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Worcestershire Beacon Activation. 31 Oct 2010 - a


A lesson learned today I think. I am not usually careless going into the hills however I took the liberty of considering my trip to Worcestershire Beacon today a gentle stroll. Mist, rain and a strong wind contributed to the lesson. Having managed to get wet though the wind was fiercer than I realised. No more layers to put on and extremely violent fits of shivering to the extent I dropped radio/Microphone/logbook. Then a bit of a loss of concentration.

Anyway I got back safely but feel a little chastened. With hindsight apart from being ill equipped today, symptoms were probably start of hypothermia. I got down safely and got warmed up but I won’t be taking liberties anywhere again.

Thanks to everybody that worked me.




In reply to M0ZZA:

You got back safely which is the important thing…

But a salutary reminder to everyone, not to take even the simpest of hills for granted.



Sorry, it was partly my fault as I added a 2M spot when you were talking to G0KHK, and this caused you a couple more QSO. However perhaps that is a reminder to us all that if conditions are bad then call a halt and get off the hill, even if there are still others wanting a contact.

I had a similar problem on Malvern back in the 8th Jan when we had a decent snowfall. Come the end of the activation I could not use my hands and my sota pole had frozen. In trying to get it collapsed I accidentally broke it. I then could not get my thicker gloves on to warm my hands. And I kept thinking this is only Malvern, a hill I walk up every few weeks. Oh, and I lost the log sheet, so no record of the activation exists.

Glad you got back safely.



In reply to G0IBE:

No ones fault but mine for going ill equipped. (and gassing so long to some of you!) Thanks for the spot as well. I shall hopefully be out next weekend and suitably attired! The good news is that I worked 9 stations and discovered that my hacked 4m handheld does actually work and works very well.

Naturally by the time I’d driven as far as the three counties showground it was dry and the sun was out.

C’est la vie.



In reply to M0ZZA:

Exposure, hypothermia, is the most insidious of the enemies that you can meet on the hill, if you don’t recognise what is happening you are in big trouble. You were lucky to have spotted it in time and dealt with it! Your post is a reminder to us all that we need to be prepared for bad conditions on the summit and we need to be aware of the symptoms.

The first rule in my experience is to get out of the wind, on the lee side of the summit, a nook amongst rocks, whatever, and then put on extra clothing. Its amazing how fast you can warm up once you haven’t got the wind tearing at you!


Brian G8ADD


Aye, it’s too easy, when doing the couch sloth thing, to forget that the activator’s out there on top of a mountain in the teeth of the elements. Mind, I could hear the wind howling down David’s (GW0DTN/P) microphone from the top of Cadair Idris yesterday…


In reply to M6LEP:

I can’t think of many SOTA chasers who drag out contacts. They’re either activators themselves and thus know what it can be like on a summit or they’ve read enough reports and seen enough photos to know what it’s like. Unfortunately, you do sometimes get someone new to SOTA or just a random contact who is completely oblivious to the fact you’re on top of a summit. They’ll drone on and on and on and on and on and on and on never pausing for breath etc. Finally when you’ve lost the will to live and are frozen solid they’ll end with something like “well I mustn’t keep you, no doubt you’ll want to work some more before you leave and golly it must be cold sat up there.”



In reply to MM0FMF:


Your final part of your reply seems strangely familiar to me and I guess a few others.

Short quick QSO is what is needed…esp now the colder days will be with us shortly.



In reply to MM0FMF:

Sounds remarkably familiar to me as well! In fact were you listening…?



In reply to GM7GAX:
I suspect 4m FM is where life stories are explained to SOTA activators most often! Occasionally it’s a gem but usually the dear OM is so surprised that anyone is on the band that they have to get the ha’penny’s worth. One prays e.g. G4BLH or MW1FGQ will reply on a cold day…


In reply to M0YDH:

When I use 4m FM on an activation, I’m more than glad to meet any ‘chaser’ and will take time to have a good ‘ragchew’ with them as up here they can be far and few between. I’ll do the same on 2m too unless the weather is setting in.
Whilst I am ‘chasing’, I make it short and snappy then nip back in later to ragchew when it quietens down…
Everyone’s time is appreciated.



In reply to M0ZZA:

Glad you made it safely down and no lasting effects apart from the thoughts running through your head.

Whatever the hill and whatever the weather I always have more than enough stuff to be comfortable on the hill, but even then after a while in adverse conditions you can still succumb to the elements. During the more summer like period my back pack weighs in at 12.5kg (before the grub and fluid is added) and I keep thinking to myself - “Do I really need to carry all this stuff?” and it gets heavier as the weather gets worse.

Remember you have to take control of your own actions and the channel, so cut the - as Andy says “the Drone’s “ – loose and move on to your next chaser or get off the hill whichever one it is to be. The chasers usually understand, some take a few activations to realise but they will always be back and as for the ones that didn’t get you, well they will be all the more keen to get in first next time.

The old saying – the hills will be there tomorrow, will you?

Take care

Neil 2M0NCM


In reply to MM0FMF:

I can’t think of many SOTA chasers who drag out contacts. They’re either activators themselves and thus know what it can be like on a summit…

Hmmmm, I resemble that remark! Actually I know I’ve over-waffled when the chaser quickly signs off: “Right, okay, 73, bye”. However, as far as I’m concerned a couple of reasonable overs is far far better than some of the contest style operating I’ve heard from summits. If needs be make it snappy, but keep it sociable as well.

73, Gerald G4OIG


In reply to G4OIG:

I don’t recall you either waffling or being super short Gerald!

I think important thing is to follow the activator. If (s)he is doing contest style overs then that’s what the chasers should do. If the activator is waffling (a bit or a lot) then waffly responses are fine. Whenever I waffle the QSB monster comes and eats all my RF and when I unkey after some marathon fillibustering over I’m met, not with an agreeing response but silence.

Sometimes you get that sinking feeling when you hear the bod on the other end of the ionosphere click the PTT lock on and settle back into his comfy armchair and begin what you know will not be a quick comment. It has been known for some nameless characters to work a few other chasers on a neighbouring frequency whilst the waffler recounts some tale that seems to run on as long as Proust’s A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu!




In reply to MM0FMF:

I think important thing is to follow the activator.

Certainly makes sense to listen to what the activator’s saying, especially when there’s a pile-up. I’m new to the game, but it’s clear some activators and chasers know each others’ operating styles; who invites new callers with a QRZ, who just says 73 to the previous caller and then listens, and so on. In a few of the pile-ups I’ve heard the activator didn’t even seem to be given the chance to get to a 73, never mind anything as long as “It’s blinking cold, my fingers are frozen, and it’s time to decend. Thanks for the calls. Now QRT.” :wink:


In reply to MM0FMF:
It has been known for some nameless characters to work a few

other chasers on a neighbouring frequency whilst the waffler recounts
some tale that seems to run on as long as Proust’s A La Recherche Du
Temps Perdu!

More like Finnegans Wake!


Brian G8ADD