In reply to GI4ONL:
The poet Robert Burns wrote:
But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley
How right he was, because when I arrived to collect the other Victor, (MI0JST), I found him somewhat inappropriately clad for hill walking, i.e. pyjamas & bare feet, hence the reason we were running a bit late! Anyway, we made it to both summits and had a really good day.
The climb on Knocklayd (AH-002) was reasonably easy, the ground was a bit boggy in places and the temperature was 6 degrees with virtually no wind. We had just reached the trig point when 2 fell runners arrived. When JST said we were a bit hot after the climb the guy replied “no wonder, it looks like you are carrying a TV station”. I took off my pack and asked the girl to feel the weight and she promptly dropped it announcing “you are mad carrying that up here” - yeah right, they were running with a single skin tight layer no visible socks and small running shoes. That to me is the definition of insanity!
Both stations were set up in less than 15 minutes and we were QRV for approx 45 minutes. VHF propagation was very good and Victor worked G, GW, GM & GI. HF initially had the usual pile up. How I wish some operators could recognise other callsigns, because despite asking for a specific station to reply I would get a barrage of CW from the speaker. I fully understand the urge to try and get a contact, however I get really frustrated by this and inevitably it only slows things down - rant over !!
The descent took about 40 minutes and on return to the Land Rover, thanks to Mrs JST, we had a great lunch before setting off for the next summit.
After a 45 minute drive we arrived at our starting point for Trostan, (AH-001). I have a friend who is an avid hill walker and he had advised me on the best route, but shortly into the trek we pondered as to what the worst route would be like as this one was VERY wet spongy bog! (Tom M1EYP has a good report on his website). The climb to the plateau & the trig point took less than an hour and again we were QRV in 15 minutes. Despite being on the highest hill in Co. Antrim we couldn’t get any GSM signal so were unable to spot but thanks to George, (GI4SRQ), for doing the job. Conditions on VHF didn’t appear quite as good as earlier, however, JST worked G, GD, GM & GI on 2 FM and one G on 2 SSB. Once again HF produced a pile up, but this one was slightly more orderly and I worked 28 stations from G, GM, GW, GI, EI, D,OK,OM,OE,LA,HB9 & PA.
At 17:00, I had to threaten Victor that I would cut his coax if he didn’t pack up because darkness was fast encroaching and I really didn’t relish the thought of disappearing into some hidden bog hole! The descent was, in places, a little bit precarious due to the lack of light and the dark peat disguising some seriously waterlogged terrain, but we arrived safely back at the Land Rover just as the remaining daylight disappeared over the horizon to the West.
What a great day out, we thoroughly enjoyed it and would like to thank all the chasers for the contacts.
So until the next time, (& we have some nice ones in the planning stages),
73 from the Victors, GI4ONL & MI0JST