells them now but I found this:

http://members.iinet.net.au/~dcjames/oldies/bootnail.html

73
John GM8OTI


#10

In reply to G8ADD:

Arhhhh… but when is an Englishman accepted as a Scot… now the answer to that is of course never!!!
You really know how to cause sparks without clinkers, more like a clanger by putting your foot in it:)
To avoid more slip ups, tread carefully!
73
Robert
GM4GUF
PS My kids are Scots… can I have my passport now please.


#11

In reply to GM8OTI:

You’ve seen them more recently than I have, then, I’d even forgotten about the tricounis! I’ve been told that you can still get them at a shop in Keswick, but I can’t remember which one. It would probably be a waste of time trying to put them on modern boots, anyway, but in their day they worked well. A skilled climber could accurately place one nail on a minute rugosity on a rock face and stand up on it in perfect balance!

73

Brian G8ADD


#12

In reply to GM4GUF:

Sorry, Robert, but it would have spoiled the story to say “adopted Scotsman!”

It can be a bit strange to be between two worlds: my family came from South Wales but I was born in Birmingham: I suppose that makes me a true Brummy, they say you can always tell a Brummy by the shamrock in his turban!

73

Brian G8ADD